PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo SUMMER 2005 - VOLUME 14, NUMBER 9
Interesting Times

Frank L HubandAs hard as it is to believe, this is our summer issue already. The school year has flown by. I want to remind you that this year's annual conference will be held in Portland, Ore., a beautiful city with a strong engineering heritage. Many of you have already registered, but it's not too late for those of you dragging your feet. We've lined up a roster of impressive speakers, including Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough and Northrop Grumman Vice President Dwight Streit, and there will be 280 technical sessions—give or take a few—and about 1,400 papers presented.

I also want to take this space to thank outgoing President Sherra Kerns for leading the effort to establish ASEE as the lead society for ABET accreditation for general-engineering-related programs. This means that ASEE will select and train accreditation evaluators, which is an important new role for us. Former President John Weese is ASEE's representative on the ABET Board and was an effective advocate for ASEE's position. Iowa State electrical engineering professor Ed Jones—who has assigned program evaluation visitors for IEEE for more than 15 years—also helped to develop ASEE's proposal and is chair of the committee that will carry out our new responsibilities. Walt Buchanan was our liaison with the Technology Accreditation Commission.

It has been almost a year since Smith College graduated its first class of engineers. In this month's cover story, "The Real World," six of those young women recount their experiences during this past year. They've each taken different paths—one has become a geometry and pre-calculus teacher, for example. Two are pursuing graduate studies, and still another is an environmental consultant. They credit engineering for getting them where they are today.

In this issue, we also take a look at what happens when states get involved in funding research in a big way. After the federal government began restricting funding for stem-cell research, California, New York, and other states began funding such research themselves. No one knows how this will play out. There could be highly productive breakthroughs, or a lack of coordination among states could lead to limited results. Another story, "Making It Big," tells about the growing need for mining engineers as the world's consumption of materials steadily increases.

Finally, we're presenting a photo essay of a new skyscraper rising on the World Trade Center site. The developers are employing state-of-the art engineering techniques to protect the properties from potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters. I think the photos are powerful, and they allow you to see just how magnificent engineering is.

I hope you enjoy this month's mix of stories, and I hope to see you in Portland.

Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher



THE REAL WORLD - By Anna Mulrine
MAKING IT BIG - By Corinna Wu
RISING AGAIN - Photographs by Sylvia Plachy
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REFRACTIONS: Teaching for Posterity - By Henry Petroski
LAST WORD: Time for a Change - By Ernest T. Smerdon


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