Hi all,

 

This is pursuant to the other discussion I started about engineering education.  We've just released a new workshop report titled, "Lifelong Learning Imperative in Engineering."

 

It talks about a number of the issues surrounding lifelong learning...who pays for it, who accredits it, etc.  You can read it for free online here. Hope some of you find it helpful.

 

Nathan

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Nathan:

Just a comment on the workshop report. It seems that the workshop participants represented the universities and the professional societies well, but the typical working engineer was under-represented. Nobody asked my opinion, so the report is obviously flawed! (Please, no hate mail - I was teasing!)

I have been toying with the idea of graduate school in Mechanical Engineering, but it is purely for my own benefit. My employer doesn't need engineers with graduate degrees, or even bachelors in some cases. They will neither pay for the degree nor provide much of a raise should I get one.

I think there is a vital need for a clearing-house that matches graduate students with graduate advisors. There is probably a professor out there that is doing the research in the areas I'm interested in, and I will never find them. Likewise, some professor could be working on a problem I already solved, because I had to.

Lifelong learning is vital to the profession, but it is not nearly funded properly.

Phil
Is it me? Do I scare people away from your discussions?

I could get a complex!

Phil
Phil,

Ha! Maybe so...and I apologize that I didn't respond sooner.

You are right in that working engineers are under-represented in many of the things we do, which hopefully doesn't make us too ivory tower-ish. What we aim for at our workshops and on our advisory committees is to gather the "leaders," and that usually means engineering deans, university presidents, society presidents, corporate executives etc. etc. It may help that many of these people were at one point doing engineering every day, but you raise a good point.

Such a clearinghouse would be a good idea....as it stands now it takes a lot of time for someone not in undergrad and tapped into that community to find the right people - looking through scholarly journals and what not.
I help NCEES write questions for the PE exam. I like their approach, in that they try to get a mix of young engineers, experienced engineers, professors and all degree levels involved in the process. It keeps us all grounded in reality.

As for the clearing house approach - that came from some of the things I discovered when I was looking for graduate programs that fit what I want to do. There HAS to be a better way! It is so inefficient now.

I'll try to keep from scaring others away from your discussions!

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