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Engineering Knowledging: Crossing Domains

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary and Liberal Education

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.570.1 - 11.570.10



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Paper Authors

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Tom Roberts Kansas State University


John Mingle Kansas State University

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Emeritus Professor of Engineering, Kansas State University
First started teaching chemical engineering in the late 1950’s and experienced significant changes in engineering education during the 1960 - 70’s. Obtained J.D. in the 80’s, retired from teaching nuclear engineering in the early 90’s and continues to practice patent law. Served as professor and advisor for co-author Roberts in the 60’s-70’s.

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

Session 1823


John O. Mingle, Ph.D., J.D., Tom C. Roberts, P.E. Kansas State University


The authors have published manuscripts concerning the impact of Generations Theory on engi- neering education at the ASEE National Meetings in 2002, 2004 and 2005 and ASEE Section Meetings from 2001 onward1. These publications position the current generation alignment of the engineering faculty with senior faculty as Boomers, younger faculty as Xers, and students as Millennials. The references describe Generations Theory as it applies to this faculty alignment.

Knowledge inherently divides itself into two related branches of learning. Traditional ordinary knowledge is obtained from systematic, purposeful, organized information; contrariwise, higher knowledge is produced by the use of insight and other creative mind processes. The knowledge age begins with ordinary knowledge coming from existing information and moves to higher knowledge as mental power increases. This dichotomy requires a broader interpretation of knowledge from a noun to a verb basis. The result is knowledging, which then allows the solv- ing of new and different technical problems. However, knowledging is reversible – knowledge decays first to informatics then to routine public information.

Engineering faculty must begin knowledging by stressing insight, leading to a modified curricu- lum that culminates with more diversified capstone design courses that include new and im- proved design procedures. This learning process will ideally involve adjunct professors from industry and other domains outside engineering, such as law. Organized faculty development and further study of the design of learning in the context of Millennial Generation preferences will allow the teaching of knowledge with understanding as Millennials intellectually probe their X Generation professors in challenging ways.

In this manuscript, the authors move into a further explanation of the engineering knowledging process and show how seeking information from multiple domains potentially produces higher knowledge. This is doubly important when engineers apply their inherent mathematical analysis skills in conjunction with information and knowledge accumulated from a non-engineering do- main.


In traditional information age engineering education, the typical departmental model is to collect large amounts of information about an expert field of engineering since each engineering de- partment considers themselves a collection of discipline-specific specialty areas. This traditional method of engineering education is what is now found worldwide; especially in countries like India2 and China3 where they annually produce many more engineers and technologists than the Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2006, American Society for Engineering Education

Roberts, T., & Mingle, J. (2006, June), Engineering Knowledging: Crossing Domains Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1046

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