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Don P. Giddens
We’re Ready − Is the Country?

Beyond recruitment and retention, training more engineers will take money.

By Don P. Giddens

Does the United States need more engineers and engineering technologists? We’ve seen a variety of opinions on this topic, with some claiming that market forces will control the needed number and others asserting that “more is better.” Important nuances come into play, including concern that an aging engineering workforce in certain fields will soon contribute to a decline in experienced engineers; the observation that many who are educated in engineering choose to move into other careers, such as law, medicine, and business; and the argument that engineering ought to be considered a liberal education for the 21st century. Wherever you stand in this argument, there is an undeniable fact: It takes many years to “produce” an engineering graduate. Engineers and engineering technologists do not just suddenly appear whenever the markets are in need, any more than new power plants suddenly appear when energy requirements increase. And while Americans resist the idea of centralized planning (in contrast to some other nations), it is imperative that we take a long-range view of “how many” engineers are needed for innovation, economic well-being, and having an informed citizenry.

Recognizing the importance of technology and engineering to the economy, President Obama has recently set forth two related objectives: 10,000 new American engineers every year, and 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade. Let’s assume that these are laudable goals – how will we do this given the low interest in engineering on the part of young people and the economic climate in which states are paring education budgets? We as engineering educators probably can have only an indirect effect on the latter factor by our votes at the ballot box and efforts to influence the public-policy debate. However, we can have a direct impact on the overall output from our schools and colleges.

Increasing the number of engineering graduates begins early and has at least four components – recruitment, retention, successful graduation, and employment. ASEE and our members are active in each of these important areas.

ASEE has invested in recruitment through our involvement with K-12 initiatives, including eGFI (Engineering, Go For It), our K-12 and Pre-College Division, and the efforts of numerous deans and colleges of engineering across the United States. We also offer educational programs and workshops for K-12 teachers, and our new Student Division should have an impact on increasing the quantity and quality of STEM teachers at all levels.

At first glance, a simple calculation based on national averages for retention of engineering students would say that we can hit a target of 10,000 new engineering graduates per year simply through increasing retention rates. In 2010, with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, ASEE piloted a survey of 27 schools – 22 public and 5 private – to collect in-depth data on retention. The aggregate four-year graduation rate for freshman cohorts running from 2001 to 2006 reported by the 22 public schools was 22.4 percent and by the five private schools was 48 percent. The eight-year graduation rate of the 2001 entering class of public school students was 56.6 percent, while it was 71 percent in the private schools. The project also revealed significant challenges in the definition of retention data, the ability of some schools to track retention, and the large variation in retention metrics among public and private institutions. It is somewhat simplistic to use only retention data as a measure of success in engineering education, of course, but it is clear that we should be doing a better job of retaining students who enter college with an expressed interest in being engineers. ASEE is currently engaged in a follow-up project, initially funded by the Sloan Foundation, to collect data from as many of the 380 U.S. engineering programs as possible with the objective of developing thoughtful metrics and determining best practices that will help all programs improve in this important area. ASEE’s role, and especially that of engineering deans, was recently recognized by President Obama and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at a White House reception.

We are all working to prepare students for successful lives as educated human beings, but of course a critical element of this is gainful and satisfying employment upon graduation. Here is where the ASEE Corporate Member Council has an important role. These members represent small and large companies that have a vested interest in the quality and quantity of engineering and engineering technology graduates. They want students to have real-world, relevant experiences in their education, and they also want graduates to have – in addition to rigorous engineering fundamentals – broader traits such as the ability to work in teams, good communication skills, and a strong sense of ethics. The CMC has several initiatives that help form linkages among students, faculty, and corporations.

But let me return to the issue of investments in education. What are the costs of graduating 10,000 more engineers and 10,000 more STEM teachers each year? While some leverage can be gained from existing infrastructure, the incremental costs would be significant, requiring further investments in faculty, information technology, classrooms, and laboratories. Are we as a nation willing to do this? Would the nation realize a good return on investment? I think the answer to the latter is yes; I hope the answer to the former is yes, also.

Don P. Giddens is president of ASEE.




Walter W. BuchananKenneth F. Galloway

ASEE members elected Kenneth F. Galloway to serve as ASEE president-elect for 2012-2013. Galloway is dean of the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University and professor of electrical engineering. He will assume the position of ASEE president-elect at the 2012 Annual Conference and become president the following year.

Full election results for all ASEE offices, as well as proposed constitutional amendments, are as follows:

Full election results for all ASEE offices are as follows:


Kenneth F. Galloway (719 votes)
Dean, School of Engineering
Professor, Electrical Engineering
Vanderbilt University

Letha A. Hammon (310 votes)
Ethics and Compliance Officer
Program Manager, Records Management
DuPont Co.

Vice President, Member Affairs

Stephanie Farrell (659 votes)
Associate Professor
Chemical Engineering Department
Rowan University

Dennis J. Fallon (361 votes)
Citadel Distinguished Professor
of Engineering EducationCivil and Environmental Engineering Department
The Citadel

Chair-Elect, Zone I

Suzanne Keilson (129 votes)
STEM Integration
Da Vinci Charter High Schools

Navarun Gupta (119 votes)
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering Department
University of Bridgeport


Chair-Elect, Zone III

Charles McIntyre (102 votes)
Associate Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Construction Management and Engineering
North Dakota State University

Kenneth W. Van Treuren (95 votes)
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Baylor University

ASEE Constitutional Amendments


Accept: 915 votes
Reject: 79 votes

ASEE Audit Committee

Accept: 972 votes
Reject: 16 votes

Vice President, External Relations

Accept: 959 votes
Reject: 28 votes

Proposed Correction to Article III, Section 7 – Organization and Officers

Accept: 969 votes
Reject: 20 votes




 Call for Nominations

The ASEE Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past President Renata S. Engel, requests member participation in nominating board officers for the 2013 ASEE elections. Officers to be nominated for Society-wide positions are: President-Elect, Vice President of Finance, Vice President External Relations, and Chairs of Professional Interest Councils I, IV, and V.

All nominees must be individual members or institutional member representatives of ASEE at the time of nomination and must maintain ASEE membership during their term of office. Nominating Committee members are not eligible for nomination. The slate of candidates selected by the committee will not exceed two candidates per office.

Candidates for President-Elect must be active members who have served or are serving on the Board of Directors. Candidates for Vice President External Relations shall be chosen from those members of the Society who have previously served on the Board of Directors or from the present members of the Board of Directors.

Candidates for Chair of the Engineering Deans Council, Chair of the Corporate Member Council, and Chair-Elect for Zone I and Zone III will be nominated and selected by their respective councils and zones, as the ASEE Constitution stipulates.

For each proposed candidate for a Society-wide office, submit a biographical sketch of fewer than 400 words that documents career contributions, ASEE offices held, awards and recognitions received, and educational background. Include comments on leadership qualities, ability to cooperate with others to achieve objectives, and willingness to serve if elected. A listing of members who meet constitutional eligibility requirements for the offices of President-Elect and Vice President External Relations is available from the Executive Director’s office at ASEE headquarters.

Send nominations in writing, marked confidential, by May 15. For nominations for the office of President-Elect, please include an advocacy statement. Mail nominations to Renata S. Engel, Chair, ASEE Nominating Committee, ASEE, 1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.



 ASEE Constitutional Amendments

Members voted to approve the following changes to the ASEE Constitution and Bylaws:

1. DUES (Article II: Membership and Article V: Section 1 and Section 2)

The approved amendment removes language listing specific dollar amounts so that the ASEE Constitution and Bylaws do not have to be changed every time dues change. This aligns ASEE’s policies with standard practices of similar professional STEM organizations such as ASME and IEEE, all of which allow their boards to set dues and do not set specific dues values or limits in their constitution or bylaws. The measure will enable the Board to lead and manage ASEE so that it serves its members and the profession in a financially responsible and cost-effective manner. The changes were informed by feedback from various ASEE constituencies, including the ASEE staff and Board of Directors, as well as best practices of other professional STEM organizations.

2. ASEE AUDIT COMMITTEE (Article III: Organization and Officers - Section 18)

ASEE periodically updates its policies and procedures to be in line with contemporary operating practices for nonprofit organizations. One element many have adopted since the 2002 enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is the formation of an audit committee, with distinct duties separate from the finance committee. While duties vary, in general, audit committees are recognized for providing a valuable link between a governing board and independent auditors, monitoring financial reporting practices, and reviewing the adequacy of policies and procedures related to the Board and employees, including those related to conflict of interest.

During the past decade, the number of employees at ASEE has grown in response to a wide array of projects, many of which are supported by federal funding. The annual budget has increased significantly, primarily due to federally funded fellowships that are administered by ASEE. Sponsorships of events and initiatives, and gifts and endowments for Society awards, have also been on the rise. Given ASEE’s increasing complexity, activity, and accountability, the Board of Directors endorsed the creation and formal articulation of an Audit Committee in ASEE’s Constitution. The measure will strengthen the Board’s ability to provide effective governance and fulfill its fiduciary responsibility. The Finance Committee will continue to have responsibility for the financial decisions of the organization, whereas the Audit Committee will focus its activities on monitoring financial reporting practices, identifying risks, reviewing adequacy of and adherence to policies, approving external auditor appointments, receiving auditor reports and management responses, and communicating to the Board of Directors. Additionally, the Audit Committee shall receive and investigate written allegations regarding violation of ASEE policies by ASEE members or staff.

3. VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL RELATIONS (Article III: Organization and Officers - Section 13, and Article IV: Election and Succession of Officers - Section 4)

These amendments adjust eligibility requirements to reflect the position’s broader duties. Before 2008, the main responsibility of the Vice President Public Affairs (now Vice President External Relations) was to facilitate the Projects Board in the oversight of the Society’s externally funded projects. In recent years, responsibilities have expanded to include such areas as publications and international activities. The Constitution was amended in 2008 to reflect this broader role by changing the name of the position to Vice President External Relations. A requirement for candidates to have served two years on the Project Board is inconsistent with those expanded duties and unnecessarily limits the pool of eligible candidates. In fact, the experience of having previously served on the Board of Directors provides more relevant preparation to fulfill the duties of this office. These amendments reflect that change.

4. PROPOSED CORRECTION TO ARTICLE III, SECTION 7 (Article III: Organization and Officers - Section 7)

In 2011, the ASEE membership voted to amend the ASEE Constitution to specify a three-year term for the Chairs of the Professional Interest Councils. This change from a two-year term does not apply to the Chairs of the Institutional Councils or the Geographic Zone Councils. This amendment corrects an inconsistency between this section and Article IV, Section 2.




An ASEE report offers a guide for changing the engineering education culture.

By Mary Lord

From first-year design projects to industry-university partnerships, America’s engineering community has a rich history of educational improvement and innovation. Yet our institutions still struggle to attract, retain, and graduate a diverse talent pool. Which raises the question: What actions and support do faculty need if they are to equip students with the knowledge and skills to tackle the world’s urgent problems without fundamentally restructuring the enterprise?

Leah Jamieson, dean of Purdue University’s engineering school, and Georgia Institute of Technology Vice Provost Jack Lohmann, recently retired, have spent years leading an ASEE initiative exploring this “grand challenge” and developing a framework for changing the culture. Their much-anticipated final report, “Innovation with Impact: Creating a Culture for Scholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education,” distills conversations and research involving hundreds of engineering educators into a framework for action. The seven broad recommendations include creating career-long professional development programs in teaching and learning; expanding collaborations between engineering and other disciplines, particularly the learning and social sciences, as well as with K-12 and community colleges; and continuing to make engineering programs more engaging, relevant, and welcoming through entrepreneurial, international, and other experiences. An appendix breaks this broad list into 70 specific steps for engineering faculty, deans, department chairs, professional societies, industry, and accrediting agencies.

The point, stress Jamieson and Lohmann, is that engineering doesn’t just need more educational innovations, but research-informed innovations that have a significant impact on student performance. In essence, engineering education must apply to pedagogy and practice the same design process that drives continuous technological improvements. This time-tested model, which faculty routinely employ in their disciplines, remains “largely untapped” in engineering education. Shift this practice, the scholars argue, and the culture will shift as well.

The report comes at a critical juncture. President Obama has called on colleges to graduate 10,000 more engineers annually and has made improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education a top national priority. Despite their importance to American economic competitiveness, however, engineering and engineering technology account for only 5 percent of some 1.6 million bachelor’s degrees awarded annually. And lack of diversity among graduates remains a problem.

Innovation with Impact draws on feedback and an extensive survey of deans, department chairs, and committees from 110 departments at 72 colleges that covers current views and practice in teaching and learning, faculty preparation and engagement, and infrastructure and support for engineering education innovation. As Jamieson and Lohmann discovered, educational breakthroughs fall prey to the same “valley of death” that often prevents technological breakthroughs from reaching the marketplace. Unlike industry, however, engineering education does not recognize innovation in its reward system. By raising awareness of “the considerable educational infrastructure that already exists, both within and outside engineering,” as well as the “substantive body” of proven principles in teaching and learning, educators can begin to improve practice. The aim: for U.S. engineering education to “have a ‘seat at the table’ alongside engineering research in advancing the national capacity for innovation.”

The report recommends cross-campus collaborations that focus on “the formation of engineers rather than on responsibilities for delivering instruction to engineering students,” and deploying curricula and assessment that students see as “personally rewarding, socially relevant, and designed to help them succeed.” Besides suggesting entrepreneurial or international experiences, it urges more engagement with faculties in other disciplines, noting that only 15.6 percent of respondents said they routinely collaborated with education and psychology faculties. Moreover, there needs to be “significant socialization” of faculty and students “accustomed to less active, more traditional instructional methods.” Faculty must also accept the need to collaborate with secondary schools and community colleges. If engineering educators are to turn out 10,000 more graduates per year, write Jamieson and Lohmann, “faculty need to engage a broader population of stakeholders.” Otherwise, their innovations won’t be “designed for or reflect the kind of broad diversity of people and talents needed for the U.S. engineering profession.”

Mary Lord is deputy editor of Prism.





San Antonio RiverwalkSan Antonio Riverwalk

ASEE’s 119th Annual Conference & Exposition

June 10-13, 2012
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, TX

The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education. It is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders such as deans, faculty members, and industry and government representatives.

The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition hosts over 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education. Attendees include deans, faculty and researchers, administrators, students, and retirees. Distinguished lectures are featured, starting with the main plenary. In addition to various award receptions and banquets, ASEE hosts a complimentary Meet the Board Forum, providing the opportunity for all registrants to meet with members of the ASEE Board of Directors and discuss current issues in engineering and technology. Other highlights include the Greet the Stars orientation for new ASEE members and first-time conference attendees, the new ASEE Division Mixer, and the Focus on Exhibits Welcome Reception, Brunch, Ice Cream Social, and Lunch.

We look forward to welcoming you to San Antonio!

View the 2012 Conference at a Glance

New This Year!

  • ASEE International Forum Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 pm, and Sunday 9 a.m. - noon at the Hilton Palacio del Rio - Riverwalk. In collaboration with sister societies devoted to engineering education from India, Malaysia, and Korea, the forum will highlight bilateral educational activities focused on student development, curricular and laboratory development, and faculty development.

  • The Annual Picnic will be a Division Mixer Sunday 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., at the convention center. A great networking opportunity where attendees will mix and mingle with members from their own and from other divisions. Light refreshments will be served. Complimentary for all attendees.

  • Focus on Exhibits Welcome Reception Sunday 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall. Come experience our exhibitors’ products and services as well as network with your fellow attendees and exhibitors. Open to all attendees. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

  • A Second Plenary Tuesday 10:30 a.m. - noon will feature a 30-minute keynote presentation by Ron Smith, Northrop Grumman Information Systems, sponsored by the Corporate Member Council; an address by the President-Elect; and recognition of the Best PIC Paper Award winners from the previous year, the Best Zone Paper Award winner from the previous year, and the National Outstanding Teaching medalist.

  • Ice Cream Social Monday 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall.

  • Exhibit Hall Lunch Tuesday at Noon (Hall closes at 2:00 p.m.)

  • Complimentary Exhibit Hall pass for active-duty/reserve/retired military with DoD ID

  • One-day complimentary Exhibit Hall admission for K-12 teachers with ID

  • Complimentary Exhibit Hall admission for children under 12


View the 2012 Exhibitors
View the 2012 Exhibit Hall Floor Plan

scenes from last year’s conference

scenes from last year’s conference





Join us in Atlanta for the 120th Annual Conference & Exposition!

June 23 - 26, 2013
Atlanta, Georgia


The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition hosts more than 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education. Attendees include deans, faculty and researchers, students, and retirees. Distinguished lectures run through- out the conference, starting with the main plenary. In addition to various award receptions and banquets, ASEE hosts a complimentary “Meet the Board Forum,” providing the opportunity for all registrants to meet with members of the ASEE Board of Directors and discuss current issues in engineering and technology. The spouse/guest tours help make the conference an event for the entire family. Other highlights include the “Greet the Stars” orientation for new ASEE members and first-time conference attendees, the ASEE Division Mixer, the “Focus on Exhibits” Happy Hour, and Brunch. The 2013 conference will be in Atlanta. We look forward to welcoming you there.


In order to strengthen the quality of conference proceedings, the ASEE Board of Directors has voted on a policy of “publish to present” at the ASEE annual conference. This policy, which requires all conference papers and presentations to be peer reviewed, seeks to ensure that intellectual activity by faculty and staff receives appropriate professional recognition.

In addition to Publish to Present sessions, since the 2011 ASEE annual conference, divisions may submit Panel sessions. To submit a Panel session, divisions are asked to provide white papers (extended abstracts) of no more than four pages consisting of two pages of session description and two pages of bios. The PIC chairs will review the Panel sessions submitted and determine their viability to the conference. (Please check the appropriate field/column for submitting a Panel session through the new ASEE paper submission system.)

The process the submission and selection of ASEE annual conference papers is as follows: Once authors have submitted abstracts of their papers, these submissions will be reviewed and evaluated. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full-paper draft to be reviewed by at least three engineering educators. A draft paper may be accepted as submitted, accepted with minor changes or major changes, or rejected. If a paper requiring major changes is resubmitted, the author will be asked to provide an explanation to the division program chair as to how the paper revision has addressed the reviewers’ concerns. The division chair may then decide to accept or reject the paper.

Papers may be selected to present through a poster session, rather than through the lecture format of the technical sessions. Authors will be notified by their program chair. ASEE poster sessions will now showcase authors of accepted papers who have selected this format, or those papers that have been assigned as a poster because of lack of space in the technical sessions. Exceptions to the publish-to-present requirement include invited speakers and panels. Divisions may also designate one of their technical sessions as a “panel” of speakers.

The presentation of research and program findings within a conference setting provides a valuable means of exchanging information and ideas. While the majority of papers presented at the ASEE annual conference already undergo review at the abstract, draft, and final paper stage, the Board feels confident that a rigorous process of review will safeguard the quality of all paper presentations and ensure the prestige and reputation of this important conference.


Please visit the ASEE website for Call for Papers for the 2013 Annual Conference and Exposition: The complete Call for Papers listing will be in the September issue of Prism.


Aerospace Engineering Division
Architectural Engineering Division
Biological & Agricultural Engineering Division
Biomedical Engineering Division
Chemical Engineering Division
Civil Engineering Division
College Industry Partnerships Division
Community Engagement in Engineering Education Constituent Committee
Computers in Education Division
Computing & Information Technology Division
Construction Engineering Division
Continuing Professional Development Division
Cooperative & Experiential Education Division
Design in Engineering Education Division
Educational Research and Methods Division
Electrical and Computer Engineering Division
Energy Conversion and Conservation Division
Engineering and Public Policy Division
Engineering Design Graphics Division
Engineering Economy Division
Engineering Ethics Division
Engineering Leadership Constituent Committee
Engineering Libraries Division
Engineering Management Division
Engineering Research Council
Engineering Technology Division
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division
Environmental Engineering Division
Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies Division
First-Year Programs Division
Graduate Studies Division
Industrial Engineering Division
Instrumentation Division
International Division
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division
Liberal Education/Engineering in Society Division
Manufacturing Division
Materials Division
Mathematics Division
Mechanical Engineering Division
Mechanics Division
Minorities in Engineering Division
Multidisciplinary Engineering Division
New Engineering Educators Division
NSF Grantees Poster Session
Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Division
Ocean and Marine Engineering Division
Physics and Engineering Division
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
Student Division
Systems Engineering Division
Technological Literacy Division
Two-Year College Division
Women in Engineering Division


Abstract submission opens in early September. Please check the ASEE website for updates.



© Copyright 2012
American Society for Engineering Education
1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036-2479
Telephone: (202) 331-3500