Asee peer logo

Foreseeing Electrical Engineering Technology Expectations In The 21st Century

Download Paper |


1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.291.1 - 3.291.7

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Robert J. Hofinger

Download Paper |

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

Session 1347

Foreseeing Electrical Engineering Technology - Expectations in the 21st Century

Robert J. Hofinger Purdue University-School of Technology


If we knew what was going to happen in the future, we obviously would change our actions. For instance, we might go out and buy the next winning lottery ticket, or we might invest in an obscure stock, which is going to increase in value tremendously. Likewise, if we as electrical engineering technology educators knew what the engineering marketplace was going to be like in the future, we could better design our courses and properly prepare our students.

What will the electrical engineering field be like in the future? What should our students prepare themselves for? What should we, as educators, be teaching the future engineers and technologists? An insight with leaders in the electrical engineering field presents a picture of what the engineering profession will be like in the next five years. With this knowledge, we as electrical engineering technology educators can improve our curriculum and better prepare our students for a meaningful and prosperous career and future.


Take a step forward, into the 21st Century. Let us look at the beginning of a well-connected day in the life of a systems engineer, starting with this teleconferencing session.

The smiling face on the videophone said, “Thanks for this morning’s conference” and a second later the Internet transmission ended. Jim, a systems design engineer at The XYZ Corporation smiled back. The daily video conferences with England in the morning and with Japan in the afternoon served to keep everyone well briefed.

He thought to himself, “the concept of connected corporations is fine but it’s still that good face- to-face communication and the personal relationships that it nurtures that ultimately will determine our team’s success”. Even though it took less than a second to connect to anywhere in the world, he realized that understanding cultural differences was vitally important in sharing design information.

The digital subscriber loop (DSL) line into his home office provided integrated voice data and video transmission at an astounding rate; his workstation included a media processor that was programmed for a wide variety of functions, including the ability to conduct high-quality video conferences, such as the one he just had.

The new millennium was a fresh beginning in many ways. The fundamental concepts of “job”

Hofinger, R. J. (1998, June), Foreseeing Electrical Engineering Technology Expectations In The 21st Century Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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: © 1998 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