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Maintaining Currency and Staying at the Cutting Edge of the Profession

[+] Author Affiliations
Jesa H. Kreiner, David J. Miles

California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

Paper No. ESDA2008-59597, pp. 667-674; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/ESDA2008-59597
From:
  • ASME 2008 9th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 3: Design; Tribology; Education
  • Haifa, Israel, July 7–9, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4837-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3827-7
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME

abstract

Educators and employers have traditionally worked together to identify engineering skills which require ongoing updating and upgrading in order to avoid obsolescence. That, along with the need to work successfully in multidisciplinary environments, has become increasingly critical in staying competitive in the face of rapidly changing technology and current trends toward outsourcing of engineering jobs. Mechanical engineers, specifically, are continuously confronted with the requirement to maintain proficiency in CAD and FEA tools, evolving multiplicity of design materials and fabrication processes and increased sophistication of design components. Another aspect of a successful engineer entails the ability to communicate with both engineers and non-engineers who frequently are in positions to approve or cancel projects which may affect success and/or survival of the company where engineers work. A recent survey was conducted of engineering alumni of the mechanical engineering program at California State University, Fullerton spanning a period of close to four decades to assess if and how these graduates managed to stay current and the degree of success achieved in this continuing endeavor. The survey evaluated ways and means of these efforts and the employers’ attitudes and support, or lack thereof, towards such efforts. Also the surveys examined alumni experiences of working in multidisciplinary and multinational teams. Relationships between continued education and success in pursuit of the career of alumni were examined. Implications of these findings to engineers, academic institutions and industry were discussed with particular interest in the roles that educational institutions and professional societies play in the career of engineers.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME

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