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Engineering Field Experience: Industrial Archaeology Studies In England

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

International Developments & Collaborations

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.547.1 - 10.547.11



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Paper Authors

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Martin Whalley

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Harriet Svec

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Harvey Svec

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Teresa Hall

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

Engineering Field Experience: Industrial Archaeology Studies in England

Harriet Svec, Harvey Svec, Teresa Hall, William Martin Whalley South Dakota State University / Manchester Metropolitan University

The practice of engineering could be described as a nascent profession when contrasted with medicine, law, academia, politics or the clergy. Engineering as a career emerged as recently as the 1800s as an outcome of newly created industry-based economies. Today the engineering profession is well established, respected, and contributes to the greater benefit of society. Bringing science, technology and creativity together, engineers conceive solutions to problems, develop new designs for products, and generate new wealth through the resultant economic activity derived from manufacturing, construction, medicine, agriculture or other industries. The variety of disciplines under the engineering descriptor continues to grow as technology becomes more advanced and complex, always looking to the future and the next new idea and its application. Yet, few students in engineering and related technology programs are given the opportunity to explore and gain understanding from the historical events upon which modern engineering practice was built. To this end, faculty members at South Dakota State University and Manchester Metropolitan University have collaborated to offer an Industrial Archaeology study abroad experience based out of Manchester England, the epicenter of modern engineering application: the Industrial Revolution.

The Need for Engineering Archaeological Field Sites Natural science and social science disciplines such as biology, anthropology and archaeology have valued the traditional field site as significant to building the body of knowledge in their specialty. Faculty and students work together at these field sites to gather data, catalog artifacts or observations, and disseminate results through publications, presentations, and the curriculum. The relevance of history comes alive for students who have first-hand knowledge of their field and how it relates to the present and the discipline. Students benefit from organized course work at field sites as do faculty benefit from resultant research and scholarly activity. Established field sites, particularly in the biological sciences, have provided iterations of visits by students and faculty as their research value over time is not diminished.

The challenge for undergraduate engineering programs to utilize the traditional field site model within the curriculum is twofold. First and foremost is the highly structured nature of most engineering programs of study. Accreditation requirements, discipline specific specializations, and rapidly changing technology come together in an extended curriculum for most engineering students. Any variation from the prescribed set of courses or added elective credits can be a problem, delaying graduation by a semester or more, or forcing

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Whalley, M., & Svec, H., & Svec, H., & Hall, T. (2005, June), Engineering Field Experience: Industrial Archaeology Studies In England Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15504

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