Enabling a strong U.S. engineering workforce for leadership of technology development and innovation in industry: The economic multiplier of skill-set development for engineering innovation and leadership

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Issue Date
2006-06
Authors
Tidwell, Joseph P.
McHenry, Albert L.
Keating, Donald A.
Stanford, Thomas G.
Bardo, John W.
Dunlap, Duane D.
Burbank, Kenneth A.
Zhang, James Z.
Quick, David H.
Truesdale, Samuel
Advisor
Citation

Tidwell, J. P., McHenry, A. L., Keating, D. A., Stanford, T. G., Bardo, J. W., (2006). "Enabling a strong U.S. engineering workforce for leadership of technology development and innovation in industry: The economic multiplier of skill-set development for engineering innovation and leadership." 113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition; Chicago, IL

Abstract

This is the fourth of four papers prepared for a special invited panel session of the National Collaborative Task Force on Engineering Graduate Education Reform that is focusing on the purposeful advancement of professional engineering graduate education to enhance the innovative capacity of the U.S. engineering workforce in industry for global competitiveness. At the heart of America's challenge to unleash its innovation capacity for competitiveness is recognition by industry of the worth of its core engineers. Whereas too many U.S. industries have been lost to foreign competition, many forward thinking technology-based corporations are not just surviving, they are thriving. These companies clearly recognize that their core engineers represent the creative intellectual capital necessary for success. These companies hire entry-level engineers for their potential to grow as contributors to the company's technological progress. The National Collaborative Task Force believes that we, as a nation, can no longer afford either to view America's engineers as a commodity or to consider their professional development as a fringe benefit. For U.S. industry to compete more effectively over the long-term, it must reassess the worth of its engineers as long-term contributors to and leaders of technology. But industry can not do this alone. American universities must re-invent their mission for professional education in collaboration with industry. This final panel paper summarizes the economic multiplier that can result from the National Collaborative initiative to purposefully advance professional engineering education centered on skill-set development for innovation and engineering leadership from entry-level though the highest leadership levels of the engineering profession.

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