June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
New Engineering Educators
12.1102.1 - 12.1102.12
New Faculty, Undergraduates, and Industry Contracts: Observations and Lessons Learned from Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering Professors
Most new faculty have little experience managing contracts, and most have minimal experience advising undergraduates conducting research. Combining these two roles leads to both synergistic and antagonistic opportunities/challenges often not obvious at the outset. In this paper, relatively new (3-6 years) authors from civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering departments describe their observations on this topic based upon over 30 different contracts, specifically: • 3 types of research contracts, and the benefits and difficulties with each. • 6 tips for success in choosing and writing suitable contracts • 3 tips for success in choosing suitable students • 3 tips for success in conducting projects • examples and analysis of projects that went well • examples and analysis of projects that went poorly • things the authors wish they had known in their first year
As an example, using both specific examples and inductive generalizations, the suitability of federally-funded and industry (including traditional industry, consulting firms and municipalities)-funded contract sources are analyzed. Each of these funding sources is evaluated for undergraduate research suitability with respect to typical timelines, funding agency’s criticality of success, the undergraduate’s class year, and the professor’s time before tenure review.
Ph.D. granting universities have long expected their faculty to conduct an active research program, however in the past two decades an increasing emphasis has been reported in the amount of emphasis undergraduate-only engineering schools are placing on their faculty to build research programs.1 While some studies have questioned whether this has a negative impact upon the teaching experience, especially of technical subjects2,3,4, it will likely continue to increase as administrators seek to improve faculty productivity and university income5, and states enact measures to encourage this.6 The past two decades have also seen a concomitant increase in the desire from university administration through federal granting agencies for engineering faculty members to develop active learning strategies to teach undergraduates, a practice recommended by numerous recent studies. 7,8,9.
Given a limited amount of time and pressure to actively involve undergraduates and conduct research, it is commonly assumed that new faculty intuitively understand the need to combine the teaching and research domains. While that is true, it is not obvious how do this effectively, and this paper conveys the best practices learned by three faculty members representing
Squire, J., & Bott, C., & Hyre, M. (2007, June), New Faculty, Undergraduates, And Industry Contracts: Observations And Lessons Learned From Engineering Professors Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1823
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