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Identity Issues And The Future Of Civil Engineering Technology

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Curriculum in Civil Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.681.1 - 14.681.11



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Paper Authors


Sylvester Kalevela Colorado State University, Pueblo

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Dr. Sylvester A. Kalevela is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Technology and the Chair of the Department of Automotive Industry Management and Civil Engineering Technology at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

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

Identity Issues and the Future of Civil Engineering Technology


This paper discusses issues associated with the academic definition of engineering technology and the professional identity of the engineering technology graduate. A review of literature indicates that the terms engineer and technician have been around relatively longer than the term engineering technologist. In addition, there is ample evidence that the terms engineer and technician are more precisely defined and that they are more easily understood than the term engineering technologist.

Many groups that have vested interest in the identity issues and the definition of engineering technology have been identified. The main groups discussed in this paper include: ≠ prospective engineering and engineering technology students, ≠ academic institutions that are recruiting students into engineering or engineering technology programs, ≠ engineering technology students, ≠ engineering technology academic departments developing curricula for their programs, ≠ engineering technology graduates, ≠ employers of engineering and/or engineering technology graduates, ≠ professional engineering societies, ≠ engineering and engineering technology accrediting agencies, and ≠ technical licensing agencies.

On the basis of existing literature and the author’s interaction with the various groups of stake holders, it has been observed and concluded that there are indeed issues with respect to the functional identity of engineering technology graduates. ≠ It has been noted that engineering technology graduates are currently eligible to apply for professional licensure in more than half of the states in the U.S. In a smaller fraction of states, engineering technology graduates are not eligible to apply for licensure as professional engineers. ≠ A few employers use interchangeably the terms engineering technician and engineering technologist. ≠ At many work places, engineering and engineering technology graduates are both referred to as engineers when professional licensure is not implied. ≠ Within the civil engineering practice, sometimes it is not easy to distinguish among the professional mandates of a civil engineering technologist, a practicing construction engineer, a practicing construction management graduate, and other civil engineering specialists working closest to the product.

The author believes that this paper brings up timely issues regarding the engineering technologist and about the future of Engineering Technology. New requirements for licensure of the future engineer seem to suggest that it will be more difficulty for the engineering technology graduate to obtain permission to apply for licensure as professional engineer.

Kalevela, S. (2009, June), Identity Issues And The Future Of Civil Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5385

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