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Enabling The U.S. Engineering Workforce To Perform: Building Organizational Sustainability For Innovation In Professional Graduate Engineering Education

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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

Professional Graduate Education & Industry

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.525.1 - 9.525.8



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Paper Authors

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Stephen Tricamo

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Dennis Depew

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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 Organizational Sustainability for Innovation in Professional Graduate Engineering Education

S. J. Tricamo,1 D. R. Depew,2 A. L. McHenry,3 D. D. Dunlap,4 D. A. Keating,5 T. G. Stanford 5

New Jersey Institute of Technology 1 / Purdue University 2/ Arizona State University East 3 Western Carolina University 4 / University of South Carolina 5


This is the second paper in the panel session of the National Collaborative Task Force for reform of professionally oriented engineering graduate education to make it more relevant to the needs of industry and to ensure a strong U.S. engineering workforce for competitiveness. The mission, purpose, methods, motivations, talents, and experience of engineering professionals who conceptualize, design, develop, innovate, and lead the purposeful development of new and improved technology are quite different from those of the academic scientific researcher. It is now evident that innovative professional graduate education programs do not fit organizationally into traditional disciplinary research-oriented academic departments. This paper focuses on new types of innovative organizations that are required to initiate, develop, and sustain high-quality professional graduate education at 21st century universities in collaboration with industry. This paper begins the exploration of new types of innovative learning organizations that must be implemented into the mainstream of university operations. These organizations must foster a collaborative engineering culture for technological creativity, innovation, and technological leadership that enable the continuous growth of working professionals through all levels of engineering responsibility in industry.

1. Introduction

As we enter the 21st century, the practice of engineering for systematic technological innovation has changed from the conventional linear model of basic research-driven innovation to a systematic and integrative model of needs-driven engineering innovation that integrates purposeful creative engineering development with directed-strategic research; and engineering and technology graduate education must reflect this change for the United States to maintain its competitive edge in the innovation-driven economy. The demand for engineers with strong technical skills, practical engineering experience, and professional skills for leadership of technology development in industry is increasing. In today’s innovation-driven economy, the nation’s domestic engineering workforce plays a primary and integral role in generating, developing, and leading continuous technological innovation for competitive advantage. Although U.S. engineering education has pioneered various professional options including five- year undergraduate and master’s models as preparation for practice, a system that fosters high- quality postgraduate professional education throughout the professional’s career in combination

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society For Engineering Education

Tricamo, S., & Depew, D. (2004, June), Enabling The U.S. Engineering Workforce To Perform: Building Organizational Sustainability For Innovation In Professional Graduate Engineering Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13905

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