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The Importance To Economic Development Of Improved University Industry Engagement In Research And Professional Education

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Professionally Oriented Graduate Program

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1159.1 - 7.1159.6



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Paper Authors

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Donald Sebastian

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Stephen Tricamo

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Session 1455

The Importance to Economic Development of Improved University-Industry Engagement in Research and Professional Education

Stephen J. Tricamo, Donald H. Sebastian New Jersey Institute of Technology


The key to the strength of the U.S. economy has been industry's ability to capitalize on technological innovation. At American research universities, an inherent objective of Ph.D. programs in engineering is innovation related to new or existing technologies. Despite such an obvious mutuality of interest, industry has typically not looked to universities to fulfill its applied research needs. This paper examines some of the reasons behind this condition, including the continued emphasis some universities place on traditional Ph.D. programs that are geared to the preparation of students for faculty positions rather than entry into industrial careers. The economic downturn has forced industry to cut back on internal R&D expenditures, making it even more important to find ways of encouraging industry to partner with academe to help meet the continuing need for technological innovation. This paper focuses on some new developments in engineering doctoral education that meet this need while continuing to satisfy academic program requirements. The new approach calls for a systemic change that will couple the resources of research universities and industry in a cooperative effort to produce the technological innovation that supports the continued growth of the economy.


In June 1999, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan appeared before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and stated that “something special has happened to the American economy in recent years. An economy that twenty years ago seemed to have seen its better days, is displaying a remarkable run of economic growth that appears to have its roots in ongoing advances in technology.”

Just several days before Mr. Greenspan’s appearance, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a statement noting that although the information technology industry accounts for only about 8

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Sebastian, D., & Tricamo, S. (2002, June), The Importance To Economic Development Of Improved University Industry Engagement In Research And Professional Education Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10064

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