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Knowledge Of Contemporary Issues Held By Engineering Students

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Construction Classroom Development

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.827.1 - 15.827.13



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Paper Authors


Enno Koehn Lamar University

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Enno “Ed” Koehn is Professor of Civil Engineering at Lamar University. Dr. Koehn has served as the principle investigator for several research and development projects dealing with various aspects of construction. He also has experience in the design, scheduling, and estimating of facilities. He has authored/co-authored over 200 papers in engineering education, as well as the general areas of civil and construction engineering. Dr. Koehn is a member of ASEE, AACE International, ASCE, NSPE, Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and is a registered Professional Engineer and Surveyor.

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Finhasali Chinwala Lamar University

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Finhasali Chinwala was enrolled in the College of Graduate Studies and the Department of Civil Engineering at Lamar University. He was awarded the Master of Engineering Degree (ME) in 2009.

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James Koehn Chadron State College

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James F. Koehn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business and Economics at Chadron State College, Nebraska, where he is also the Director of the Nebraska Business Development Center. Koehn currently serves on the Education Advisory Committee of the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Accounting degrees from Rice University and earned a Juris Doctor from Baylor University. Koehn has worked for an international accounting firm in both their Houston and New York City offices, and he practiced tax and corporate law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Koehn is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the State Bar of Texas.

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

Knowledge of Contemporary Issues Held By Engineering Students


The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has ruled that students should have a knowledge of contemporary issues. Today, engineering is conducted on a global scale and is becoming very important for the US as well as the whole world. Therefore, every student should pursue knowledge of contemporary and past information regarding various engineering issues.

This paper presents the level of understanding of typical contemporary issues held by the engineering students. The data may be used to compare and measure the level of contemporary issues held by the students of different engineering schools.

This is a detailed study report of an investigation of students at two levels. The findings show quite different perceptions held by graduate and the undergraduate students. Nevertheless, the knowledge of contemporary issues may be less vital for engineers at the beginning of their career than at a later stage of their professional development. This is also mentioned in the analysis section included in the paper.


The present educational system was generally developed in 1950s and was suitable for that time. Today, engineering programs should be conducted on a global scale with industrial practice activities heavily required along with team work projects. Therefore, engineering students may be enrolled in programs that need fundamental changes. There also is a need for professionals to make changes in the practice of engineering. The 1986 failure of the space shuttle Challenger has become a classic example, of the conflict between engineers and managers providing the kind of dramatic tension that assists students to remember the facts and issues. It may be stated that design is a timeless endeavor and failure an ageless problem.

In order to introduce the required ABET criteria concerning knowledge of engineering and contemporary issues; the senior seminar was revised to include a section on this subject area. A questionnaire distributed to both graduate and the undergraduate class was designed to measure student perceptions of various engineering and ethical issues. This knowledge of contemporary issues held by engineering students could prove to be beneficial to them as they graduate and become employed by organizations.


Tabular results of the study are found in Tables 1 and 2. Different findings are shown below:

Koehn, E., & Chinwala, F., & Koehn, J. (2010, June), Knowledge Of Contemporary Issues Held By Engineering Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15880

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