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Educating the Professional Engineer of 2020:

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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

Innovative IE Curricula

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.451.1 - 23.451.7



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Paper Authors


Susan L. Murray Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Susan L. Murray is a professor of engineering management and systems engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dr. Murray received her B.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. Her M.S. is also in industrial engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington. She is a professional engineer in Texas. Her research and teaching interests include human systems integration, productivity improvement, human performance, safety, project management, and engineering education. Prior to her academic position, she spent seven years working in industry including two years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Terri M. Lynch-Caris Kettering University

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Terri Lynch-Caris, Ph.D., P.E., is an Associate Professor of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering (IME) and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, holds an MS Degree from Purdue University and a BS from Kettering University, formerly GMI-Engineering & Management Institute. She teaches courses in Work Design, Ergonomics, Statistics and various other Industrial Engineering classes. Her research is in the area of Human Work Design and Environmental Design.

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Educating the Professional Engineer of 2020: The Changing Licensure RequirementsEngineering education programs would be well served to align their curriculum and programoutcomes to the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam and Professional Engineer (PE) Examspecifications. These exams are required steps in the process of becoming a licensed engineer inmost states. NCEES (the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) is anational nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers andsurveyors. It develops, administers, and scores these examinations used for engineeringlicensure. Starting in 2011, NCEES held a survey-creation meeting with diverse teams todevelop a draft survey containing the subjects in each discipline and establish consensus support.NCEES launched a web-based survey of technical society members, institution report recipients,deans and department heads of all EAC/ABET programs, PE and FE exam committeevolunteers, and others; more than 7,000 people completed the survey. Respondents rated theimportance of each topic area to indicate how important it is for a new engineer to haveminimum competence in that area. Based on these survey results, a set of topics and associatedweighting was proposed and approved. Starting in 2014 the various FE exams will contain someoverlapping content (e.g., mathematics and engineering economics), but there will no longer be acommon breadth portion. Each FE exam, including industrial engineering, will be a freestandingexam. The PE exam specifications have also been revised; the new specifications will be usedbeginning in 2013.This paper highlights these recent changes to the discipline-specific content of the IndustrialEngineering (IE) exams and suggests possible resulting curriculum modifications. As the IEprofession undergoes changes in its application of traditional principles and adds new areas offocus, it is timely that the FE and PE exam specifications have been revisited to reflect changingpriorities within the profession. For academic departments to stay relevant and assist industrialengineering graduates to become PE licensed, modern curriculum should stay closely aligned tothe FE and PE exam specifications. The paper concludes with a discussion of how thesespecifications have been used to assess and update academic curriculum.

Murray, S. L., & Lynch-Caris, T. M. (2013, June), Educating the Professional Engineer of 2020: Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19465

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