PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo Summer 2006 - VOLUME 15, NUMBER 9
Service With a Smile

Frank L HubandThere are some who complain that you can’t get good service anymore. Those people ought to look at what’s going on at engineering schools across the nation. Service learning is part of the curriculum in a growing number of engineering departments. Engineering students participating in service learning do everything from programming a computer network at a battered women’s clinic to making school more accessible for children with physical disabilities. Service learning fits well with ABET 2000’s accreditation standards of graduating students who know how to work as a team and who can communicate effectively with people in other fields. As our cover story “May I Help You?” explains, except for the pressure it puts on the already-packed engineering curriculum, service learning seems to be a win-win for everyone.

Closely linked to the service learning story is “Fertile New Ground,” which is also about preparing engineering students for today’s rapidly changing world. There’s a lot of research underway about how engineering students gain the important skill sets they must have as practitioners. The story looks at two new departments of engineering education, one at Purdue University, the other at Virginia Tech, created in part to study how students learn engineering.

The third story in this month’s Prism, “Feast or Famine?” is about money. How much money will be available for engineering research in the 2007 fiscal year budget, which is making its way through Congress? Thanks to the American Competitiveness Initiative, which came about in response to warnings that America’s future security and economic strength were at risk, funding for basic research in engineering and the physical sciences is currently slated for a 1.8 percent increase over 2006.

And now for a bit of news. Your votes for ASEE officers for the 2006-07 year have been tabulated, and you have elected James L. Melsa as your new president. You can find the results for all of the new officers on page 61 (online: ASEE Today). For those of you attending the annual conference in Chicago, be sure to introduce yourself to the new officers. This year’s conference is going to be a great event with outstanding speakers and a record number of papers to be presented. I hope to see all of you there.

Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher



MAY I HELP YOU? - By Jeffrey Selingo
FEAST OR FAMINE? - By Thomas K. Grose
TOUR DE FACTORY - A behind-the-scenes look at some of the nation’s most interesting factories.
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REFRACTIONS: Appreciating Engineering - By Henry Petroski
ANNUAL CONFERENCE - Everything you need to know about the big event in Chicago.
LAST WORD: The Real Numbers - By Vivek Wadhwa


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