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Graduate Engineering Education Emphasizing Continuous Quality Improvement

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.229.1 - 1.229.9



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Johnson

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Mike A. Littlejohn

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Jr., Thomas H. Brown

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Carl F. Zorowski

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

I .—. . Session 1255 .

Graduate Engineering Education Emphasizing Continuous Quality Improvement

Carl F. Zorowski, Thomas Johnson, Thomas H. Brown, Jr., & Mike A. Littlejohn North Carolina State University


A proposed program and plan of execution for integrating continuous quality improvement principles, methods and practice into the graduate education and research programs of engineering and science students and faculty is presented. The objectives of the program, which is being developed cooperatively between the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and North Carolina State University, are to instill Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) principles and practices in the university research culture, conduct research of greater relevance to industry and reduce the time to completion of advanced degree requirements while better preparing graduates to become productive more rapidly on entering industry or academia. Initial implementation will be accomplished with a pilot program that can be scaled up to all participating SRC universities and many of the U.S. semiconductor corporations. This program will also provide a model for other technology based industrial sectors looking to universities for the cutting edge discovery, invention and innovation necessary to compete in a global marketplace.


The proposed program has grown out of the interest by the Semiconductor Research Corporation in developing a Supplier CQI initiative and a project funded by the NSF supported Engineering Education Coalition (EEC) SUCCEED. The SRC identifies its suppliers as the universities that conduct semiconductor research for SRC and that prepare graduate students in the physical sciences and engineering for careers in the semi-conductor industry. The goals of the CQI initiative are to have the technical graduates enter the semiconductor industry more quickly, become effective and productive contributors more rapidly and to improve the quality, relevance and productivity of semi-conductor research conducted on university campuses. The objectives of the SRC Supplier CQI initiative are: (1) to teach CQI to science and engineering graduate students, (2) educate research faculty in CQI principles and practices, (3) have CQI applied in the conduct and performance of semiconductor related research and (4) introduce CQI into the process of research and graduate education administration. These objectives parallel recommendations presented in the National Research Council sponsored project report, “Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers” 2 .

North Carolina State University (NCSU) has proposed to work with SRC in the development of a program to meet their Supplier CQI initiative objectives based on three specific motivations. The program would provide opportunities to: (1) improve the graduate education and the research process on the NCSU campus, (2) provide leadership in this type of effort for the research and graduate education community as a whole and (3) take advantage of a SUCCEED funded Quality Improvement Partnership (QIP) program with industry proven at the undergraduate level that can be adapted to graduate education.

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Johnson, T., & Littlejohn, M. A., & Brown, J. T. H., & Zorowski, C. F. (1996, June), Graduate Engineering Education Emphasizing Continuous Quality Improvement Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6076

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