Program Areas/Fields of Interest
What we focus on:
Enhancing Communication and Use of Information in Engineering
New engineering accreditation standards recognize the importance of incorporating communication skills in engineering education. Studies of working engineers show that communication – including writing, speaking, group interaction, listening, information seeking, and understanding – are essential components of their work. Yet educational programs and research projects do not seem to be effective in this area. New models should be developed and all approaches need to be evaluated to establish benchmarks for effective ways to improve communication skills in engineering programs.
How can we develop, test, and identify the best approaches?
We want to assist in improving communication skills of engineers by identifying successful approaches for including communication behavior into engineering curricula. Your project might focus on identifying innovative educational models, implementing them in your curriculum, and testing your approach or testing models already in place. Collaborative projects between schools of engineering, communications, and/or information science are especially welcome. Click here for more information.
Do you have an approach currently underway that needs testing or ideas for new approaches?
Women in Engineering - Projects Directed by Engineering Educators
Although the majority of new entrants to the workforce in the coming years will be women, women remain under-represented in the areas of engineering and technology. In order for our nation to remain competitive, we must ensure that more women gain the competencies to equip them for leadership in these areas. Studies have shown that women stay away from engineering because of negative perceptions deeply ingrained throughout their social development. Women fail to pursue careers in engineering, and of those who do, the retention rate is unacceptably low.
How can we change this?
We want to encourage middle school-aged girls to pursue engineering degrees. Your project might focus on orientation and recruitment of women, or on staying the course after the first year in engineering school. We think that the negative effects of gender-related behavior in the classroom ought to be eliminated. Click here for more detailed guidelines for this program area.
Do you have a project that addresses this problem?
The technology gap between the developed and developing worlds is getting larger every day. The need for access to engineering resources as well as the skills to use the information effectively is of increasing importance as countries move along in their technological development.
Are there special needs we can address in the developing world?
To support and strengthen educational and service center programs that help students and teachers find and use the engineering information they need, from computer and internet sources or by other means. Your project might focus on instruction in engineering schools and libraries, support for acquisition of information systems, or support for internet connectivity in the developing world.