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The Role Of Civil Engineering Technology In The Global Picture

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.577.1 - 3.577.8

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Paper Authors

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Leslie Lahndt-Hearney

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

Session 3547

The Role of Civil Engineering Technology in the Global Picture Dr. Leslie Lahndt-Hearney, P.E. Department of Engineering Technology University of North Texas


This paper discusses pertinent issues related to the field of civil engineering technology, and also attempts to answer some often asked questions regarding the purpose of civil engineering technology programs. The future of civil engineering technology relies on a clear definition of its mission and goals, and that these fit in well with adjacent fields of study. This paper presents a clear definition of the role, responsibilities, and rights of the civil engineering technologist.


The turn of the century approaches along with the rapid development of new technologies and the maturity of fledgling civil engineering technology curricula conceived of some thirty to forty years ago. A few of the questions asked that cut right to the heart of the purpose of these programs need to be addressed to preserve their integrity and to ensure their proper alignment with adjacent fields of study and work. One such question, brought to light by the TAC of ABET accrediting criteria for civil engineering technology concerning the inclusion of certain types and amounts of civil related subject matter, is what is the role of the civil engineering technologist in the work place. Another such question relates to the role of civil engineering technology in the development of civil technology, methodology, and practice. Research funds are dispersed to institutions and industry with general categories ranging from ‘pure’ to ‘applied’ research. Where, in this scheme of research and development, does the responsibility of the civil engineering technologist lie? With a clear definition of the role, responsibilities, and perhaps the rights, of the civil engineering technologist made, we may then as a group address the legitimacy and necessity of having professional registration for civil engineering technologists. These issues are addressed in this paper in the hopes of shedding some light on the matter for the cause of preserving and clarifying the purpose of civil engineering technology.

Engineering Technology Vs Engineering

The first author of this paper has a civil engineering background, both academic and in practice. New to the field of engineering technology two years ago, several peers, who had been in the field of engineering technology for several years, attempted to explain the difference between engineering and engineering technology. Apparently, several fields of engineering experienced a divergence of theory and practice due to efforts placed toward getting to the moon. Fields of engineering integral to that effort developed a host of new theory and techniques necessitated by the new and unique criteria of launching a vessel through space. Thus, these fields of engineering experienced a real need to have curricula where efforts were placed toward research and development for the creation of new theory and techniques, and other curricula where efforts were placed teaching engineering practice and improving practice oriented technology. The

Lahndt-Hearney, L. (1998, June), The Role Of Civil Engineering Technology In The Global Picture Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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