Asee peer logo

Engineering Economics as a General Education Course to Expand Quantitative and Financial Literacy

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Integrating Engineering Economy into Curricula

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.494.1 - 24.494.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Joseph Wilck IV East Carolina University

visit author page

Joseph Wilck received his PhD from Pennsylvania State University in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and a BS and MS from Virginia Tech in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Dr. Wilck is a registered Professional Engineer, former Vice President of Student Development for the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), current newsletter editor for ASEE's Engineering Economy Division, and an active member of INFORMS, INCOSE, TRB, IEEE, and ASEM. Dr. Wilck’s research has been sponsored by NSF, DOE, ORNL, NCDOT, and industrial partners. Dr. Wilck has held a faculty position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Engineering at East Carolina University.

visit author page


Paul C. Lynch The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

visit author page

Paul C. Lynch received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Lynch is a member of AFS, SME, IIE, and ASEE. Dr. Lynch’s primary research interests are in metal casting, manufacturing, and engineering education. Dr. Lynch has been recognized by Alpha Pi Mu, IIE, and the Pennsylvania State University for his scholarship, teaching, and advising. He received the Outstanding Industrial Engineering Faculty Award in 2011 and 2013 for his work in undergraduate education at Penn State. Dr. Lynch worked as a regional production engineer for Universal Forest Products prior to pursuing his graduate degrees. He is currently a Lecturer and Academic Adviser in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University.

visit author page


Paul J. Kauffmann P.E. East Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Paul J. Kauffmann is a professor and former chair in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University. His twenty year industry career included positions as Plant Manager and Engineering Director. Dr. Kauffmann received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and MENG in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia
Tech. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Penn State and is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and North Carolina.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Engineering Economics as a General Education Course to Expand Quantitative and Financial LiteracyThis paper conceptualizes why an engineering economics course should be a commonly acceptedgeneral education course. Currently, most engineering courses are not considered adequate forthe general education of a college or university student. In the past an engineering economicscourse focused primarily on financial mathematics; however, the modern engineering economicscourse centers on financial decision making in addition to financial mathematics. These topicsare applicable, if not mandatory, for students pursuing interests in engineering, law, productdevelopment, public service, entrepreneurship, marketing, business, finance, political science,sociology, government, and ethics. This pursuit is timely because schools at various levels (e.g.,K-12, community colleges, and universities) are including the concepts of quantitative andfinancial literacy into their required curricula, with some being required by state law.There is enormous pressure on curricula at public universities from legislatures to reduce thenumber of credits for graduation, while increasing graduation and retention rates and maintaininga substantial level of general education (or similarly named programs, such as: core curriculum,foundation curriculum, etc.) for the graduate. A reduction in credit hours is particularly difficultfor engineering due to ABET accreditation requirements. Typically, the general education of agraduate includes a number of credits in composition, humanities, social sciences, physicalsciences, mathematics, and physical education. Engineering courses, in general, are notconsidered general due to the advanced mathematics and science requirements for the courses.However, the argument of this paper is that the current topical coverage of an engineeringeconomics course satisfies the requirements for social sciences recognition.The paper also argues that including more engineering courses as general education coursescould aid in the recruitment and retention of students who would not have consideredengineering as incoming university freshmen. Thus, engineering economics as a generaleducation course could aid in the recruitment and diversity of the engineering student body, andeventually the engineering workforce.

Wilck, J., & Lynch, P. C., & Kauffmann, P. J. (2014, June), Engineering Economics as a General Education Course to Expand Quantitative and Financial Literacy Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20385

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: © 2014 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