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Updating For Engineering Faculty Members In Developing Countries

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Faculty Involvement in International Engineering Education

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Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1366.1 - 11.1366.9



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Paper Authors


Russel Jones World Expertise LLC

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Russel C. Jones is a private consultant, working through World Expertise LLC to offer services in engineering education in the international arena. He previously served as Executive Director of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Prior to that, he had a long career in education: faculty member at MIT, department chair in civil engineering at Ohio State University, dean of engineering at University of Massachusetts, academic vice president at Boston University, and President at University of Delaware. Dr. Jones is President of the Committee on Capacity Building of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations.

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



Many faculty members at engineering schools in developing countries have difficulty in participating in professional development activities such as international conferences on engineering education, or conferences on their technical specialty areas. Often advanced graduates from engineering programs in developed countries, they are heavily constrained for resources upon return to teaching positions in their native countries – little funding for labs and research, limited access to current publications, and scarce if any funding for travel to professional and technical meetings. This paper describes efforts of the WFEO Committee on Capacity Building and other groups to address these problems, typically through electronic means.


In the global economy of the 21st Century, engineers play a key role in overall economic development for countries and regions. In the well developed countries, the role of the engineer is well understood and utilized. In much of the developing world, however, the available pool of engineering talent is typically below critical mass – and economic development and even important basic societal needs that rely on engineering – such as clean water supply and sanitation – lack the technical talent to address them.

Indigenous engineering schools, and the faculty to effectively staff them, are key to the forward progress of developing countries. Technical capacity building efforts, such as those being pursued by the World Federation of Engineering Organization and UNESCO, rely heavily on local engineering educators to develop the necessary pool of well educated and certified engineers to allow developing countries to begin to be competitive in the global marketplace.

Faculty members in engineering schools in least developed countries often have had the advantage of high quality graduate educations, with master’s and doctoral degrees from well respected universities in the highly developed countries. Those who are dedicated to improving the situation in their native countries often return home after graduate study abroad, and take teaching position at local universities. They are then often beset by a multitude of problems – inadequate salaries, forcing them to have an additional job which detracts from their university effectiveness; lack of financial resources for teaching and research laboratory equipment, and for publications that could keep them abreast of developments in their technical and professional fields; and lack of funds for travel to conferences that could keep them technically and professionally up to date.

Jones, R. (2006, June), Updating For Engineering Faculty Members In Developing Countries Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--742

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