April 2006

Copyright © 2006 World Expertise LLC – All rights reserved

A periodic electronic newsletter for engineering education leaders,

edited by Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E., and Bethany S. Oberst, Ph.D.



1 - International developments

2 - US developments

3 - Technology

4 - Students, faculty, education

5 – Employment, competitiveness

6 – Journals

7 – Meetings



1 - International developments

More harm than good – Pledging money to Africa was the hip thing to do last year, due to the focus of the UN Millennium Development Project, Tony Blair’s big push forward to help Africa , and tireless campaigning by Bono. But a new book by William Easterly, The White Man’s Burden, concludes that such charitable efforts will probably do more harm than good. As reported in a book review in the March 15th Wall Street Journal by Professor Drezner of the University of Chicago , this new book by Easterly continues the criticism of efforts to promote economic growth that he initiated in his 2001 book The Elusive Quest for Growth. Easterly notes that the foreign-aid community is mostly composed of planners, who lack real-life, on the ground understandings. Easterly prefers what he calls Searchers -- those who learn through trial and error in the field – who can’t achieve the ambitious goals set out by the planners, but can deliver at least some results. (See

Knowledge innovation in China – At China’s 2006 National Science and Technology Conference, President Hu Jintao pledged to make 21st century China “an innovation-oriented society,” according to an article in the April 7th Science by Richard Suttmeier, Cong Cao and Denis Fred Simon. To that end the conference unveiled a 15 year Medium to Long Term Science and Technology Development Plan (2006-2020) setting national research priorities and providing substantial resources for meeting them. Gross expenditures on R&D are expected to rise from the current 1.3% of gross domestic product to 2.5% by the end of the plan period. The plan emphasizes “indigenous innovation” and “leapfrogging” in research. Science and technology are expected to support and lead future economic growth for the country. (See

US colleges more affordable, less accessible, than Canada ’s – A new study shows that public universities in the US are more affordable than in Canada, writes Karen Birchard in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  A major factor is that in the US , there is more student aid at both the federal and the state levels.  But the report also points out that affordability should not to be confused with accessibility: more low income students in Canada go into higher education than do in the US , suggesting that Canada does a better job of keeping students on track from secondary school through to the university.  (See

UK government streamlines research funding – The 2006-07 budget of the United Kingdom shuffles some responsibilities for science and technology, but has little new cash, according to an article in the March 31st Science by Eliot Marshall. The government plans to spend more on secondary school education, restructuring councils that oversee the biomedical and physical sciences, and create a simplified method of allocating research overheads to universities. University leaders seem pleased with the plan to overhaul the Research Assessment Exercise, a process that ranks departments by merit every 4 or 5 years and allocates funding for overhead costs of research. Critics say that the RAE has concentrated wealth in elite universities and destroyed some good departments elsewhere. (See 

Italian research reform moves ahead – Italy has begun to reform its National Research Council (CNR), according to an article in the March 31st Science by Susan Biggin. One goal is to make the 110 national institutes more attuned to national needs. By managing its projects and allocating funding through 11 new departments, CNR hope to change it from a traditional disciplinary structure to a mission-oriented organization. Under the new structure, funds from the research ministry are earmarked for particular departments. The restructuring follows the CNR reform law passed in 2003 and the government hopes it will transform the $1.2-billion-a-year council into a resource for the social and economic development of the country. (See

New Zealand begins program of debt forgiveness – The government of New Zealand is attempting to stem brain drain by instituting a program of debt forgiveness for graduates who work in the country.  Graduates who stay in New Zealand will not have to pay interest on their student loans, and graduates who return home will not have to pay interest on remaining amounts of loans.  The new program will cost the government approximately $610 million US over the next five years.  David Cohen, who wrote this article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, reports that some critics warn of the lure of free money ratcheting up the debt load, but students greeted the announcement with approval.  (See

Moscow tightens control on research money – The Russian Academy of Science is facing a tough new challenge from the government, as the Ministry of Finance is proposing giving bureaucrats more authority over science funding decisions. According to an article in the March 17th Science by Andrey Allakhverdov and Vladimir Pokrovsky, one of the proposed changes would take away the academy’s independent control of public science funds now in its purview. In addition, the Finance Ministry has proposed that an institute’s private earnings should go to the state rather than to the institution that earned them. (See

Australia’s proposed ranking stirs debate – Australia is considering a radical overhaul of the way it allocates funds to universities and research institutions, according to an article in the April 14th Science by Elizabeth Finkel. A proposed Research Quality Framework, similar to the system currently used in the United Kingdom , would rate all publicly funded research institutions and award block grants based on a new formula. Critics note that the UK is debating whether to scrap its system as being unduly complex. Government block grants in Australia are currently awarded based on measures of productivity such as the number of publications and Ph.D. students completing degrees at an institution. The proposed system would use peer review to assess research quality, and add an “impact” parameter which would take into account social, environmental, and economic dividends. (See

Lessons from history – The 200th anniversary of the birth of one of Britain’s greatest engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is the occasion for the publication of a study funded by the Economic  and Social Research Council, led by London School of Economics and Political Science’s Professor Nicholas Crafts.  After comparing the technological revolutions brought about by the development of the steam engine in the 19th century with the invention of information and communication technologies in the 20th century, Crafts noted that there were similarities which should have alerted investors to the likelihood of the bust.  While steam power was patented by James Watt in 1769, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the full impact of that innovation was felt, and even then there was a major economic slump that spanned that era.  So investors who thought that the economic benefits of ICT would be immediate and derive principally from the manufacture of related goods should have taken a lesson from history. The benefits in terms of productivity unfold more slowly, in more complex ways, than followers of Wall Street can imagine, according to this report in EurekAlert dated March 19, 2006 . (See

Seoul National fires stem-cell researcher – In what may not yet be the final chapter of the story, Seoul National University fired Woo Suk Hwang, the stem-cell researcher who was accused of having fabricated the results of experiments in cloning human embryos, reported Richard Monastersky in The Chronicle of Higher Education.   In addition to the firing, the university also suspended two faculty involved in the work, and cut the pay of others.  But there are signs that the final word has not yet been said about the authenticity of the research: at least one researcher says evidence exists that supports Woo Suk Hwang’s claims.  (See

Strengthening the Arab intellectual and scientific community – The Qatar Foundation in Doha has invited 200 Arab scientists to help draft ways to attract back to their homelands those Arabs who have left to work abroad.  The intent is not simply to persuade Arab scientists and faculty members to return home, but to create environments which will be attractive to researchers.  The participants are expected to help the country draft budgets, give recommendations on changes in infrastructure, and advise on how to strengthen intellectual property rights.  The Qatar Foundation is also planning to bring in Nobel laureates to confer with the scientists about future research agendas, according to this report by Agence France Presse which appeared in The Daily Star.   (See


2 - US developments

Higher education bill aims to stir up academia – Congressional Republicans, who have lambasted traditional colleges for years as overpriced liberal bastions without making much headway against the nearly unassailable higher education establishment, are finally gaining ground. Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives tries to curb skyrocketing college tuition costs and protect the expression of conservative ideas on campus, according to an article in the March 30th Wall Street Journal by John Hechinger. The bill would also drop longstanding antifraud safeguards holding back for-profit colleges that are taking market share from traditional schools, which are public or private nonprofit organizations. The bill reauthorizes the Higher Education Act, which governs billions of dollars of federal funding for colleges and universities of all types. (See

Panel considers revamping college aid and accrediting – Months after suggesting that standardized testing should be brought to colleges and universities, a higher education commission established by the Bush administration is examining proposals to change sharply how US colleges are accredited and how federal student aid is administered. According to an article in the April 12th New York Times by Sam Dillon, one proposal calls for scrapping the current system of accreditation, done largely by private regional bodies, in favor of a National Accreditation Foundation that would be created by the President and Congress. Another proposal calls for streamlining the federal student aid system, replacing some 17 current grant, loan and tax-credit programs with just one, or perhaps three, federal aid programs. (See

Foreign grad students show renewed interest – Reversing a 2-year decline, foreign grad students flooded US graduate schools with applications this winter, according to an article in Science by Katherine Unger. The Council of Graduate Schools reports that international graduate applications for the 2006-07 academic year rose by 11% over the previous year, with particular increases in Chinese and Indian applications. All fields enjoyed a boost, but life sciences (up 16%) and engineering (up 17%) led the way. University administrators have blamed the 2003-05 downturn in large part on tighter immigration policies following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and perceptions that the US was less welcoming to foreigners. (See

Study tracks degree completion patterns in STEM fields – The American Council on Education announced on April 3 that it had published a report entitled “Increasing the Success of Minority Students in Science and Technology,” containing data from a longitudinal study conducted by the US Department of Education.  The study tracked 12,000 undergraduates who entered college in 1995.  Data show that 18.6% of African-American and 22.7% of Hispanic students came to college interested in majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), as compared with 18% of white students and 26.4% of Asian students.  But by 2001 – four years later – 62.5% of African American and Hispanic students majoring in STEM subjects earned their bachelor/s degree, while 94.8% of Asian Americans and 86.7% of whites did so. The study indicates also that students who persist to completion of their degrees within four years were those who came from the most rigorous secondary schools, were not yet 19 years old when they began their studies, had one parent with a bachelor’s degree, had higher family income, and worked less while enrolled.  (See

US higher ed groups urge strengthened international initiatives – Following up on the US Presidents Summit on International Education held in January of this year, a group of seven leading higher education associations issued a letter recommending that steps be taken to enhance international education.  They referenced the Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program and Title VI of the Higher Education Act, which gives support to foreign language instruction and area studies programs.  The day following release of the letter, two other associations called for the US government to draft a national policy on international education, to include more international content in secondary schools. Both of these reports link international education with economic growth and competitiveness.  “An International Education Policy for U.S. Leadership, Competitiveness, and Security” is available at, writes Amy Rainey in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Identifying the pork – The US Senate passed legislation which would require all Senate bills to list all “earmarks,” specially funded projects that are added in favor of constituencies such as colleges and universities.  These earmarks are non-competitive appropriations that critics call frivolous.  This sort of funding has increased dramatically in the past decade.  Another piece of the legislation would make it easier for Senators to remove earmarks that are inserted in the process of reconciliation of House and Senate versions of similar bills.  Few people think that this new legislation will lead to a significant decrease in the use of earmarks, writes Jeffrey Brainard in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Preview of accreditation changes? – The US Department of Education’s higher education commission caused considerable concern recently when it took aim at the system of regional accreditation.  A close reading of the various documents which allude to the deficiencies of the current system and describe possible changes indicates a dissatisfaction with the institutional focus of regional accreditation, with some members of the commission believing that it should be more consumer-focused.  The accreditation process is accused of being too secretive, lacking sufficiently high standards, and being too respectful of regional concerns at a time when student mobility is increasing.  A suggested cure of perceived weaknesses in the current system is the creation of a National Accreditation Foundation, a public-private partnership run by university officials, business leaders and policy makers.  This foundation would be charged with setting national quality standards, designing new accreditation procedures, disseminating information to the public, and deciding on institutions’ eligibility for financial aid, reports Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Ed.. (See

Carnegie Classification includes voluntary grouping – The Carnegie Classification of US colleges and universities has undergone a substantial change in the last six months and has now been released in its entirety.  One important innovation is the creation of a new, voluntary classification of institutions with strong “community engagement.” Institutions will be required to submit evidence that they are in fact strongly engaged with their communities before they are so classified, and these initial decisions will be reviewed later, with the possibility of expanding or narrowing down the list of institutions in this category.  And this first voluntary classification will likely be expanded in the future, to include institutions which have a significant commitment to the improvement of undergraduate education, writes Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed. (See

Women in science and math to be studied by US government – The US Department of Education recently announced that it would start “compliance reviews” of a number of colleges and universities to see whether they are obeying federal laws related to the treatment of women in math and science, writes Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed.   These investigations may take years and will look at both the intent and the implementation of relevant policies.  The Department of Education, according to Stephanie Monroe, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, will select institutions that have been accused of treating women unfairly.  (See

Women at MIT: advance and retreat? – The MIT biologist who wrote the influential 1990s study on gender bias in the treatment of women faculty at MIT’s School of Science has now prepared a second report, looking at the effect over time of that report.  Nancy Hopkins’s new report, “Diversity of a University Faculty: Observations on Hiring Women Faculty in the Schools of Science and Engineering at MIT,” shows that after the period of 1997 – 2000 when specific efforts were made to hire and retain women, most departments have either stalled in their efforts, or have seen declines in the number of women faculty.  Because faculty turnover at MIT is exceptionally low, trends such as this one are not very visible until someone such as Hopkins looks carefully at the data.  Hopkins also looked at the success of women hired between 1996 and 2000 to see whether they were less accomplished than their male counterparts. Of 15 women hired in that period, eight have earned tenure, and three were elected to the National Academy of Sciences.  This article was written by Paula Wasley in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See


3 - Technology

US lags behind in high-speed Internet access – The US continues to lag behind rich nations in Europe and Asia in adopting high-speed Internet connections, according to OECD data reported in the April 12th Wall Street Journal by Leila Abboud. The US ranks 12th among industrialized nations, with 16.8 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Iceland , South Korea , and several northern European countries are in the top spots. The quality of communications networks is a major determinant of productivity growth, allowing products and services to be made more efficiently and opening up new markets. As recently as 200l, the US came in fourth in the OECD rankings. In many countries at the top of the rankings, governments have taken an active role in spurring broadband use. (See

Instant feedback – Dan Carnevale, a reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, wrote about the increased use of “clickers” in university classrooms.  The technology works like this: the professor asks a question and students signal their answers by using a clicker that sends a signal to a remote sensor in the classroom.  The answers are tallied, with anonymous results given on a screen in front of the class, and individual answers displayed on the professor’s personal computer.  The instructor knows whether the class has grasped a concept, and the students get instant feedback on their learning.  In order to prevent random answers, occasionally questions will be graded.  This method is especially useful in courses where the subject matter consists of material with definite answers.  (See


4 - Students, faculty, education

CORRECTION: The March Digest incorrectly identified Ohio State University as the institution investigating plagiarism. The correct institution is Ohio University ( Athens , Ohio ). The editors of the Digest regret this error, and apologize to Ohio State University .

Top high schools fight over science as overly simple – Some US school districts have overhauled their science education curriculum to make it more accessible to minority, low-income and immigrant students. But, according to an article in the April 13th Wall Street Journal by Robert Tomsho, parents in middle- and upper-income areas, where students are already doing well, have rebelled against what they call watered down science and too-skimpy math. Amid mediocre US scores on international science tests and predictions of future shortages of scientists and engineers, policy makers have begun requiring more science in schools. By 2011, 27 states will require high-school students to take at least three science courses to graduate – compared with only six states in 1992. But disputes arise as school districts try to spread their resources for teaching science across a wider array of students. (See

Strengthening the education leg of licensure – The lead article in the April 2006 NCEES Licensure Exchange, by Claude Baker and Howard Harclerode, describes National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying efforts to require additional engineering education for licensure. This coming September, the Council will consider revising the Model Law language to effect such a requirement – concerned that engineering education is falling behind other professions in preparing students for practice. One concern is that there has been a persistent decrease in the credit hours required for an engineering degree over several decades.  Another is that additional education will be necessary in the future to prepare students for practice at the professional level. The change to the Model Law being proposed is to add a requirement for students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering to earn 30 additional credits to sit for the PE exam.  An MS or Ph.D. degree in engineering would satisfy this requirement. (See

Investigation substantiates claims of plagiarism – The investigation launched at Ohio University into claims that 44 engineering students had plagiarized parts of their theses or dissertations has concluded that 37 of those students did in fact cheat, although there was no evidence of research fraud.  The committee recommended that students be given an opportunity to rewrite those plagiarized portions.  Dennis Irwin, Dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, indicates he may recommend more severe punishment.  Most of those involved were international students.  They will have nine months to respond to the charges: if they do not respond, their degrees will be revoked, writes Thomas Bartlett in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Preparing minority scientists and engineers – Despite several decades of government supported programs to increase diversity, Americans from minority groups continue to be underrepresented among Ph.D. recipients and in the science and engineering workforce. According to an article by Michael Summers and Freeman Hrabowski in the March 31st Science, the US needs to identify and deal with factors that keep underrepresented minorities from persisting with science, factors such as academic and cultural isolation, motivation and performance vulnerability in the face of low expectations, peers who are not supportive of academic success, and perceived or actual discrimination. This article describes an undergraduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County involving mentorship, summer and other workshops, and targeting high-achieving high school students to improve participation of underrepresented minorities in science and engineering. (See

Engineering coaching is booming business in India – The Indian city of Jaipur is now becoming the hub for coaching businesses offering to enhance a student’s prospects for being admitted into highly competitive programs in engineering and medicine.  Each year the number of students who come to Jaipur increases by 40%.  Currently, the coaching business takes in Rs 400 million [US$8.8 million] a year and is expected to expand by a factor of five over the next two years, according to an article in the April 5 edition of the Khaleej Times, page 23. (See

Dropout nation – The cover story for the April 17th Time, by Nathan Thornburgh, addresses the issue of high school dropouts in the US . The author states that the number of high school students who leave before graduating is much higher than many think – nearly one out of three. For Latinos and African Americans, the rate approaches an alarming 50%. During his recent State of the Union address, President Bush promised more resources to help children stay in school. The No Child Left Behind reform was designed to make schools accountable for their dropout rates, but advocacy groups for low-income and minority students assert that states are providing misleading graduation numbers that inflate current results. (See 

Female enrollment falls at Canadian engineering schools – The percentage of women in Canadian engineering schools dropped by 20% between 2000 and 2004, according to a Canadian Council of Professional Engineers study, as reported by CBC News in a March 16th article. The most dramatic drop was in first-year enrollment. The decline followed a decade in which a record number of Canadian women broke into the male-dominated world of engineering. The number of women who have enrolled in undergraduate engineering programs has decreased only slightly over the period studied, but overall student enrollment has increased during this period and the percentage of women entering engineering has not kept pace with the total increase. In 2004 women comprised 18.5% of the overall engineering undergraduate student population. (See For the study itself, see

Nobel Laureate leaves US for science education initiative in Canada – Nobel Laureate Carl E. Wieman has agreed to move to the University of British Columbia to lead a 10.3 million US$ project which he thinks will revolutionize the way that science is taught.  Wieman is leaving the University of Colorado at Boulder , but not entirely, since that institution will partner with the UBC in the project, and he will spend about 20% of his time in Boulder .  Although Wieman won his Nobel Prize as a physicist, he has been preoccupied with his interest in how students learn science, and his drive to create new materials for science instruction.  After contacting a number of universities asking about their interest in funding his work, it was the UBC that responded so positively that he was persuaded to leave his position in Colorado , where he has taught for 22 years, writes Karen Birchard in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Top colleges reject record numbers – Concluding one of the most brutal admission seasons ever, college officials say they are accepting an unusually low percentage of applicants. Elite colleges such as Brown, Stanford and Penn say they have accepted a smaller percentage than ever before, according to an article by Anne Marie Chaker in the April 5th Wall Street Journal. Brown, where 18,313 applications reflected an increase of 8% over last year, admitted only 13.8% of applicants – down from 14.6% last year. Several factors have shifted the admissions math in recent years. Students are sending out more applications to better their chances of landing somewhere – typically applying to six or more colleges. In addition, online applications make it easier to apply to more schools, and the number of high-school graduates is increasing each year. (See

Continuing education? Dubai ’s shopping malls are world famous as centers of consumption, but now one of them has taken steps to be known as a center for learning as well. The up-market Ibn Battuta Mall has just unveiled a major permanent set of exhibits spread throughout the sprawling public spaces, featuring 1000 years of inventions in the Islamic world.  The exhibits were created by South Africa ’s Marketing Themes Environments.  Inventions that are featured include the flying machine of Abbas Bin Firnas, writes Jay B. Hilotin on page 6 of the April 2 edition of the Gulf News.  Abbas worked in 9th century Andalusia ( Spain ).  The Mall expects eventually to produce a DVD cartoon on the travels of Ibn Battuta.  (See

Colleges impose restrictions on study-abroad programs – Colleges and universities have aggressively promoted study-abroad opportunities in recent years as part of their campaign to recruit top students. But now, according to an article in the April 12th Wall Street Journal by Elizabeth Bernstein, some schools are beginning to pull back, worried about losing out on tuition as a rapidly increasing number of students go overseas. In order to limit damage to their budgets, some schools are capping the number of participants in study-abroad programs and imposing new fees and requirements. Among the tactics: requiring students to pay full tuitions even if the foreign programs cost less; setting caps on the number of students or the amount of student aid sent abroad each year; setting high minimum grade point average requirements; and limiting how many students can go abroad during popular times, such as spring semester. (See

Schools cut back subjects to push reading and math – Thousands of schools across the US are responding to the reading and math testing requirements laid out in President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law by reducing or eliminating class time spent on other subjects. According to an article in the March 26th New York Times by Sam Dillon, some schools are as much as tripling the class time that low-proficiency students spend on reading and math. The 2002 law requires annual exams only in those subjects and punishes schools that fall short of rising benchmarks. The changes appear to principally affect schools and students who test below grade level. Courses being systematically trimmed in this narrowing of the curriculum typically include social studies, science and art. A recent survey indicates that 71% of the nation’s 15,000 school districts have reduced hours of instructional time spent on history, music and other subjects to open up more time for reading and math. (See

Engineering: the new “life style choice”? – Under the leadership of the UK ’s Engineering and Technology Board a new communications strategy has been built to present engineering as a life style choice, in hopes of encouraging more students to prepare for the profession.  Faced with a public that equates electrical engineering with electricians, and figures that indicate that half the engineering graduates in the UK do not work in engineering, the ETB decided to create an online network promoting engineering and technology. Scenta, as the network is called, packages information about engineering education and careers along with high-styled articles about gaming and cinema, repackaged from other media sources.  Other aspects of the strategy include inserting editorial articles into publications such as Marie Claire and Nintendo Official Magazine.  The ETB has already begun publishing a new on-line magazine called Technology Horizons for students, writes Meg Carter in Financial Times. (See         

Engineers take 8.6 years to earn doctorate – The US National Science Foundation’s report “Time to Degree of U.S. Research Doctorate Recipients,” contains data that show that it is taking slightly less time for students to receive their doctorate degrees than it did in the mid-90s.  In 2003, the median time it took to earn the Ph.D. was 10.1 years, down from the 1996 high of 10.8 years.  Engineering graduates took 8.6 years, while those in the physical sciences took 7.9 years. Doug Lederman was the reporter for this article in Inside Higher Ed. (See


5 – Employment, competitiveness

Congress weighs steps to retain foreign talent – US academic and business leaders are lobbying hard to include reforms in several bills pending in Congress that would make it easier for highly skilled foreign graduates of American universities to stay in the US . According to an article in the April 14th Science by Yudhijit Bjattacharjee, these leaders argue that such reforms are needed if the country is to compete effectively in today’s global economy. A bipartisan immigration reform bill stalled recently in the US Senate, but the effort to pass such legislation continues. One key provision of the proposed legislation would have granted automatic residency (green cards) to skilled foreign graduates who find a job in their field. Another proposed measure would increase the cap on H-1B visas from the existing 65,000 to 115,000 annually. (See

Aging workforce poses nuclear power challenge – Plans around the globe to increase reliance on nuclear power face a potential stumbling block: a coming lack of know-how in designing, running and regulating new plants. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Hyan Young Lee, an industry group in the US estimates that half of the nuclear industry employees are more than 47 years old, with as many as 23,000 expected to retire or depart during the next five years – during which time 15 new reactors are expected to be built. In China , university officials estimate the country will require 8000 additional nuclear-skilled workers by 2020 for as many as 30 planned nuclear reactors. The story is similar in other countries. In response to this situation, students and job applicants are already beginning to respond to the potential for jobs and healthy paychecks. Still, industry observers say a lack of skills and experience could add cost and complexity to nuclear ambitions. (See

Outsourcing particularly threatening to Mexico , Brazil , not US – The UCLA Anderson Forecast took place recently, with economists making predictions about the directions of the California and US economies.  Much of the talk was about China , which was predicted to maintain its blazing rate of expansion.  Edward Leaner, director of the Anderson Forecast said that ultimately outsourcing will not harm the US, whose more creative and complex jobs are not amenable to transfer, but does present a significant threat to countries such as Mexico and Brazil, reports Adam Foxman in the April 3 edition of The Daily Bruin Online.  Speakers also pointed out the difficulties of doing business in China , including the fact that business deals require a long-term investment in building and maintain personal relationships.  (See


6 – Journals

European Journal of Engineering Education – The May 2006 issue contains articles on engineering curricula in sustainable development, teaching entrepreneurship, use of physical models in design education, active learning, and management of online delivery for teaching and learning – plus several more articles. (See

Journal of Engineering Education – The April 2006 issue of this ASEE sponsored journal contains five articles, discussing the globally competent engineer, inductive teaching and learning methods, everyday problem solving in engineering, student perceptions of engineering entrepreneurship, and biomedical engineering ethics. (See

Global Journal of Engineering Education – The current issue is a special edition on the German Network of Engineering Education. The 12 articles are written in German. Topics include strengthening of engineering education in Europe , competence of engineering students, gender aspects, mathematical modeling, data mining, and distance learning and remote control. (See

Issues in Science and Technology – The Spring 2006 issue includes articles on conservation in the western US, aquaculture in federal waters, regulation of genetic testing, and the continuing problem of nuclear weapons. (See


7 – Meetings

UPADI 2006 – The 30th convention of the Pan American Association of Engineering Societies will be held at Georgia Tech in Atlanta from September 18th through 22nd. Topics to be covered at the conference include: Education and Capacity Building , Life Long Learning, Transparency, Free Trade in the Americas , and Investment in Sustainable Economic Development.  The call for paper and registration information are on the conference web site. (See

International Conference on Sustainable Engineering Development in Africa – This conference, organized by the Association of Engineers of the Polytechnic Institute in conjunction with Engineers Without Borders International and the Capacity Building Committee of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, will be held in Yaoundé , Cameroon on 4-8 June 2006. Its focus is on African Solutions for African Problems. (See

Annual US Engineering R&D Symposium - The 4th Annual Symposium on May 17-18 will bring together leaders from over 18 engineering organizations for an intensive, two-day meeting to gain firsthand knowledge of the administration's R&D priorities and the potential impact of the President's fiscal year 2007 budget request on the science, engineering and technology communities. (See



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