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Continuing Professional Development of Engineering and Technology Adult Professional Learners

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Distance Education and Engineering Workforce Professional Development

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.336.1 - 23.336.8



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Paper Authors


Mitchell L Springer PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Springer currently serves as the Executive Director of the Purdue University College of Technology, Academic Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) and College of Technology Operations and Strategic Initiatives, located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He possesses over 30 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Program Management and Human Resources. He sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. Dr. Springer is internationally recognized, has authored numerous books and articles, and lectured on software development methodologies, management practices and program management. Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. He is certified as both a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

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Gary R. Bertoline Purdue University, West Lafayette


Mark T Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mark Schuver is the Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the College of Technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is responsible for the administration/operations of the Center with Program Management oversight of the Weekend Master’s Degree, the Rolls-Royce Master’s Degree and the Building Construction Management Master’s Degree for working professionals in the College of Technology. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Mark was employed by Caterpillar, Inc for 35 years with assignments in Product Design, Research and Development, Supplier Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management and various leadership positions. He holds an Associate Degree in Drafting Technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a BS in Business Administration (1990) and MS in Management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mark is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and serves on the Executive Board of the Continuing Professional Development Division. He is also a member of College/Industry Partnerships, Engineering Technology and Graduate Studies Divisions of ASEE. Mark is a member of the National Collaborative Task Force for Engineering Education Reform and is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with the Institute of Supply Management (formerly NAPM).

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Technologist and Engineer Role Mapping to Product Life Cycle Model Phases: A Natural DerivationIn a recent National study, predominate roles and titles assigned to technologists and engineeringBachelor of Science graduates were reported. The study received responses from nearly 200business and industry technology-oriented companies. The study reflected that while there wereroles that were assigned to both; the roles of design engineer, senior engineer and engineer werepredominately assigned to engineering graduates. This, while the roles of engineeringtechnologist, technologist, engineering technician and technician were predominantly reservedfor technologists; i.e., BS Engineering Technology (BSET) graduates.The findings of this study validate the experience of many in business and industry. The naturalderivation of this previous study is to enhance our understanding of the identified roles for each;the technologist and the engineer.This paper maps the predominately defined roles of the technologist (BSET) and the engineer(BSEng) to the generally accepted product life cycle model phases; concept exploration,demonstration and validation, full scale development, production and deployment, and,operations and support. This mapping heightens our awareness and better allows bothcommunities to appreciate the natural roles assigned to each graduate cohort.In the final analysis, it can readily be argued technology graduates are in fact applied engineers.While it may be questionable to argue whether they should be called engineers or not, their roleis clearly defined throughout the product life cycle model. We should focus on moving forwardin a positive manner to integrate our educational foundations to incorporate these much needed,required and highly utilized individuals. In the final analysis, two questions are offered as areasfor future thought, research and development:  Is Technology a discipline in and of itself? If so, then its body of knowledge may reside in the systems integration engineering domain; and has yet to be uniquely defined.  Should technology exist as an independent, stand-alone unit? Conceivably, without much visualization, tremendous synergy would come from a unified engineering and technology curricular approach where a basic underlying agreement resides in the research, design, development, test and integration product life cycle model understanding. In this manner, technology would be provided with an overlap of engineering knowledge and then the subsequent applied knowledge required to perform in their respective life cycle phases of the product life cycle model. Technologist and Engineering Roles Mapping to Product Life Cycle Phases Demonstration and Production and Operations and Concept Exploration Full Scale Development Validation Deployment Support Functional and Concept Analysis Concept Development Preliminary Design Detail Design Test and Evaluation Manufacturing and Systems Engineer Operations Research Engineer Fielding and Design Engineer On-Going Support Senior Engineer Engineer Technician and Engineering Technician and Engineering Technician Technician Technologists and Engineering TechnologistsFigure 1.0 – Technologist and Engineering Roles Mapping to Product Life Cycle Phases

Springer, M. L., & Bertoline, G. R., & Schuver, M. T. (2013, June), Continuing Professional Development of Engineering and Technology Adult Professional Learners Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19350

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