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Lifelong Learning For Innovation And Leadership In Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Professionally Oriented Graduate Program

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.812.1 - 7.812.14



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Paper Authors

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Donald Keating

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

Main Menu Session 1455

Lifelong Learning for Innovation and Leadership in Engineering

D. A. Keating, 1 T. G. Stanford, 1 D. D. Dunlap, 2 R. J. Bennett, 3 M. I. Mendelson, 4 D. H. Sebastian, 5 S. J. Tricamo 5

University of South Carolina 1 / Western Carolina University 2

St Thomas University 3 / Loyola Marymount University 4 New Jersey Institute of Technology 5


In many ways graduate engineering education has served the U.S. well. But there is now broad recognition that it must change substantially to meet new challenges of the 21st Century. A noticeable decline in the number of domestic graduate students pursuing engineering has occurred and just under half of those who are pursuing the doctorate are foreign nationals. But the drop in Americ engaging in ans graduate studies in engineering is also being perceived by industry and by a growing proportion of graduate schools as a reflection of a lack of opportunity for lifelong learning and of an insufficiency of U.S. graduate education to serve the full professional spectrum of engineering. This deficiency is affecting U.S. competitiveness and the nation’s long-term capacity for innovation. The ASEE-Graduate Studies Division has established a National Collaborative to address the compelling issues for needed reform to improve more relevant engineering graduate education for the engineering workforce in industry as a complement to research-based graduate education. This paper describes the conceptual basis and impact of this reform and a call-for-action is submitted to promote this activity to improve U.S. competitiveness.


If the U.S. is to remain preeminent in creating new innovative technologies through engineering to enhance its economic well-being and national defense, then the U.S. system of engineering graduate education must remain the world’s leader ¾ and our graduate schools of engineering and technology must bear an increasingly important responsibility not only to serve as the nation’s primary generators of new scientific knowledge, originating from basic research, but also to serve as the primary developers of the nation’s engineering leaders who create new technology, new innovations and new technological knowledge through their creative engineering works in enginee ring practice in industry and government service.

A. Background While the U.S. is on the leading edge of research-based graduate education for scientific research, it is on the trailing edge of professionally oriented graduate education relevant to the practice of engineering and leadership of technology development for continuous innovation. A major deficiency exists in the system of U.S. engineering graduate education for the development of the nation’s professional engineering workforce, which is affecting the nation’s innovative capacity for competitiveness. The deficiency in U.S. engineering graduate education is now being reflected in the noticeable decline in the number of domestic graduate students pursuing graduate studies in engineering where just under half of those pursuing the doctorate are foreign nationals.1 The seriousness of the deficiency has been slow to emerge at the national level and has been masked by a U.S. Science Policy that originated in 1945.2

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Keating, D. (2002, June), Lifelong Learning For Innovation And Leadership In Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11127

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