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The Washington Accord: Exclusion By Design?

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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

8.1191.1 - 8.1191.9



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Paper Authors

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Joseph Akinmusuru

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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 Washington Accord: Exclusion by Design?

Joe O. Akinmusuru, Ph.D., P.E. P. O. Box 3332, Ann Arbor, MI 48106

“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” George Orwell in Animal Farm

I. Introduction Globalization of the world economy implies that the world has become a single global market, requiring that there should be unhindered flow of products and technical expertise across national borders. This has meant that many multinational corporations operate in various countries side by side, and in competition with, local companies. Mergers and acquisitions are the hallmark of globalization. Thus, the revered British flagship automaker, Rolls Royce, became a part of the German BMW family, and both Jaguar and Aston Martin are part of the American Ford stable.

In the past, as long as British equipment manufacturers were satisfied with marketing all their brands to the limited market of the Commonwealth countries for a decent profit, it didn’t seem to matter what other European consumers thought about the products. They doggedly stuck to the feet-pound-second (fps) units for decades even though the metric and SI units were in common use all over Europe. However, all that changed with the need to increase production volumes and to make inroads elsewhere. Also, in the mid-1970’s, when the inability of a French or German consumer of British equipment to fit his 13mm nut on a British ½ in. bolt was enough reason to reject British equipment and buy elsewhere, it became clear to the British engineer that metrication was the way to go.

Another equally important reality of global interdependence is the need for the unfettered but regulated movement of professional expertise across national borders (Ramos1, Van Damme2, Jones3). To accomplish this, there is the need to equip engineering students with the knowledge of how the profession is practiced in other countries in preparation for their future participation in global practice. To this extent, British engineering education has now been fashioned in the past ten years in a way that makes it align better with those of countries in the European Union. A working knowledge of a European language is often required for some graduate engineering programs in the United Kingdom. In addition, students are taught courses in business management and international engineering practice. The University of Manchester, for example, offers courses leading to master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and French, Civil Engineering and German, Civil Engineering and North American Studies, and Civil Engineering and Project Finance (

As an engineer seeks to relocate from one country to another, seeking to practice his profession, there must be some reasonable method of evaluating his educational preparation to protect the consumer in his new place of residence. However, the method must also guarantee that he is accorded the rightful benefits commensurate with his expertise. This need makes quality

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

Akinmusuru, J. (2003, June), The Washington Accord: Exclusion By Design? Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12432

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