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Answering a Renewed Call for Action in Engineering Technology

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Issues in ET Education I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.187.1 - 24.187.14



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Paper Authors


Enrique Barbieri University of North Texas

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Enrique Barbieri received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH in 1988. He was on the faculty of the School of Engineering at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (1988-2002) as an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering and as an associate professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He then served as chair of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science during (1996-98) and in 2002, he joined the College of Technology at the University of Houston as professor and chair of the Department of Engineering Technology (2002-09). He served as the College associate dean for research and graduate studies (2009-10), as a member of the Executive Council of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (2006-11), chair of the Council (2007-09), and director of the Center for Technology Literacy (2006-10). In 2012, he joined the College of Engineering at the University of North Texas as professor and chair of the Engineering Technology Department. He is a Senior Member of IEEE – Control Systems Society and a Member of ASEE.

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Answering a Renewed Call for Action in Engineering TechnologyAbstractThe 2013 Engineering Technology Leadership Institute (ETLI) meeting in Washington, D.C.offered an opportunity for participants to discuss issues relevant to re-branding EngineeringTechnology (ET); global perspectives on educating engineers; the role of industry in engineeringeducation; and strategies that expand the supply of engineers. In short, ETLI rekindled a nationalcall for action. This article responds to the call by providing specific steps that address severalimportant issues affecting the ET community. The issues are coupled and not new; but thedialogue should provoke short- and medium-term actions. First, it has been proposed to rebrandET as General Engineering or Applied Engineering, and to rename the BS in ET as BS inEngineering. It will be reasoned that these proposed approaches are at best ineffective and atworst may be entirely devastating for ET programs across the nation. Instead, the articleadvocates a succinct description of technology and by association engineering technology to helpdispel what appear to be a never ending identity crisis, continuing misconceptions, and a sourcefor unnecessary and fruitless angst. Second, the time is proper to once again tackle ways ofranking ET programs. A features table will be developed based on the ASEE annual profile thatcan be used for the purpose of establishing national rankings. The metrics are either alreadyreported to the ASEE, or can be adequately measured and added to the ASEE annual profile.Ranking discussions may be contentious, but by concentrating on the positive, rankings can alsobe quite valuable to faculty and administrators seeking to improve their programs. Third, thefooting of ET can be made ever more solid by increasing the number of graduate programs. Anapproach will be laid out for that purpose. Finally, an inexpensive national marketing strategywill be outlined that gathers items posted in program websites and uses the ETD website andsocial media to markedly increase ET awareness in the communities. A sturdier image of thevalue of ET portrayed to prospective students, their school counselors, their parents, industryrecruiters, and faculty and administrators can be achieved by widely and continuouslypublicizing in the national arena the vastness of ET industry interactions, student/faculty andalumni success stories, scholarship, and community engagement.

Barbieri, E. (2014, June), Answering a Renewed Call for Action in Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20078

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