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Staying Abreast Of Professional Developments: The A & E Profession In Transition

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.511.1 - 3.511.10



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Daniel Davis

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

Session 3675


Daniel Davis University of Hartford, Ward College of Technology

ABSTRACT The architecture and engineering profession is facing a whirlwind of change and it is a challenge for faculty members to keep abreast of these developments. According to the National University Continuing Education Association, even slower paced technical fields are reinventing themselves at least once a decade. What is the best way for faculty to monitor and adjust to these changes? By gaining some industrial/professional experience through an association with a professional office, for a summer or on a part-time basis. The benefits are numerous when an educator reconnects with their ever changing technical profession.

Some of the more recent changes have included: • We are deeply into the electronic-information era. New styles of education are possible and probably required. • The appearance and organization of professional offices has been affected, as the changes being wrought by the computer move at blinding speed. • Student portfolios and educational outcome results have changed. Firm hiring practices and recruitment strategies are much more aggressive. • Firms have expanded the services they provide, and rely more on these expanded services. • The success of a firm is not solely based on technical skills. Firms are better strategic planners and managers attempting to improve their current and future positions.

Architectural and engineering design is an enterprise aimed at the future, but how can educators prepare students if they do not understand present practice? Faculty cannot afford to prepare students for an industry that no longer exists. This can be avoided by blending hands-on professional experience with our academic advancements. Furthermore, studies have shown that work experience positively affects faculty attitudes toward teaching and research. Since efforts to improve engineering education cannot be addressed solely through academic means, added professional experience is an important factor in the growth of a faculty member. Many professions require continuing education credits to maintain licensing or other certificates; it is only logical that educators should require the reciprocal of themselves.

INTRODUCTION The half-life of an engineer’s technical skills - how long it takes for half of everything an engineer knows about his or her field to become obsolete - is strikingly short. According to the National University Continuing Education Association, for mechanical engineers it is 7.5 years;

Davis, D. (1998, June), Staying Abreast Of Professional Developments: The A & E Profession In Transition Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7425

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