Asee peer logo

Enabling The U.S. Engineering Workforce To Perform: Building A Culture For Technological Innovation And Leadership In Professional Graduate Engineering Education

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Professional Graduate Education & Industry

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.524.1 - 9.524.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Thomas Stanford

author page

Donald Keating

Download Paper |

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

Session 1455

Enabling the U.S. Engineering Workforce to Perform: Building a Culture for Technological Innovation and Leadership in Professional Graduate Engineering Education D. A. Keating,1 T. G. Stanford, 1 J. M. Snellenberger,2 D. H. Quick,2 I. T. Davis,3 J. P. Tidwell,4 D. R. Depew,5 A. L. McHenry,6 S. J. Tricamo,7 D. D. Dunlap,8

University of South Carolina 1 / Rolls-Royce Corporation 2 / Raytheon Missile Systems 3 The Boeing Company 4/Purdue University 5 / Arizona State University East 6 New Jersey Institute of Technology 7 /Western Carolina University 8


This is the fourth paper in the special panel session of the National Collaborative Task Force on Engineering Graduate Education Reform to ensure a strong U.S. engineering workforce for competitiveness. Whereas research cultures have been built into the nation’s schools of engineering to enhance the educational experience of research-oriented graduate students, it is now evident that a complementary but different culture is needed also to make professionally oriented engineering graduate education more relevant to the needs of industry and to further the advanced professional education of the majority of the nation’s engineers who are pursuing creative engineering practice for leadership of technology development and innovation in industry. The paper explores the type of organizational culture and attributes that must be built into high-quality professional graduate engineering education to facilitate systematic technological innovation, improve industry-university engagement for innovation, and enable the continuous positive growth of creative working professionals in industry for leadership of engineering innovation.

1. Background and History

The United States has built an excellent system of research-oriented graduate education for the education of future engineering faculty and academic scientific researchers that is second to none. Nevertheless, a major reform is needed in the U.S. system of engineering graduate education in context, organization, and culture to build complementary graduate programs of a professional nature that enhance creative engineering practice for technology development and leadership of innovation in industry.

Since implementation of the 1945 – Vannevar Bush report (Science: The Endless Frontier)1 and increased federal funding to accelerate the advancement of science at the end of World War II, the nation’s schools of engineering have placed an increased emphasis on high-quality graduate education for academic scientific research. During this same time period, however, U.S. engineering education has not placed a balanced emphasis on high-quality professionally oriented graduate education for creative engineering practice and leadership of technology development and innovation in industry. As a result, engineering graduate education has emerged primarily in the United States as an outgrowth of scientific research.2 This has produced organizational cultures and faculty reward systems that primarily support the pursuit of academic scientific research.

2. Educating Engineers as Professionals

Although the Grinter Committee recognized early on in its preliminary report that one type of education for the nation’s research scientists and for the nation’s professional engineers doesn’t fit all, 3 the

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Stanford, T., & Keating, D. (2004, June), Enabling The U.S. Engineering Workforce To Perform: Building A Culture For Technological Innovation And Leadership In Professional Graduate Engineering Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13715

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: © 2004 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