ASEE Prism Magazine - Oct 2001



ASEE Today

- By Jennifer Johnson, ASEE Today section editor/writer

The Energizer

- By David Brindley

JakubowskiThere are those who march to the beat of a different drum. And then there are those who actually drum out the beat, leading the way for those different marchers. Gerald S. Jakubowski, the new president of the American Society for Engineering Education, is one of those drum-beating leaders.

It probably wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has met the enthusiastic and, yes, upbeat dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, that Jakubowski was drum major of his high school marching band. “Being part of the band and marching with it is great. But when you are in front, leading the band, it's such a magnificent sound and experience,” he fondly recalls nearly three-and-a-half decades later.

Jakubowski may not have been destined for the life of the music man, but he has often been cast in the leading role in many organizations. That stems from a strongly held personal philosophy that it's not just enough to show up; you have to get involved, too. “I won't join an organization unless I can at least contribute in some small way,” he says. Jakubowski's 25-year-plus involvement with ASEE is a good example, beginning at the section level as a campus representative from the University of Toledo, where he not only taught but also earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate in mechanical engineering.

Wally Fowler, last year's ASEE president, points out that “Jerry joined ASEE as a young faculty member and has served ASEE in a large number of local, regional, and national capacities. His impact has been strongly positive at all levels. Jerry knows ASEE from bottom to top and is keenly aware of its problems and opportunities. He will be an excellent president.”

Over the years, Jakubowski has also influenced future leaders and built up a wealth of good will within the organization. Ron Barr, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and ASEE vice president of member affairs, a position he took over from Jakubowski, says, “I looked up to Jerry and admired the role he had done as VP during his two years. He served as a good role model for me and other members. And he made a lot of friends. Everybody seems to like him a whole lot.”

So what are the new president's priorities for the coming year? Characteristically, Jakubowski presents an ambitious array of topics: increasing membership and improving services of the society, focusing on research initiatives and promoting graduate education, expanding the number of women and minorities, in part through better K-12 education, expanding industry involvement, and branching out to the international arena.

While acknowledging that ASEE can't solve all those problems, Jakubowski says that “if there is something that we can be doing to help, that's what we want to do.” To that end, he has already established a task force on women and minorities and is setting up a center for best practices in K-12 science and mathematics education. On the international realm, he recently attended several European engineering education conferences, including the first-ever International Colloquium on Global Changes in Engineering Education, which ASEE co-hosted with the Technical University Berlin in the German capital.

Of course, being ASEE president isn't the only thing on Jakubowski's plate. In addition to his duties as dean at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, a position he's held since 1990, he also teaches mechanical engineering (when time permits), with particular interests in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and energy, and has published more than fifty technical papers and reports in his field. He's also active in other professional organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering.

All those commitments leave no free time, right? Wrong. In fact, Jakubowski is something of a renaissance man. One recent evening he pursued three hobbies at once: “I took some zucchini that I grew in my garden and went into the kitchen and made some zucchini bread. And while the bread was baking, I went out to my wood shop and repaired my table saw,” the master multi-tasker says. He's an avid cyclist and enjoys hiking in the California hills with his wife. And when asked what his proudest accomplishment is, he beams like a new father and points to a picture of his two grown children.

Jakubowski is also a voracious reader and, as any friend or colleague knows, is a Bugs Bunny fanatic who even considers the floppy-eared character a hero. “I like to think that Bugs represents the humorous side of my personality,” he chuckles.

That may be so, but for some, Jakubowski's tireless enthusiasm conjures a certain other energetic—and drum-beating—bunny. You know, the one who goes on, and on, and on….

David Brindley is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.


International News




On November 21-23, in Canberra, Australia, the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society will be holding its annual meeting with the theme "Earthquake Codes in the Real World." The conference will include discussions on new risk methodologies that involve geotechnical measurements, and on different levels of hazard and earthquake focal depth ranges. For more information, see


Nuclear Engineering International is holding its latest Plant Live Management and Plant Licence Extension conferences in London, England, on November 28-30. Conference topics will include safety and regulatory issues, life cycle management, instrumentation and control, component management, and ageing and degradation mechanisms. See for more details.


The 8th East Asia-Pacific Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction will be held in Singapore on December 5-7, 2001. With the theme of "Challenges in the 21st Century," the conference will include papers on applications of information technology, prefabrication technology, soil-structure interaction, wind and earthquake engineering, and stability and scaffolding engineering. Please see for more information.


The International Society for Optical Engineering is holding an international photonics conference on January 20-25, 2002, in San Jose, California. The conference will cover integrated optoelectronics devices, biomedical optics and applications, electronic imaging/displays/cameras/ holography, and high-powered lasers and applications. For more information on this conference, see Conferences/Calls/02/pw/.


The 3rd World Congress on Cost Engineering, Project Management, and Quantity Surveying will be held in Melbourne, Australia, on April 14-18. Workshop themes will include project management, estimating and cost planning, professional development, databases and benchmarking, and environmental analysis. For more information, see


The 11th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference & Exhibition will be held May 26-31, 2002, in Kitakyushu, Japan. Exploring offshore technology and ocean engineering, topics to be covered will include deep water/ocean systems and technology, earthquake engineering, remote sensing, computational mechanics, and deepwater field developments. See for more details.


The 6th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis will be held July 8-11, 2002, in Istanbul, Turkey. This conference aims to provide an atmosphere for researchers and engineers to discuss, exchange, and expose ideas, methods, and results in conventional and contemporary topics of mechanical engineering. Topics to be covered include design engineering, applied thermo-fluids, applied mechanics, and advanced energy systems. For more information, see


Call for Papers

The ITA World Tunneling Congress 2003 has issued a call for papers, with abstracts due January 1, 2002. The congress, to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on April 12-17, 2003, has the theme of "(Re)Claiming the Underground Space." Topics of interest include underground space use, design aspects and risk analysis, sustainability of underground space, underground logistic systems, and contract management and financing. Please see for more details.

The ASSCCA '03 (Advances in Structures--Steel, Concrete, Composite, and Aluminum) will be held June 23-25, 2003, in Sydney, Australia. ASSCCA has issued a call for abstracts on topics including structural members and systems, dynamic and fatigue, concrete and composite, and nonlinear materials. Abstracts are due by January 31, 2002. For more details, please see

To submit items for the International News section, please send information at least 12 weeks prior to desired publication to ASEE Today, e-mail, fax (202) 265-8504. Interna-tional events are also listed on ASEE's Web site at


About People

David Daniel was recently named dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Delores Etter, formerly the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Science and Technology, has been named as the Office of Naval Research Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Don Gentry, former dean of the Purdue School of Technology at Purdue University, has been appointed the Vice Provost for Engagement at Purdue University. He is ASEE's 2001-2002 Chair of the Engineering Technology Council.

John Harrington is the new dean of the School of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the State University of New York, New Paltz.

Eric Kaler has been appointed the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware.

Sung-Mo Kang recently became the dean of the School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Ralph Kummler has been named as the dean of the College of Engineering at Wayne State University.

Lyle E. Stephens has been elected as the president of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers for the year 2002-2003. He is a senior engineer with Deere & Company.



The Fall Meeting for ASEE's Mid Atlantic Section will be held November 2-3, with the theme of " The 21st Century Engineering." Held at the College of Staten Island in Staten Island, New York, topics to be covered will include globalization of engineering education, distance learning, work/study programs, engineering education. For more information, please see:


Best Paper Awards

The Best Paper Awards for the 2001 ASEE Annual Conference have been announced. The ASEE Professional Interest Councils (PIC) selected a paper as the best for each PIC, and from those the Best Paper Overall. The awards consist of a plaque and $1,000 for each PIC winner, with the Best Paper Overall receiving a plaque and $2,000. Authors will receive their awards at the banquet during the 2002 ASEE Annual Conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Best Paper Overall, Best Paper PIC IV
Honor Ford Nerz and Suzanne T. Weiner
North Carolina State University
Paper: “Information Competencies: A Strategic Approach”

Best Paper PIC I
Larry Cartwright
Carnegie Mellon University
Paper: “Humorous Engineering 101”

Best Paper PIC II
James Globig
University of Dayton
Paper: “Applying a Global Ethic in Engineering Organizations”

Best Paper PIC III
Kevin Dahm and James Newell
Rowan University
Paper: “Baseball Stadium Design: Teaching Engineering Economics and Technical Communication in a Multi-Disciplinary Setting”

Best Paper PIC V
Mohammed Enamul Haque
Texas A&M University
Paper: “Web Based Visualization Techniques for Structural Design Education”


Section Outstanding Teaching Awards

This award, given by each ASEE section, recognizes the outstanding teaching performance of an engineering or engineering technology educator. The award consists of a certificate and honorarium presented by the local section.

Gulf Southwest Section
James W. Frazer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Illinois-Indiana Section
Kenneth J. Reid, Indiana-Purdue University, Indianapolis

Middle Atlantic Section
Ahmed Rubaai, Howard University

Midwest Section
A. John Boye, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

North Central Section
Steven LeBlanc, University of Toledo

Pacific Southwest Section
Eric L. Wang, University of Nevada-Reno

Rocky Mountain Section
David L. Whitman, University of Wyoming


Section Outstanding Campus Representative Awards

ASEE's Campus Liaison Board initiated this award to recognize those ASEE Campus Representatives who have demonstrated staunch support for ASEE on their campuses. The award consists of a certificate and is presented at each section's annual meeting.

Gulf Southwest Section
Kay C. Dee, Tulane University

Middle Atlantic Section
Velio A. Marsocci, SUNY-Stony Brook

North Central Section
George Staab, Ohio State University

Pacific Northwest Section
Marilyn A. Dyrud, Oregon Institute of Technology

Pacific Southwest Section
Sima Parisay, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

Rocky Mountain Section
Joseph Cheng, University of Southern Colorado

Southeast Section
Charles Knight, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga