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ASME Vision 2030’s Recommendations for Mechanical Engineering Education

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering: Curricula and Courses

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.209.1 - 25.209.9



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Paper Authors

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Allan T. Kirkpatrick P.E. Colorado State University


Scott Danielson P.E. Arizona State University, Polytechnic

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Scott Danielson is the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University. Before assuming that role, he had been the Interim Chair of Engineering Department and the Chair of the Engineering Technology Department. He has been active in ASEE in the Mechanics Division and the Engineering Technology Division. He has also been active in ASME, being awarded the 2009 Ben C. Sparks Medal for excellence in mechanical engineering technology education, serving as a member of the Vision 2030 Task Force, serving as Chair of the Committee on Engineering Technology Accreditation, serving on the Board of Directors of the ASME Center for Education, and serving as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Head Committee. He has been a Program Evaluator for both the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and ASME and currently serves on the Technology Accreditation Council (TAC) of ABET, representing ASME. He also serves on the SME’s Manufacturing Education and Research Community steering committee. Before joining ASU, he had been at North Dakota State University, where he was a faculty member in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department. His research interests include machining, effective teaching, and engineering mechanics. Before coming to academia, he was a Design Engineer, Maintenance Supervisor, and Plant Engineer. He is a registered Professional Engineer.

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Thomas Perry P.E. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

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ASME Vision 2030’s Recommendations for Mechanical Engineering EducationIntroductionStarted in July 2008, when the ASME Center for Education formed an engineering educationtask force, the Vision 2030 group has been led by representatives from industry and education,including engineering and engineering technology educators. The project investigated thecurrent state of mechanical engineering education and practice within industry throughassessment of recent literature addressing the shape and content of engineering and engineeringtechnology education and through conducting workshops among stakeholders at key conferencesand gatherings. Events included the ASME International Mechanical Engineering EducationConference (2009, 2010, 2011), the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Conferenceand Exposition (2009, 2010, 2011), the University of Houston’s Engineering TechnologySummit (2010), the annual meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education (2010),and the 5XME workshop sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (2009).To develop its recommendations, the Task Force identified key areas of knowledge, skills andabilities needed for mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology graduates tobe successful in a global economy, whether working in small companies or large. Focusing onthese key skills, the project developed and conducted extensive surveys in 2009 and 2010 ofthree key stakeholder groups in ME and MET: department heads, industry supervisors, and earlycareer engineers, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of mechanical engineering educationgraduates. Responses were received from academic leaders at more than 80 institutions, frommore than 1,400 engineering managers, and more than 600 early career engineers with less thanten years of practice.Paper ContentsThe Task Force found many reasons to advocate for fundamental changes in mechanicalengineering education. Arguments for change come from recent engineering education studies,analyses of the engineering profession and unique to this study, extensive current surveys ofacademia, industry, and early career engineers. Major findings of the full V2030 report include: • Society’s grand challenges, as articulated by the National Academy of Engineering, offer a compelling reason for substantial curricular change. • In a global setting, industry must be successful and able to create sustainable growth, so companies large and small must have a talented and well prepared engineering workforce. • According to nearly two-thirds of the over 1,000 industry managers surveyed by the V2030 task force, significant shortcomings exist in graduate’s grasp of practical engineering knowledge, engineering codes and standards and systems thinking. • Technical solutions are not enough and the roles to be played by mechanical engineering professionals in addressing business and societal challenges should not be limited to technical knowledge and solutions. • Mechanical engineer’s capacity for invention must be matched by a commitment to all aspects of innovation, including assessment of sustainability, life-cycle analysis, and other societal impacts. • Developing a technological workforce that can maximize the leverage of talent demands a priority on increasing the diversity of the mechanical engineering student body and faculty. • Industry, academia, government and professional societies need sustained collaboration to develop the full potential of engineering and engineering leadership.The paper will briefly discuss these seven findings as background information to help the readerunderstand how the Task Force saw aspects of the educational landscape emerge as targets forchange. These areas for change encompass a wide range, spanning the educational pathways ofmechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology to the increasingly diversepractice of mechanical engineering. To affect change, specific strategies and actions foreducators, industry, and government to pursue are recommended by the Task Force. Theserecommendations for seven major outcome areas of curricular change are presented anddiscussed in the paper.

Kirkpatrick, A. T., & Danielson, S., & Perry, T. (2012, June), ASME Vision 2030’s Recommendations for Mechanical Engineering Education Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20969

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