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The Role And Scope Of Engineering Consulting In A Balanced And Integrated Career And Personal/Family Life Of A New Engineering Educator

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.640.1 - 5.640.13



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Paper Authors

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Robert Engelken

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

Session 2793

The Role and Scope of Engineering Consulting in a Balanced and Integrated Career and Personal/Family Life of a New Engineering Educator

by Dr. Robert Engelken, Professor of Electrical Engineering

Arkansas State University P.O. Box 1740 State University, AR 72467 (870) 972-3421 (870) 972-3948 (FAX)

I. Abstract/Introduction

This paper will explore how engineering consulting fits into the role and scope of a new engineering professor’s career and his/her pursuit of “academic wealth” [1, 2, 3]. Consulting is defined as offering one’s professional services to external clientele for a fee or other reward, usually independent of one’s standard university salary [4]. Although a fundamental part of engineering, consulting for engineering professors can be an ill-defined and controversial matter within the framework of employment, time, public relations, and intellectual property policies of a university and whether a particular university actively encourages and supports, passively allows, discourages, or prohibits such activities.

Consulting offers many benefits for a new engineering professor and, indirectly, for the university, community, and profession. It builds a contact network that can be invaluable for other purposes, such as research, public relations, fund raising, and outside expertise. It provides the new faculty member a “real world” vs. “ivory tower” perspective of the profession. It provides ongoing continuing education through having to learn, often quickly, new knowledge and skills for nearly every new and often unique consulting opportunity; this can be valuable in the pursuit or maintaining of professional engineering (PE) registration. It provides experience in planning, budgeting, record keeping, billing, collection, human relations, and communications that often is quite different from that provided through standard university - administered research projects. It provides experiences, incidents, and insight that can positively impact the relevance and quality of a budding professor’s classroom teaching. It provides good resumeN material and reputation enhancement, the latter for the university as well as the new professor. Of course and often the touchy point with university administrators, consulting provides additional income for the professor, and usually not the university, above and beyond his/her standard university salary; this can be extremely valuable as the new and usually young professor is building a family, buying a house and car, starting an investment program, or paying off education debts, and generally results in a happier, less stressed, and ideally more productive faculty member.

Engelken, R. (2000, June), The Role And Scope Of Engineering Consulting In A Balanced And Integrated Career And Personal/Family Life Of A New Engineering Educator Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8674

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