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The Role Of Adjunct Faculty In Future Engineering Education

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Issues in the Professional Practice of Faculty Members in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1257.1 - 13.1257.12



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Paper Authors


Andrew Rose University of Pittsburgh -Johnstown

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Andrew T. Rose is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Technology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ). Before joining the faculty at UPJ, he was a Staff Engineer with GAI Consultants in Pittsburgh. His teaching interests include soil mechanics, foundation design, structural steel design, structural analysis, and incorporating practical design experience and professional practice issues into the undergraduate civil engineering technology curriculum. Dr. Rose received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1985 and 1986 and a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1995.

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Norman Voigt Penn State, New Kensington

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Norman Voigt, MSCE, PE, RLS, is a registered engineer and surveyor in Pennsylvania with specialties in traffic and transportation engineering. His experience has been in design, construction, operation, and maintenance of highway and mass transit facilities, including employment in private consulting and public transit. For more than 25 years, he has written course material and taught sections of the Civil PE review course given by Penn State University, and has been adjunct faculty for both Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh teaching undergraduate credit courses in transportation and surveying. Norman's BS and MS degrees are from the University of Pittsburgh.

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


Abstract Adjunct engineering faculty are being utilized to a greater extent in engineering education for a variety of reasons. When utilized properly, they can be a valuable asset to engineering programs in their efforts to prepare future engineers for professional engineering practice. Adjunct faculty from industry typically possess an abundance of real world experiences which can enhance student learning. Recent changes in ABET accreditation criteria and educational initiatives by professional societies like ASCE have provided justification for the use of adjunct faculty to provide a more complete educational experience for engineering students. This paper discusses the use of adjunct faculty in engineering education and provides recommendations regarding adjunct faculty as a way to better prepare future engineers for engineering practice.


Engineering and engineering technology programs utilize adjunct or part-time faculty to varying extents and for various reasons. In some cases, adjunct faculty are used short term to help cover courses as a result of full time faculty sabbaticals, leaves of absence, or retirements. In other cases, short term increases in student population may be addressed using adjunct faculty. Some institutions consistently utilize adjunct faculty for courses where full time faculty lack expertise. In all cases, the use of adjunct faculty provides benefits and challenges to the institution, students and adjunct faculty member. In addition to bringing their technical expertise into the engineering classroom, adjunct faculty also bring their understanding and insights on professional engineering practice into the curriculum. This inclusion of professional practice issues into engineering and engineering technology programs helps programs better meet ABET criteria.1-2 In civil engineering, ASCE’s effort to modernize engineering education has resulted in the identification of a “Body of Knowledge”3 (BOK) necessary to prepare graduates for entry into professional engineering practice with emphasis on developing a sense of true professionalism, leadership, and commitment to lifelong learning. The use of adjunct faculty has been identified as an appropriate way engineering programs can incorporate professional practice issues into the curriculum.4-6


In 1986, the Panel on Undergraduate Engineering Education issued a report on Engineering Education and Practice in the United States: Engineering Undergraduate Education7 addressing many of the issues facing the future of engineering education. Two issues addressed were the shortage of engineering faculty and the increasing emphasis on theory and research and the decreasing emphasis on the practice of engineering in the curriculum. In discussing both issues, the use of adjunct faculty was identified as a solution. Utilizing non-tenure track faculty, retirees and adjunct faculty was identified as a way to deal with the shortage of engineering faculty. Adjunct faculty with appropriate

Rose, A., & Voigt, N. (2008, June), The Role Of Adjunct Faculty In Future Engineering Education Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4159

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