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Bringing Practitioners (And Practice) Into The Curriculum

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Graduate Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.267.1 - 9.267.9

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Paper Authors

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Walter Massie

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

Session 3155

Bringing Practitioners (and Practice) into the Curriculum

Walter W. Massie, MSc, P.E. Offshore Engineering Curriculum Leader Delft University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands


Many of the Delft University of Technology curricula have a rich history of bringing practice into the classroom. The most common and most obvious way that this is done in Delft is to seek candidates for full professorships almost universally from industry as opposed to having them progress ‘up through the ranks’ as is most common in US universities.

Realizing that most US universities will not change their ways so drastically, the paper describes and analyzes experiences with several other and less far-reaching ways in which industrial guests has been brought into Delft University of Technology curricula: 1. Provide a single lecture period as part of a course. 2. Provide specific expertise for a course exercise. 3. Teach an entire course. 4. Coach a thesis - along with university staff. 5. Participate - as quasi-student - in university-taught classes.

Experiences with each of these will be described, but more importantly, lessons learned from the experiences and the methodology for improvement of the utilization of industrial practitioners with students will also be highlighted. All of this work has taken place over the last quarter century with a significant increase in this activity in the most recent decade.


The Delft University of Technology as well as most other Dutch universities, by the way, generally award full professorships to persons who have already earned significant recognition in a non-academic position outside the university. It is only occasionally that truly exceptional university staff progress upward through the ranks to this supreme level.

US universities, on the other hand, use full professorships more as a reward for their own staff; they progress to the top from within the academic environment. These two approaches are so different and so entrenched that it would serve no purpose to discuss their relative merits; neither side is expected to change their position. Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Massie, W. (2004, June), Bringing Practitioners (And Practice) Into The Curriculum Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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