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FROM THE READERS

CEO ENGINEERS

I read with great interest the article on the proliferation of degreed engineers amongst the leadership of our top corporations “Route to the Top,” March 2008. I was pleased to see that, as many of us have long believed, there is some evidence to support the notion that an engineering education provides all of the tools necessary for an individual to craft virtually any career path, including the leadership and management of highly productive corporations. I was surprised, however, to see that my university – Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla) – was not among those included in the list of incubator institutions for corporate engineer-leaders/CEOs. Missouri S&T has a long and proud heritage of producing leaders in industry, including S&P 500 corporations. A quick look at our engineering alumni rolls revealed seven CEOs among S&P 500 companies, and two more at other regionally and nationally significant corporations. I was bemused to note that this total is at least twice that of the figure cited for the well-respected university along the West Coast that was noted as producing the most corporate engineering leaders.

The ASEE and Mr. Grose are to be commended for bringing to light yet another potential value of an engineering education. However, it is also important that we recognize and celebrate the contributions of all universities to the industrial prowess of this great country, and not just a subset of a select group of universities.

– Bill Schonberg
Professor and Chair, Department of Civil,
Architectural & Environmental Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO.

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