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Engineering Education Excellence: Start Up To Number One

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education Initiatives

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.504.1 - 13.504.14



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Paper Authors


Robert Creese West Virginia University

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Robert C. Creese is Professor of Industrial Engineering in the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. He obtained his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from The Pennsylvania State University(1963), The University of California-Berkeley(1964), and The Pennsylvania State University(1972). He is a life member of ASEE, AACE-International and AFS as well as a member of ASM, AWS, AIST, ISPA, SCEA and SME.

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M. Adithan Vellore Institue of Technology

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Dr. M. Adithan is Dean, Academic Staff College at VIT (Vellore Institute of Technology) University in Tamil Nadu, India. He obtained his B.E. (Honors) and M.Sc. Engg. from the University of Madras and Ph.D. from I.I.T. Madras. He was a Visiting Professor in Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Technology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and was also an UNESCO Fellow at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His areas of interest are Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Education in India and the USA.

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

Engineering Education Excellence – Start-up to Number One


An amazing event has occurred in India where Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), started in 1984, became the top private university in engineering as rated by India Today. VIT University started as Vellore Engineering College in 1984 with 180 students and little growth occurred during its first nine years. During the next seven years the infrastructure expanded rapidly, quality education was emphasized and graduate programs were started. In the last seven years VIT became a deemed university, continued adding infrastructure and starting new graduate programs, started a business school and implemented a continuous improvement quality management system. For the 2007-2008 year VIT University had over 88,000 applications for its Bachelor of Technology Programs, but could accept only 2,234 students due to facility and staff capacity limitations. The total number of new students for 2007-2008 in all undergraduate and graduate programs was more than 4,400 and the total university enrollment exceeds 12,000 students.


The two main ingredients for new universities emerging as leaders have been a commitment of leadership and a commitment to quality. One author has observed two start-up universities which have achieved outstanding success and they are Aalborg University (AAU), which was started in 1974 in Denmark and VIT University which was started in 1984 in Vellore, India. In both cases the universities had strong leaders who served as rector (AAU) or chancellor (VIT) for approximately 25 years and both leaders had strong support from the faculty and staff. Sven Casperson was the rector at Aalborg University which focused upon project based education and AAU became the world leader in that type of educational system. Govindasamy Viswanathan was founder and chancellor of VIT University and focused upon assuring quality in the education system. Previous papers have presented the Aalborg Educational system1,2,3 and this paper will focus on VIT University.

VIT University Background

The keys to the success of VIT University have been the leadership of Mr. Viswanathan and his commitment to quality at the university. His BS and MS degrees were in economics followed by a law degree. He was a popular leader with oratory skills, and was elected to the Indian Parliament and served from 1967-1977. He later served as a member of the state legislature of Tamil Nadu during 1980-1984 and again in 1991-1996. During his second term in the state legislature he also served as a Minister in the Government of Tamil Nadu. These


Creese, R., & Adithan, M. (2008, June), Engineering Education Excellence: Start Up To Number One Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3299

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