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PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo SEPTEMBER  2005 - VOLUME 15, NUMBER 1
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President’s Letter - Tending Tomatoes


Our highly successful conference in Portland, Ore., was an important reminder for me of just what a great organization ASEE is and how proud I am to serve as its president. Working in the summer garden—my place to relax and think—it occurred to me that being president is like growing tomatoes. ASEE’s successes start out as small seedlings, carefully planted and nurtured, and grow into strong, healthy plants. ASEE presidents pass through the garden from one year to the next, each planting new seedlings and harvesting the fruits of others’ work. This is my year to tend to the ASEE garden.

One thing that came across loud and clear in Portland was that we are operating in a global engineering arena. American engineering graduates cannot compete economically with the “commodity engineers” in India and China. American engineering education needs to produce new “hybrid tomatoes,” or engineers who are technically competent and who also possess superior talent in creativity, leadership, and communication skills.

Although ASEE is a founding member of ABET, the discipline’s accrediting body, it was only this past year that we became a “Lead Society” for the ABET-accreditation process. This means that ASEE will be responsible for selecting visitors to review engineering programs. Much credit for harvesting this “big tomato” goes to our immediate past president, Sherra Kerns. We hope that this new relationship with ABET will enable ASEE faculty members to have a major impact on engineering education reform.

The scholarship of engineering education and research is blossoming. The January 2005 issue of our Journal of Engineering Education introduced a new look and broadened coverage. ASEE members are collaborating with the National Academy of Engineering in its Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education. Can scholarly research in engineering education be the catalyst that drives curriculum reform and leads to its sustainability? We may attempt to answer this question at the 2006 ASEE Conference Plenary session in Chicago.

ASEE is planting seedlings in a brand-new section of our garden, in the K-12 ground, and they have been fast-growing. The Engineering K-12 Center Web site serves as a data reservoir for hundreds of K-12 outreach programs. “Engineering, Go For It!” has sold over 600,000 copies and is in its second printing. Our K-12 constituent committee, with some 400 new members, was awarded Division status at the Portland meeting. And engineering and technology courses are now being offered at the high school level.

There are other ASEE endeavors that will soon be ripe. The initial endowment for the ASEE National Teaching Award is near completion, and the accompanying Lillian Gilbreth medal has been approved by the Board. We are in the initial stages of launching an online journal. Efforts to form an International Federation of Engineering Education Societies with future meetings in Australia, Brazil, Turkey, Singapore, and beyond continue. As I walk through the ASEE garden, I cannot help but observe that our organization is in the best condition I have seen in 25 years, but we can do even better. There are an abundance of tomatoes in our garden. Some will become ripe for picking, and others may still remain green for my successor, President-Elect David Wormley. Each president has but one year to tend to the ASEE garden, and I know it will go quickly. So please join me in making the ASEE garden the best it can be. We will all enjoy the fruits.

Barr is the 111th President of the American Society for Engineering Education.



The ASEE publications department was recognized by the national publication and design community with 10 awards during the past year.

Prism magazine took home seven APEX 2005 awards, which recognize excellence in publications work by professional communicators. The awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. The competition for the awards was intense this year, with close to 5,000 entries. In addition to receiving a Grand Award in the Writing category for “The Water Guy,” November 2004, Prism was also honored with six Awards of Excellence in the following categories:

  • Feature Writing: “Storm Riders,” November 2004
  • Covers: “From da Vinci to the Classroom,” Summer 2004
  • Magazines & Journals; Printed Four Color: Prism magazine, February 2005
  • Design & Layout: “Sweating the Small Stuff,” October 2004
  • Photographs: “The Water Guy,” November 2004
  • Special Purpose Writing: “The Cheating Culture,” September 2004

Prism was also named a finalist for three Distinguished Achievement Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing by the American Association of Educational Publishers (AEP). “From da Vinci to the Classroom,” Summer 2004, was a finalist for the Design-Cover-Adults category; “Opening a New Book,” February 2004, was a finalist in the Design-Article-Adults category; and “The Water Guy,” November 2004, was named finalist for the Design-Photograph-Adults category.



W. Leighton (“Late”) CollinsW. Leighton (“Late”) Collins, Executive Director Emeritus of the American Society for Engineering Education, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005 in Columbia, Md. He was 99 years old.

A member of ASEE since 1932, Collins was the executive director from 1955 to 1969. He presided over the expansion of ASEE and its evolution into an internationally recognized professional organization. In 1965 the Society moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C., from the University of Illinois, Urbana campus.

“Late” Collins had a long and distinguished career as an educator and administrator. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1928 and 1932, respectively. He accepted a teaching position with the university and remained a full-time member of the faculty of the department of theoretical and applied mechanics until 1955, when he became executive director of ASEE on a part-time basis. In 1969 he received the University of Illinois College of Engineering Alumni Honor Award for distinguished service in engineering.

In 1971, Collins was awarded the first Distinguished and Unusual Service Award given by ASEE. Later, this award was renamed the W. Leighton Collins Award for Distinguished and Unusual Service. Collins set up a teaching enhancement endowment fund for outstanding teachers of engineering at the University of Illinois. Memorial contributions may be made to: W. Leighton Collins Fund, University of Illinois Foundation, Harker Hall, 1305 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801. In memo section of check, please specify: “In memoriam for W. L. Collins.”




Amid the annual Rose Festival, the bustling crowds, and the springtime weather, engineering took the spotlight for a few June days in Portland, Ore. From June 12-15, ASEE hosted its 2005 annual conference at the Oregon Convention Center, where more than 3,300 people attended, including 2,216 prime registrants, and over 100 companies exhibited. Attendees were treated to speeches from G. Wayne Clough, president of Georgia Tech, and Dwight C. Streit, vice president of Foundation Technologies for Northrop Grumman Space Technology, at the Main Plenary, as well as a host of other distinguished lectures and papers throughout the conference. When not spending time advancing engineering, conference-goers took day trips to the Bonneville Dam and Mount St. Helens, browsed Powell’s Books, ate at the many fine restaurants downtown and took in the scene at Pioneer Courthouse Square.


Eighth Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education

The University of Rhode Island International Engineering Program and Georgia Institute of Technology will hold the Eighth Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education, to take place Nov. 10-13, 2005, in Atlanta.  With a focus on strategies and techniques for preparing young engineers for the global workplace, this meeting will bring educators together with members of the private and public sectors for information sharing and building a national agenda for the internationalization of engineering education.  For more information, see the colloquium website (www.uri.edu/iep).


Campus Representative Awards

The Campus Representative Reception at the annual conference in Portland, Ore., celebrated an outstanding year that included several record-setting achievements in member recruitment.  David Lynch of the University of Alberta won the overall award for most professional members recruited with an all-time high of 81, while also becoming the first campus rep award winner from Canada.  Sharon Sauer from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology became the first campus rep to win an overall award (highest percentage of membership) in consecutive years.  And Bruce Feodorov of New England Institute of Technology set a new record—30—for student members recruited.  See the full list of winners at “On Campus” on the ASEE website.


Engineering Deans Council Honors
K-12 Outreach

The ASEE Engineering Deans Council presented the 2005 Engineering Deans Council Award for Promoting Engineering Education and Careers to Betsy Willis of Southern Methodist University for her work on Visioneering: Designing the Future. Through a TV show, live event, and on-demand webcast, the Visioneering program now reaches an estimated audience of more than 8 million viewers, showing students, parents, and educators that engineering can be a fun, creative and rewarding career.


Call for Submissions

The Journal of Engineering Technology is accepting submissions. Visit http://asee.org/about/publications/divisions, www.purdue.anderson.edu/etd/journal.htm or the latest issue for complete manuscript requirements, a style guide for authors, and a list of topics of interest. Submit 11 copies of the printed manuscript with abstract to:  Carlos A. Ortiz, Manuscript Editor, Southern Polytechnic State University, Civil Engineering Technology Department, 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060; email: cortiz@spsu.edu.


About People

Sallie Keller-McNultySallie Keller-McNulty, the former group leader for the Statistical Sciences Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, became dean of Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. Rice is now the only major research university with female deans in both science and engineering.

Stephen W. DirectorFormerly the University of Michigan’s dean of engineering, Stephen W. Director has taken the position of provost at Drexel University.

Zorica Pantic-TannerFounding Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas-San Antonio Zorica Pantic-Tanner was named president of Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Joseph Bordogna Joseph Bordogna resigned as deputy director and chief operating officer of the National Science Foundation and is returning to the University of Pennsylvania as Alfred Fitler Moore professor of engineering. Bordogna was the agency’s longest-serving deputy director.

Janie M. FoukeFormerly the dean of engineering at Michigan State University, Janie M. Fouke has taken the position of provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Florida.


Christophe PierreChristophe Pierre has taken up the post of dean of the faculty of engineering at McGill University. Pierre was the Stephen P. Timoshenko Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering as well as the associate dean of graduate studies at the University of Michigan.

David E. DanielThe former dean of engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, David E. Daniel is the new president at the University of Texas-Dallas.


Alan CrambAlan Cramb, formerly professor and head of the department of materials science and engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, has assumed the positions of dean of the school of engineering and John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mark J. KushnerMark J. Kushner, Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, has taken the position of dean of Iowa State University’s college of engineering.

2005 ASEE National and Society Awards

View the 2005 ASEE Award Recipients & Fellow Member Honorees at ASEE.org: http://asee.org/members/awards/index.cfm


2006 ASEE Annual Conference
Calls for Papers

View the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference Calls for Papers at ASEE.org: http://asee.org/about/events/conferences/annual/2006/Calls-for-Papers.cfm



PLANTING THE SEED - By Pierre Home-Douglas
JOLLY GOOD FELLOW - By Thomas K. Grose
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REFRACTIONS: Discarding the Library  - By Henry Petroski
A NEW (VIRTUAL) CHAPTER - Getting students to use digital libraries - By Jo Ellen Myers Sharp
TEACHING: Gaming the Curriculum  - By Phillip Wankat and Frank Oreovicz
ON CAMPUS: Doing Time - By Lynne Shallcross
BOOK REVIEW:  War in the Sky - By Justin Ewers
LAST WORD: A Winning Profession - By David Wessel


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