This summer, ASEE participated in an Indo-U.S. collaborative for
Engineering Education, which took a group of U.S. engineering education
leaders—including ASEE President Jim Melsa—to India.
We were hosted by Infosys on its Mysore campus and met with the
then president of India and a number of engineering, science, government
and corporate leaders in New Delhi. In Bangalore, we glimpsed firsthand
some of the country’s remarkable successes but also some struggles.
India’s swift ascent, fueled by its warp-speed high-technology
growth, has splashed the country into the U.S. media, including
the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine. Thus,
this month’s Prism cover story, “Heave
Ho,” offers a timely and thoughtful look at India’s
challenge to prepare enough well-qualified engineers to match its
21st-century ambitions. India’s educational system for engineers
is outdated; it can’t pay good instructors close to what they
can earn in private industry. New institutions attempt to fill the
void, with industry support, but the question remains: Are these
It isn’t only in India where good professors are lured away
by private industry. In “Educator
for the Real World,” a profile of Jim Melsa, we learn
that Tellabs Inc. recruited Melsa from Notre Dame, where he was
comfortably working as department chair. A decade later, however,
Melsa would return to academia as Iowa State’s dean of engineering,
bringing industry experience and seeking to change the way engineering
In an innovative effort, Penn State Behrend is placing engineering
and business students under one roof to get each group to learn
from the other, acquiring the skills that will make both more attractive
to industry—and more successful. Penn State Behrend’s
$30 million Research and Economic Development Center was two decades
in the making, and it has produced something of a culture clash.
But while Chancellor Jack Burke admits “it’s
a work in progress,” the school can’t train students
fast enough for employers who are snapping up the business-savvy
engineering grads at hefty starting salaries.
For your enjoyment, Engineering, Go For It! has been included with this issue
of Prism. This is the third edition of our very popular ASEE K-12
publication. Over 300,000 copies of this latest edition have been
distributed, and a total of more than 1 million copies of all editions
are in circulation.
As always, I would welcome hearing your comments and suggestions.
Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher