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What Place Engineering Codes And Standards Have In Undergraduate Engineering Curricula?

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Design in the Classroom

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1397.1 - 13.1397.10



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Paper Authors


Tongele Tongele Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Dr. Tongele received a BS in mechanical engineering from the California State Polytechnic University Pomona in 1995. He completed his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in 2001 and 2003 respectively. After working for the government of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, in the Department of Health, Environmental Health Administration, Bureau of Environmental Quality, from 2001 to 2004, Dr. Tongele joined the faculty in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in the August of 2004. Dr. Tongele’s areas of research include Theory of Elasticity, Structural Mechanics, Design, and Engineering Education.

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


How effectively are future engineers exposed to codes, standards, and technical regulations that influence design and manufacturing or construction? How well are future engineers aware of the importance of codes and standards for the effectiveness, the reliability, and the safety of products designed and manufactured in the United States (US) as well as products imported to the US? Using the school of engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a case study, this paper explores how engineering codes and standards are included in academic curricula. A suggestion is made regarding how academic institutions can collaborate with professional societies and industries as well as government agencies to further the exposure of future engineers to engineering codes and standards.

1. Introduction It is well known that it was until 2000 that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), under criterion 4, titled “Professional Components,” that students are required to incorporate engineering standards in design experience: “Students must be prepared for engineering practice through the curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier coursework and incorporating engineering standards and realistic constraints that include most of the following considerations: economic; environmental; sustainability; manufacturability; ethical; health and safety; social; and political.”1 In the new ABET criteria for accrediting engineering programs during the 2008-2009 accreditation cycle, it is under criterion 5, explicitly titled “Curriculum”, that the requirement for using engineering standards is placed - in these terms: “Students must be prepared for engineering practice through a curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier coursework and incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints.”2 What is obvious here is that ABET consistently requires that engineering programs through their curricula expose students to engineering standards.

In the Introduction to ASME Codes and Standards, a standard is defined as a set of technical definitions and guidelines – “how to” instructions for designers and manufacturers. Standards are considered voluntary because they serve as guidelines, and not have the force of law. A code is a standard that has been adopted by one or more government bodies and has the force of law, or when it has been incorporated into a business contract.3

In practice, it is because of codes and standards that in a movie theater, the projector in use is designed with parts that fit together and are easily replaced, chains and sprockets fir one another, plumbing fixtures are interchangeable, elevators do not fall, nuts and bolts have uniform dimensions, power generation equipment and industry in general operate safely and economically. Virtually all modern devices for personal improvement and amusement – radio, television set, VCR, telephone, computer, hand tools, and sports equipment – involve one or more engineering standards.3

How are engineering codes and standards incorporated into engineering programs and curricula? Using the School of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)

Tongele, T. (2008, June), What Place Engineering Codes And Standards Have In Undergraduate Engineering Curricula? Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3162

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