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A Look Into The Engineering Economy Education Literature

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Advances in Engineering Economy Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.50.1 - 15.50.7



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Paper Authors


Emily Evans University of Arkansas

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Emily Evans is currently pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas. Her research includes engineering economy education.

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Heather Nachtmann University of Arkansas

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Heather Nachtmann, Ph.D. received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering (IE) from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. She is currently an Associate Professor of IE at the University of Arkansas and serves as the Director of the Mack Blackwell Rural Transportation Center. Her research includes cost estimation modeling, economic and efficiency analysis of transportation and healthcare systems, and engineering economy education. Dr. Nachtmann teaches in the areas of engineering economy and cost analysis. She serves as an Area Editor for The Engineering Economist journal.

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Kim Needy University of Arkansas

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Kim LaScola Needy is Department Chair and 21st Century Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University. Prior to her academic appointment, she gained significant industrial experience while working at PPG Industries and The Boeing Company. Her first faculty appointment was at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Needy’s research interests include engineering management, engineering economic analysis, integrated resource management and sustainable engineering. She is a member of ASEE, ASEM, APICS, IIE, and SWE and a licensed Professional Engineer in Kansas.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Look into the Engineering Economy Education Literature


Approximately ten years ago a two-part survey of how engineering economy was taught in U.S. universities was conducted. This survey, conducted in 1995 and 1997, collected data from engineering economy instructors and investigated: 1) the faculty that teach it, 2) the course content and mechanics itself, and 3) the students that take the course. We are currently embarking on a follow-up data collection effort to conduct a longitudinal analysis of this prior study. This survey paper presents a review of the most relevant literature published since this survey. The pedagogy highlighted in this paper includes problems with current teaching methods, modern technological advances in the engineering economy classroom, and new approaches to enhance the classroom experience. These findings support our long term goal of improving engineering economy pedagogy by increasing visibility, enhancing instructor knowledge, and influencing external stakeholders such as textbooks writers and funding agencies.


The literature review presented in this paper serves two purposes. One purpose is to present engineering economy education research that has been published in the last ten years and discuss the synergies between these efforts. As a number of papers have stated, there has been some consensus about the problems with the current teaching of engineering economy. This paper looks to shed some light on the evolution of engineering economics pedagogy including the areas that have undergone change and those that have remained the same. We also examine how the engineering economy curriculum is being taught in progressive classrooms, those which use new methods for teaching and new technologies as a medium for conveying knowledge and materials. Research on suggestions for how the course should be taught including new technologies and suggestions for new teaching methods are also presented.

The second purpose of this paper is to support follow-on work of a study conducted approximately ten years ago about how engineering economy is being taught in undergraduate engineering classrooms at various universities6. Needy, et al.6 presented an empirical analysis of engineering economy pedagogy via a two phase survey that collected data from engineering economy instructors regarding how engineering economy was taught in engineering programs throughout the United States. The primary findings of their survey are: ≠ The majority of the engineering economy courses average more than 30 students, ≠ Respondents provide a positive assessment of the state-of engineering economics as a body of knowledge, ≠ On average, industrial engineering (IE) faculty teach more engineering economy sessions per year than non-IE faculty, ≠ In calculating final grades, exams are weighted most heavily (non-IE faculty weight homework, projects and case studies more heavily), ≠ Non-IE faculty use groups and projects almost twice as much as IE faculty, and

Evans, E., & Nachtmann, H., & Needy, K. (2010, June), A Look Into The Engineering Economy Education Literature Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16545

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015