Asee peer logo

Growing The National Innovation System: Assessing The Needs And Skill Sets For Innovative Professional Graduate Education Defined By The Tasks And Responsibilities Of Engineer Leaders In Industry

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Professional Graduate Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.612.1 - 8.612.25



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Thomas Stanford

author page

Duane Dunlop

author page

Donald Sebastian

author page

Stephen Tricamo

author page

Donald Keating

Download Paper |

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

Session 1455

Growing the National Innovation System: Assessing the Needs and Skill Sets for Innovative Professional Graduate Education Defined by the Tasks and Responsibilities of Engineer-Leaders in Industry

S. J. Tricamo, 1 D. H. Sebastian, 1 J. M. Snellenberger, 2 D. D. Dunlap, 3 D. A. Keating, 4 T. G. Stanford 4

New Jersey Institute of Technology 1 / Rolls-Royce Corporation 2 Western Carolina University 3/University of South Carolina 4


This is the second paper in the special panel session on reshaping engineering graduate education to better serve the needs of the practicing professional. Although several incremental changes have been made to improve undergraduate education as preparation for entry into practice, sweeping changes are needed in graduate education to address areas of neglect that hinder the ability of the U.S. technical workforce to fully contribute to the nation’s need for economic growth. Central to this transformation is a change in the perspective of graduate education, including contextual and experiential learning activities, required to support the modern process of engineering in creating new innovative technology in industry. A new vision for the graduate education of engineers as creative professionals is evolving, a vision based upon career- long needs of professionals as a growth process for leadership of technological innovation. This paper focuses on the critical skill-sets, knowledge, and experience that engineers need as technology leaders beyond basic, four-year undergraduate education to stimulate constant technological innovation for enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the new economy. The paper outlines the functional requirements and a new approach to the design of professional graduate education as an integrated system for lifelong learning that supports innovative practice throughout the working professional’s career.

1. Introduction

As we enter the 21st century, the process of engineering for creating technology has changed substantially from singular reliance on a linear basic research-driven model of innovation to an integrative model of purposeful, needs-driven, systematic engineering innovation that frequently drives directed-strategic research. U.S. graduate education must reflect this change for the nation to maintain its competitive edge. In today’s innovation-driven economy, the U.S. engineering workforce plays a vital role in creating new technology and in leading the process of continuous technological innovation for competitive advantage.

The demand for high-caliber engineers/technologists with strong technical skills, practical experience, and professional skills for leadership of technology development in industry is increasing. Although U.S. engineering education has pioneered various professional options including five-year undergraduate and professional master’s models, as preparation for practice, it has not gone far enough. A system that fosters high-quality professional graduate education throughout the working professional’s career in combination with engineering practice needs to be developed to augment the nation’s strength in research-based graduate education. The purpose of this paper is to establish a set of professional specifications for the

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Stanford, T., & Dunlop, D., & Sebastian, D., & Tricamo, S., & Keating, D. (2003, June), Growing The National Innovation System: Assessing The Needs And Skill Sets For Innovative Professional Graduate Education Defined By The Tasks And Responsibilities Of Engineer Leaders In Industry Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11394

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: © 2003 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