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A Profile Of The 21st Century Engineering Technology Graduate: An Industry Perspective

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.31.1 - 1.31.5



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Paper Authors

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Robert V. Peltier

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Farouk Attia

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

I Session 1547 .— ..-

-. A Profile of the 21st Century Engineering Technology Graduate: An Industry Perspective

Robert V. Peltier, Farouk Attia Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc./University of Houston

Introduction By any reasonable standard, Engineering Technology (ET) is a young profession as well as a relatively new university program, It has only been thirty-one years since the ASEE published the basis for the criteria used to accredit four year Engineering Technology Bachelor degree programs in the “McCallick Report.” Industry saw the first four-year accredited ET programs at Purdue, Brigham Young University and University of Houston in 1967.* However today, according to the 1992 TAC/ABET 60th Annual Report, there are 303 accredited Bachelor of Science/Engineering Technology programs at 116 colleges and universities. It is evident 2 that the number of ET programs has exploded over the past 25 years.

However, the next 25 years is not likely to repeat itself. ET graduates and programs must thoroughly understand the rapid changes that face the industrial world and must adapt their curricula to produce graduates that have the basic technical skills to succeed in such a highly competitive environment. Graduates must understand what is expected of them by employers that consider every hiring decision very carefully in an era of shrinking financial and personnel resources. University programs facing the same downsizing pressures as many industries must be creative in understanding what motivates industry and what technical and business skills industry requires of their employees. Colleges and universities must also carefully consider how to invest their limited resources to produce the best graduates.

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the authors’ view as an engineering manager for a Fortune 500 company which employs both engineers and engineering technologists and a Technology educator at University of Houston. These suggestions also come from one who also spent a number of years as an Engineering Technology faculty member at a major university and well understands the challenges of quickly adapting educational programs to meet the needs of industry.

Background It has been said that Science-Engineering-Technology is a spectrum or perhaps a continuum. On one end are the scientists working to understand the fundamental building blocks of nature or the development of basic sciences through research and study. Engineers are typically characterized as those that apply the results of the scientists basic research into products beneficial to society. Engineering Technology is only a half step removed from Engineering where Technologists are typically thought of as those who apply state-of-the-art technology to solve problems of interest to industry using established design methodology and procedures. Application versus analysis or quantitative versus analytical are other viewpoints. Others define the differences as the quantity and level of math required but that definition is much too simplistic.

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Peltier, R. V., & Attia, F. (1996, June), A Profile Of The 21st Century Engineering Technology Graduate: An Industry Perspective Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6251

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