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Merits Of Faculty Internship In Industry A Valuable Experience

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Industrial Collaborations

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.849.1 - 8.849.8

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Paper Authors

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James H. Lorenz

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Ahad Nasab

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

Session 3248

Merits of Faculty Internship in Industry – A Valuable Experience

Ahad S. Nasab and James H. Lorenz

Middle Tennessee State University


One of the more effective ways for the engineering technology programs to keep faculty abreast of the new developments in their respective fields is to instill a faculty internship program. Studies have shown that faculty industrial placement is a component of life-long learning that helps to maintain and expand technological skills1. The internship program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), fully supported by the industrial advisory council, is set up to be a very simple and paper-free process. Every semester one member of the faculty spends the entire semester working as an engineer at a local industry and continues to draw his or her normal salary from the university. The industry, in turn, reimburses the university for the cost of replacing the faculty with adjunct faculty. Since the faculty member is employed as a contractor in the host company, he/she retains the employment benefits from the university. This paper describes the logistical details of faculty industrial internships, advantages to the industry and the university, and the personal experiences of the author as a faculty intern.


The difference between the engineering discipline and the engineering technology discipline is in the word “technology.” This word adds a new dimension to the basic engineering knowledge. Engineering technology is the study of technological advances based on traditional engineering concepts. Its primary focus is on the myriad of engineering devices and techniques used in today’s industry that is committed to utilization of advanced technologies to increase quality and contain cost.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires that faculty have a few years of recent and relevant industrial experience as a pre-requisite for an ABET recognized faculty position in a technology program. The purpose of such a requirement is to help bring aspects of the real world to the classroom, and make students understand that the concepts discussed in class have direct applications in industry and in many facets of the “real world.”

Most engineering technology courses teach system design using today’s technology as the main focus as opposed to courses in an engineering discipline where the concentration is on understanding the physical concepts. Over half the technical knowledge or skill of engineers

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright c 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Lorenz, J. H., & Nasab, A. (2003, June), Merits Of Faculty Internship In Industry A Valuable Experience Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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