1 is the beginning of ASEE's new fiscal year, and so
it feels appropriate to be moving ahead with new plans and
new projects. We've just held a successful ASEE International
Colloquium in Beijing, China, at Tsinghua University. It was
an excellent meeting—with a fine program and good attendance.
Exchanging ideas across the cultural divide was challenging
and exciting. Another new effort includes the major changes
ahead for the Journal of Engineering Education. There
will be a special January 2005 issue that will celebrate the
practice of research in engineering education as well as set
an elevated tone for Journal issues ahead. We've also
gained momentum with the award of the National Science Foundation's
Graduate Fellowship Research Program. Administering this major
program necessitated important growth, and we've leased
additional office space and hired 10 new people. ASEE's
new K12 Constituent Committee is only 18 months old but already
boasts almost 400 members. Jacquelyn Sullivan, professor at
University of Colorado at Boulder, has been a strong supporter
of ASEE's K12 efforts, and she served as the first chair
of this fast-growing constituent committee. Jackie is profiled
in this month's Prism article, "True
Grit." Her story is one of success, and I think
you'll enjoy reading about this determined advocate
for more women and minorities in engineering.
This month's cover story is "Sweating
the Small Stuff" – and we're talking
really small stuff. Nanotechnology is a hot new field. Industry
is clambering for trained workers at all levels, and states
see nanotechnology as an area of investment that can make
them economically competitive. According to the National Science
Foundation, the existing nanotechnology workforce numbers
around 20,000; and according to NSF projections, by 2015 worldwide
need will have burgeoned to 2 million. Little wonder then
that educators and schools are scrambling to figure out how
best to teach the new field, or that approaches vary widely.
"East Side Story,"
looks at the state of information technology in the former
Eastern bloc countries. Mostly, the cyber-situation there
is sad—PCs woefully out of date, inadequate training,
lack of maintenance, and language barriers. However, efforts
are being made to span the digital divide between the "information
rich" and the "information poor." One hope
is that increased integration with the West will help.
As always, if you have comments or thoughts, I would welcome
hearing from you.
Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher