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The Social Dimension Of Engineering Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Global Issues in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1167.1 - 8.1167.17



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Paper Authors

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Abdel Mazher

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

Session 3661

The Social Dimension of Engineering Education

A. K. Mazher

Aerospace Science Engineering Department, Tuskegee University Tuskegee, Alabama 36088,


Technological advances have an enormous impact on our life and its effects on society, environment and human values are evident everywhere. The engineering is no longer an isolated field of human activities and the future role of engineering demands that social, ethical and cultural aspects should be added to the technical dimension of engineering education. The next generation of engineers should have deeper concepts, wider views, more skills, and integrated tools to meet the challenges of the expanding spheres of knowledge and the challenges of globalization. This can be achieved through engineering education. Academic, industrial, and social institutions need to be restructured in order to meet today’s competitive pressure and future challenges. Integrating the social dimension in the curriculum is one step. The other step is to train engineers to understand and analyze the social problems and issues using engineering tools of research. This will help to have deeper, wider and clearer picture of the social phenomena. In addition to that, enhancing the engineers' abilities in dealing with social issues will help to isolate the objective from the subjective and the relevant from the irrelevant. Up till now the engineering education has focused on the technical dimension and neglected the social dimension. This paper suggests a change of the engineering curriculum to include the social dimension. A unifying approach is proposed to implement the social studies in the engineering curriculum. The new course is called the social engineering. The goal of this program is to construct a unified approach to understand, formulate, model, simulate and solve many social problems. The suggested approach utilizes control engineering methodology and applies it to the social phenomena. The main hypothesis is that control engineering concepts and methods, when extended and applied properly to the social sciences, will lead to new insights to the social problems and their solutions.

1. Introduction

The philosophy of education has changed from the past to the present and will change in the future. The future of higher education, for the engineers in the 21st century, can be envisaged as different from its past and present. Whether this will be better or worse depends on what is

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Mazher, A. (2003, June), The Social Dimension Of Engineering Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11651

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