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The Engineer Ought To Be A Man Of Business

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Novel Courses for ChEs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1255.1 - 9.1255.16

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Paper Authors

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Brian Dickson

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

Session 1091

The Engineer Ought To Be A Man Of Business B R Dickson Department of Chemical & Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

1. Introduction

During the first decade of the 20th century, Dr Alex C. Humphreys, the President of the Stevens Institute of Technology, gave an address on ‘Business training for the engineer’ in which he began with an axiom:

“Self-evident should be the truth of the proposition that the engineer ought to be a man of business, or at least informed of, and prepared to conform to, business conditions and business methods. Businessmen bankers, and manufacturers not infrequently refuse their confidence to engineers and experts as a class, because, under trial, some individuals have demonstrated their incapacity to meet business conditions; from the standpoint of the man of business, their reports, advice, conclusions have required interpretation and readjustment or amendment.”1

This paper shows how the University of Strathclyde’s Chemical and Process Engineering uses business management material at both undergraduate and Master level to assist students in:

• Understanding how business decisions are made. • How the role of engineers fit into companies. • Promoting cross-functional business skills. • Understanding the language of other business professionals.

and seeks to demonstrate that these activities provide additional skills to students graduating into employment.

It will also show that this course design meets a number of the requirements set out in the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) Subject Benchmarks2 (see Appendix 1 for the remit of QAA) suggesting that the following areas should be addressed:

• Business and management techniques. • External constraints. • Impact of engineering on society.

Finally lessons are drawn on how this approach can have wider consequences in teaching and learning.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Dickson, B. (2004, June), The Engineer Ought To Be A Man Of Business Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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