Asee peer logo

Cr4 And Globalspec®: Invaluable Tools For Engineering Education

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Two-Year/Four-Year Articulation and Cooperation

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.377.1 - 14.377.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Abraham Michelen Hudson Valley Community College

Download Paper |

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

CR4 and GlobalspecTM: Invaluable Tools for Engineering Education

1. Abstract This paper introduces two websites that can be invaluable to engineering and technical educators. Globalspec ( is a web-based engineering tool and engineering search engine regularly used by over 3 million registered engineers, educators and technical people. The second site is CR4 (, a community-based site – associated with Globalspec - where engineering news, industry based engineering forums, and more than 80 engineering blogs reside. Both sites can be used extensively in academic environments. The author has incorporated both sites in regular teaching of courses such as Analog Electronics, Digital Electronics, and Microcontroller Applications. A description of the sites follows.

2. CR4 CR4 is an important web community for engineers, engineering educators, students and technical professionals. Nowadays the Internet (especially with the introduction of Web 2.0) is closer to the original idea of its inventor. The web has become a place where anybody can communicate easily and frequently using tools such as blogs, wikis, forums, ePortfolio, podcasts, newsletters, folksonomies (social tagging), general social networking activities, and the like. This development is interesting for the educational community. For the engineering education community, in particular, the many tools and resources available are already having an impact on the future of technical teaching. CR4 has been acquiring importance in this arena because it contains a plethora of knowledge spread in many sections and engineering categories. It is, in essence, a search engine of its user’s knowledge and experience.

At this writing the statistics associated with CR4 are impressive: more than 500 posts a day from engineers and other technical users; it has more than 300,000 visitors per month; it hosts 14 specialized forums (such as Education, Electrical Engineering, biotechnology, etc.); it hosts 109 high technical blogs (unmatched in the Internet); more than 100,000 subscribers receive the CR4 Daily Digest, a newsletter-type e-mail communication, and over 25,000 registered users. All these numbers make CR4 one of the most active technical communities on the web, where engineering educators, students, the technically savvy, and the curious general public meet every day to share knowledge, to discuss, and to learn. With CR4, engineering groups with diverse interests at physically separate locations can become a close community using online collaboration tools. The author uses CR4, as well as Globalspec, in the classroom for assignments, exploration, research and projects. My students visit these sites regularly as part of their real world education. Some of the CR4 sections which are of interest to the academic community are listed here.

Michelen, A. (2009, June), Cr4 And Globalspec®: Invaluable Tools For Engineering Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4636

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015