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Abet 2000 And Community Service Projects For Engineering Students

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.129.1 - 6.129.8



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Paper Authors

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Shirley Fleischmann

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

Session 2793

ABET 2000 and Community Service Projects for Engineering Students

Shirley T. Fleischmann, Ph.D. Seymour and Esther Padnos School of Engineering Grand Valley State University


ABET 2000 criteria require that students show a knowledge of professional ethics as well as a knowledge of cultural and global issues. These topics are not often easily addressed in traditional approaches to engineering courses, however they are a natural part of community service projects. The author will discuss how community service projects have been used with great success in the ASME student section at Grand Valley State University and how two different service projects (in two different semesters) were successfully integrated into a senior level heat transfer class. Finally the author will discuss how to approach service work within the context of overly busy faculty and student schedules.

“The habit of apprehending a technology in its completeness: this is the essence of technological humanism, and this is what we should expect education in higher technology to achieve. I believe it could be achieved by making specialist studies the core around which are grouped liberal studies which are relevant to those specialist studies. But they must be relevant; the path to culture should be through a man’s specialism, not by-passing it… A student who can weave his technology into the fabric of society can claim to have a liberal education; a student who cannot weave his technology into the fabric of society cannot claim even to be a good technologist.” (Lord Ashby, Technology and the Academics)


Why is service work important for engineering students? One needs only to scan the statements of codes of ethics and/or canons for the various professional engineering societies to note that concern for “the public welfare” is a major issue. In some cases professional societies were formed partly to fill the need to protect the public. For example, one of the earliest activities of ASME was to produce the boiler code in answer to the enormous loss of life due to frequent boiler explosions. Concern for the general public who have little (if any) control over design decisions that do affect them, has long been a central component of the professional engineer’s code of conduct. Boiler explosions, bridge failures, and similar disasters no longer occur with regularity – thanks to the volunteer efforts of many engineers who work on codes and standards, and these efforts are taken for granted by the general public. This does not diminish the need for

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Fleischmann, S. (2001, June), Abet 2000 And Community Service Projects For Engineering Students Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8875

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