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Transitioning From Industry To Education: The First Year

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

NEE Potpourri

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1320.1 - 9.1320.8



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Paper Authors

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William Loendorf

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

Session 3575

Transitioning from Industry to Education: The First Year

William R. Loendorf Eastern Washington University School of Computing and Engineering Sciences Department of Engineering Technology and Multimedia Design


After years as an engineering professional in industry, a career transition into a related field was on the horizon. The events at the beginning of the 21st century lead to the downsizing of numerous companies and the eventual elimination of countless jobs. As the economy weakened, it became increasingly difficult to find engineering positions, particularly for seasoned managers. Never the less, many former colleagues continued to search within these careers, while a few branched out and explored alternate professions.

But one important question had to be answered. Were the skills learned and practiced as an engineering manager transferable? Engineering managers were usually proficient in planning, scheduling, organizing, exploring, controlling, mentoring, communicating, leading, budgeting, administrating and allocating scarce resources. After independent investigation it was determined that these skills were not only transferable but necessary in a wide variety of other fields. Opportunities existed in industry, education, government, project management and technical sales to list just a few. The best fit, however, appeared to be engineering education.

After the new career was selected, it led to numerous other questions. How difficult would the transition be? How long would it take? Could engineering and management skills be applied directly into the classroom environment or would they have to be adapted? Would the engineering experience be beneficial? What new skills had to be acquired? What teaching methods should be used? How and where to start? These and many additional questions were answered during the first year as a full time engineering educator.

This paper describes the trials, tribulations, successes and lessons learned during the writers first year as a full-time engineering educator. The results may be of great benefit to those in industry considering a similar career change.


A stimulating career in industry followed an extensive engineering education with the opportunity to solve many technical problems and create numerous useful products. Many

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Loendorf, W. (2004, June), Transitioning From Industry To Education: The First Year Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13033

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