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The Impact Of Emerging Trends In Mechanical Engineering On A Small Undergraduate Institution

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ME Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1294.1 - 10.1294.14



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Paper Authors

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Matthew Panhans

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Joseph Musto

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William Howard

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

Session 1566

The Impact of Emerging Trends in Mechanical Engineering on a Small Undergraduate Institution

Joseph C. Musto, Matthew A. Panhans, William E. Howard Milwaukee School of Engineering


There is a wealth of published information offering opinions on the future of undergraduate engineering education, and proposing curricular and institutional reforms. These proposed reforms are motivated by three distinct sets of considerations: • emerging technological change, • student/population demographics, and • global sociological conditions.

In this paper, the authors summarize the trends and recommendations of several important proposals for engineering education reform, and attempt to place them in context for a mechanical engineering program in a small, predominately undergraduate university.

In addition to the proposals mentioned above, the authors introduce constraints that must be considered when planning curricular changes. Foremost among these constraints are accreditation requirements, professional licensure issues, and the wants and needs of program constituents (including students, parents, and local industry). At small universities, the makeup of the faculty must also undergo significant reorganization in order to implement some of the recommendations.

The authors offer an interpretation of the future of the mechanical engineering profession from the perspective a small, private undergraduate engineering institution. Also presented are some curricular recommendations for balancing the emerging trends with practical considerations within the context of a traditional mechanical engineering program.


There have been numerous highly-publicized efforts focused on planning reform of undergraduate engineering education. These reforms are proposed in response to rapid and profound changes in technology, student demographics, and global socioeconomic trends. In this paper we will summarize the findings of three important proposals for undergraduate engineering educational reform: • The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century1 from the National Academy of Engineering

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Panhans, M., & Musto, J., & Howard, W. (2005, June), The Impact Of Emerging Trends In Mechanical Engineering On A Small Undergraduate Institution Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14254

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