July 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

UNESCO implements Capacity Building program – As a frst major step in implementing a new Cross Sectoral Capacity Building program, UNESCO has announced the opening for a Senior Programme Specialist (P-5) position on “Science and Technology Education and Technical Capacity Building”. The new capacity building program will involve three UNESCO sectors: Science and Engineering, Education, and ICT. Applications are due by August 21. The position description can be seen at

Higher education in the Middle East crossfire – The violent conflict in Lebanon and Israel has had an impact on higher education.  At the American University of Beirut , American and other nationality students were being evacuated, and the University of Haifa was closed.  Some US Fulbright scholars in the region left, but some were left behind when the Beirut airport was closed after being hit by bombs, writes Ben Leubsdorf in The Chronicle of Higher Education.   (See

Chinese tighten cyberspace restrictions – Chinese authorities have announced their intention to step up efforts to police and control the Internet, instant messaging, and cellphones, according to an article in the July 4th New York Times by Howard French. The Information Office of China’s cabinet said the new control measures were needed “because more and more harmful information is being circulated online.” The ministry’s next target is expected to be regulation of Web logs and search engines. Critics of such government policies say that strengthening of control is retaliation for pressure on the political lives of officials from the media. (See

Higher education in Greece Despite noisy protests, the government of Greece still wants to reform universities there. According to an article in the July 8th The Economist, Greeks attach high importance to education, but the country has some of the worst universities in Europe . This leads to large numbers of Greek students on campuses all over the world, where many get excellent results under pressure from parents who have stretched their family budgets to give their children the best chance. The Greek education minister hopes to start correcting the situation, luring back many of the 5000 scientists and professors who have left because of the state’s stranglehold on the university system. The government is proposing to end the state’s monopoly on higher education by introducing private, not for profit universities. But students, expecting that such a change will lead to the introduction of tuition charges, have taken to the streets in protest. (See

Chinese government mandates reportedly promote plagiarism – Because the Chinese government requires master’s and doctoral candidates to publish a set number of articles per year, students frequently lie about their publications, and there are floods of poorly written and plagiarized papers.  This was the view of Zhu Qingshi, president of the University of Science and Technology in China , addressing the Chinese-Foreign University Presidents’ Forum in Shanghai recently. Yau Shing-tung, a professor of mathematics at Harvard University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, earlier this summer attacked Chinese higher education in general, and Peking University specifically, for corruption. Several Chinese academics have recently been fired for academic misconduct.  (See

China ’s science ministry fires at misconduct – Responding to a wave of scandals, China ’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has announced a slew of reforms aimed at discouraging and rooting out scientific misconduct. According to an article in the June 23rd Science, MOST plans to limit the influence of grant managers by expanding the database of expert reviewers, and assigning them at random. Also planned is a system to keep performance scores on experts who do evaluations of projects. The main goal of the new procedures is to increase “transparency, equity, and fairness” in program management. (See

Iraqi scientists targeted for murder – For months, Iraqi academics have denounced what they view as an unspoken campaign to cripple the country’s intellectual elite, according to an article by Richard Stone in the June 30th Science. Now they face an overt new threat – an unidentified group is circulating a hit list of 451 Iraqi intellectuals, calling for their assassination. For the country’s beleaguered scientists, the hit list aggravates an already desperate situation; at least 188 Iraqi academics have been slain since the US invasion in 2003. Hundreds of them have fled the country in a brain drain that will adversely affect Iraq ’s development for years to come. Some murders are sectarian, while in some cases kidnapping for money is a motive. (See

Mandatory retirements questioned at University of Tehran – A number of faculty at the University of Tehran will be forced to retire at the age of 65, writes Burton Bollag in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Whether any of them were selected for retirement because of their political ideas depends on who is interpreting this move.  Some critics fear that the move represents another attempt by conservative Islamic officials to control the university, some think that the university administration is only exercising its legitimate authority, and others believe that the situation is not clear. The arrest in April of Ramin Jahanbegloo, director of a private social science research center, is part of the context in which the mandatory retirements are being interpreted.  (See

Tithing faculty consulting income in South Africa – The University of Witwatersrand in South Africa has initiated a new policy which requires faculty to give back 10% of their outside earnings to the university.  The money will go to improving the marketing and pricing of faculty’s outside consulting activities, with 70% returned directly to the schools or faculties, and 30% to research and libraries, according to Megan Lindow in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Faculty are divided in their degree of acceptance of the new policy, with some believing that they will ultimately benefit from it, and others seeing it as an intrusion.  (See

The Learning Lag – European higher education has an illustrious history, but according to an article in the July 7th Wall Street Journal the Continent is sliding into educational obscurity. Only two universities, Cambridge and Oxford , make the top 10 in Shanghai Jiao Tong University ’s global rating system. And a new report from the Center for European Reform shows that there are twice as many European students in the US as there are Americans studying in Europe . While Americans tend to take a semester abroad for undergraduate study in art or history, European students go to America for full degree programs, at higher levels, and with a greater emphasis on science and technology. The authors of the report make a straightforward diagnosis: with private universities still unusual, and private funding in the form of either donations or tuition payments uncommon, most European schools are almost entirely dependent on the state for funding. One result is micromanagement by government; and with free education,  students tend to take their sweet time to graduate. The authors suggest more independence for universities, tuition payments by students, and better incentives for private giving. (See

Hook ‘em while they’re young – A groundbreaking program is giving Chinese high schoolers a chance to try their hand in a university lab – and audition for roles in China ’s innovation drive. According to an article in the July 14th Science by Jerry Guo, the program involves a partnership between a Chinese University (Fudan) and a US university (MIT) to give selected high school students in China an opportunity to spend an all-expense paid summer in the Research Science Institute at MIT. Applicants faced stiff competition, as only 10% of the top-10 students nominated by more than 30 Shanghai schools were selected for the program. The program is a small step to address a widespread shortcoming in Chinese schools – few lab facilities and little hands-on science instruction. (See

Spain re-engineers faculty hiring processes The Spanish government recently passed legislation doing away with the national examinations required of faculty seeking permanent employment in a Spanish university.  The national examinations will be replaced by review by national commissions who will judge whether candidates are qualified for university appointment, regardless of the number of openings available. Proponents of the bill say that this will provide much needed relief from bureaucracy, while opponents say that this will signal a return to the inbreeding which used to characterize Spanish higher education, reports Francis X. Rocca in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

More on the South Korea scandal – Once again Woo Suk Hwang from South Korea is making headlines, this time admitting that he himself falsified some of the data in one of his published scientific papers.  Dr. Hwang has already been fired from Seoul National University .  He is attempting to form a private laboratory in South Korea , although it is uncertain whether the government will allow him to conduct research in the country, writes Jeffrey R. Young in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

Scientific publishing – Free access to research is proving to be more expensive than hoped, but it is spreading nevertheless. According to an article in the July 1st The Economist, open-access publishing, in which papers are available immediately upon publication, is sweeping the dusty corridors of publishers who traditionally have charged money to people who want to read their journals – even when the papers report results of research bankrolled by taxpayers. But there is a catch – sponsors of research will have to fork over more money to pay for such open access. In the US , a bill has been introduced in Congress to compel all federal agencies to develop public access policies for their funded research, and the National Institutes of Health has thrown its weight behind such a move. In the UK , the Wellcome Trust has gone a step further, compelling researchers to make electronic copies of their papers freely available within six months of publication. The Trust provides its grant holders with extra money to pay charges levied by publishers for such open-access. (See

Colombian academics and students under threats – Concerns are being raised in Colombia as a result of several death threats against university professors and students.  Hugo Hernando Vega, writes Mike Ceaser in The Chronicle of Higher Education, along with his family and advising students, received messages threatening to kill them if they did not leave the country or, in the case of the students, change their advisor.  It is unclear whether the killing of Gustavo Loaiza, a math professor at the University of Antioquia , was related to similar events elsewhere in the country.  (See

More litigation resulting from increased globalization – At a meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys in Chicago attendees heard that globalization is bringing about more overseas legal challenges.  The speaker, Robb Jones, and Mr. Bruce Melton reported on an analysis of 600 lawsuits filed against colleges in the past year.  International lawsuits, requiring defense in foreign countries, are adding to the cost of establishing programs and centers abroad, writes Goldie Blumenstyk in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See


2 - US developments

US higher ed told to increase support for engineering – The second draft of the report of the US Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education was toned down in language, but the findings and recommendations remained by and large strong.  The findings include statements on the continuing importance of higher education in a knowledge-based world, the unacceptably high price of a college education, a broken financial aid system, and curricula which are irrelevant to today’s needs.  Recommendations call for increased spending on science and engineering, more use of information technology, a restructuring of financial aid, and more transparency about university operations, writes Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Ed. (See

Studies crafted to fit defense firms – Prodded by state government officials concerned about alienating a key Massachusetts industry, nine Bay State colleges and universities have agreed to adapt their curricula to meet the needs of defense contractors. According to an article by Robert Weisman in the June 27th Boston Globe, the new focus will be on skills increasingly important to the state’s makers of high tech weapons but in short supply in the job market. These include radio frequency engineering, systems engineering and integration, defense contract management, and specialized design for products used in combat. The defense industry employs 85,000 people in the state. Schools will be adding new courses in these topics, to be offered on campuses, at company sites, and online – to serve both current students and defense workers. (See 

The flattened world of higher education – Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World is Flat, says today’s college students need to learn to be synthesizers, explainers, adaptors, leveragers, localizers, collaborators, personalizers and green developers.  His remarks were made to a large audience of attendees at the “Campus of the Future” meeting in Hawaii .  Friedman claims that India and China will challenge the US supremacy in the world.  But ultimately, he thinks, the entrepreneurial spirit in the US and its systems of government and economics will be its biggest advantage.  According to Friedman, educating students for a future that remains obscure is like “training for the Olympics without knowing which sport you will compete in,” reports Jeffrey Selingo in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Women leave men behind in colleges – A quarter-century after women became the majority on college campuses, men are trailing them in more than enrollment. According to an article in the July 9th New York Times by Tamar Lewin, Department of Education statistics show that men, whatever their race or socioeconomic group, are less likely than women to get bachelor’s degrees. Among those men who do get degrees, fewer complete their degrees in four or five years, and men get worse grades than women. In two national studies, college men reported that they studied less and socialized more than their female classmates. Men currently make up only 42% of the nation’s college students, and with sex discrimination fading and their job opportunities widening, women are coming on much stronger. (See

New powers in giving – Warren Buffett has joined Bill and Melinda Gates to create the world’s biggest charitable foundation. In June, Buffett pledged to donate the bulk of his estimated $44-billion fortune to the charitable foundation created by the only man richer than himself, Bill Gates. According to an article in the July 1st The Economist, this munificence came shortly after Gates announced that he was stepping down from Microsoft to work full time at the foundation which he runs with his wife. Buffett’s donation of $37-billion exceeds the $31-billion Gates has put into the foundation to date – although Gates still has an estimated $50-billion burning a hole in his pocket. To date the Gates Foundation has concentrated on AIDS and poverty in developing countries. (See

Talking the talk, but not walking the walk – Higher education institutions in the US are giving mostly lip service to sustainability rather than incorporating it into their actions, according to speakers at a recent “Campus of the Future” conference held in Honolulu this summer.  Shelly M. Kaplan and Ellen Watts reported the results of a survey of the Boston Consortium member institutions, which together occupy land three times the size of New York ’s Central Park , and account for 60 million square feet of office space.  Of the 1,200 buildings in the Consortium, only six are certified to standards of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED), and many of the institutions had no plans for green buildings in the future, reports Scott Carlson in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Public schools perform near private ones – A report by the US Education Department indicates that children in public schools in the US generally performed as well as or better than comparable children in private schools in reading and mathematics. According to an article in the July 15th New York Times by Diana Jean Schemo, the exception is in eighth-grade reading, where the private school counterparts fared better. The study, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, compares fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores in 2003 from nearly 7000 public schools and more than 530 private schools. (See

US college fined for travel programs to Cuba Augsburg College , a Lutheran institution in Minneapolis (USA) is apparently the first higher education institution in the US to be fined for violating Treasury Department regulations on travel to Cuba .  Officials at Augsburg claim that staff at Treasury had told them that the college did not need to obtain a travel-provider license for religious and humanitarian trips they organized beginning in 1998.  The Treasury originally said the college owed $36,000, one thousand dollars for each of the 36 people who traveled to Cuba on supposedly illegal trips, but college officials were able to negotiate a lower settlement. Another institution, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , had $50,000 taken by the Treasury Department, only to be returned later, because the government said it was illegal to maintain a bank account in a Communist nation, even to pay for international exchanges.  In the absence of legal institutional means for conducting banking, UNC-Chapel Hill has been reduced to paying bills for their Cuba programming by hand carrying cash, writes Burton Bollag in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

Prominent US engineering educator dies – Late in June, Denice Denton, chancellor of the University of California at Santa Cruz and former dean of engineering at the University of Washington died after leaping off the roof of an apartment building in San Francisco .  Denton , an MIT graduate in electrical engineering, had been chancellor for only sixteen months.  Her tenure was marked by controversies over military recruiting on campus, and she was one of the harsh critics of former Harvard president Lawrence Summers’s remarks about women’s suitability for math and science. In addition, her compensation package from the University of California had been highlighted in the media as an example of undisclosed special deals.  Pressure caused her to take a short medical leave at the end of the academic year, but she was scheduled to return to her post, reported Paul Fain in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See


3 - Technology

$100 laptops: necessary but not sufficient  – While projects such as the $100 laptop often make the headlines these days, it is becoming increasingly obvious that hardware in itself will not solve the problems of developing countries, reports Brock Read in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Internet connectivity and scholarly content are another two components of a more comprehensive approach to using technology to strengthen Africa .  Six leading American foundations have joined to create the Bandwidth Initiative, which focuses on providing discounted rates for broadband Internet access to about 20 African universities which otherwise would face prohibitively high costs. The hope of the foundations is that pressure will be put on local providers and governments to press for cheaper rates across Africa .  In addition, the Mellon Foundation is supporting JSTOR, an archive of scholarly publications, to cut its subscription fee to a level that enables developing countries to access their documents at an affordable price. Complementing JSTOR is Aluka, also supported by the Mellon Foundation, a compilation of scholarship coming from the developing world.  (See

Urban wireless network use – Taipei has installed an extensive wireless network across the city, part of a plan to turn itself into an international technology hub. But according to an article in the June 26th New York Times by Ken Belson, few of Taipei’s 2.6-million residents have been willing to pay the $12.50 monthly fee to access it. With 4100 hot spot access points reaching 90% of the population, just 40,000 residents have signed up since the service began in January. Several US cities are building similar networks – Chicago, Philadelphia and dozens of others. The current business model, paid subscriptions, appears to be a deterrent for users. Some cities plan to adopt a different business model, based on free access with advertising. (See

University press revived in digital model Rice University is relaunching its Rice University Press, a money-losing venture that went out of business 10 years ago. According to an article by Rebecca Buckman in the July 13th Wall Street Journal, the new press will solicit and edit manuscripts the old-fashioned way, but will post works online at a new Web site where people can read a full copy of the book free. They can also order a regular bound copy from an on-demand printer, at far less cost than picking up the book in a store. The press is being provided through Connexions, the Rice Web-publishing platform founded in 1999 by a Rice engineering professor, which offers free downloadable educational course materials on everything from electrical engineering to music theory. A royalty plan for authors is being worked out, although often university professors who publish through campus presses get compensated by promotion and tenure with only modest royalties. (See

US Defense Department was reading students’ e-mails – Recently released documents show that the US Department of Defense was reading e-mail sent by university students in spring of 2005, when protests against on-campus military recruiting were being planned to express rejection of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on sexual orientation.  Under scrutiny were students at the State University of New York at Albany , the University of California at Berkeley and Southern Connecticut State University, among others.  An important question is whether the messages were intercepted in transmission or obtained through other means, writes Samantha Henig in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

UK return to the atomic age – The UK government wants new nuclear power plants, in order to meet a looming energy supply crunch. According to an article in the July 15th The Economist, old nuclear and coal plants are going off line, and relying on more gas fired plants is not viable given current high prices of gas and oil. In addition, climate change concerns – that carbon emissions are hurting the environment – have caught the public’s eye. In a recent poll, a high percentage of UK people agreed with the statement: “It is vital to build more nuclear power stations if we are to help to minimize climate change without cutting back sharply on the amount of electricity we use”. (See


4 - Students, faculty, education

Changing face of engineering education – Many national reports over the past several years have recommended significant changes in engineering education, but many engineering schools have been slow to respond to criticisms and recommendations. According to an article in the Summer 2006 issue of The Bridge by Lisa Lattuca et al, deans at many colleges of engineering argued that rigid accreditation standards focused on curricular requirements were hindering their efforts to make needed changes. ABET responded with its new outcomes-based criteria, EC2000. This article describes a formal evaluation of the impacts of EC2000, conducted by the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State, commissioned by ABET. It reviews changes in programs, changes in student experiences, changes in learning outcomes, and employers’ views of change. The study concludes that graduates in 2004 were measurably better than their counterparts a decade earlier in nine learning areas that were assessed – including understanding of societal and global issues, the ability to apply engineering skills, teamwork, and the appreciation of ethics and professional issues. (See

Researchers burdened by bureaucracy – A study called the Faculty Burden Survey has reported that scientists spend 42% of their research time on administrative work.  And for engineering professors, much of that time was consumed in filing patent claims.  The most burdensome tasks for all these researchers involved writing progress reports, employing people, and running lab finances.  9,200 researchers participated in this survey at least in part, with 6,083 participating fully.  The problem is not located solely in the US : governments around the world demand time-consuming accountability.  The result, according to Sam Kean’s report in The Chronicle of Higher Education, is that in the US more young researchers are turning to jobs in industry rather than the academy.  (See

Preparing engineering faculty as educators – When engineering faculty members begin teaching, many are not fully prepared for their role as educators. In a paper in the Summer 2006 issue of The Bridge, Susan Ambrose and Marie Norman address several questions germane to the task of preparing engineering faculty to educate students effectively: is there a consensus that engineering faculty members need better preparation in this area; if so what do they need to know to function more effectively; and how would academic institutions have to change for faculty to function more effectively as educators. The paper addresses understanding the learning process, building skills for effective course design, and conditions necessary for change. (See

Harvard report calls for support for interdisciplinary initiatives – An interdisciplinary team of Harvard University faculty has issued a revolutionary report calling for changes in the fundamental power structure of the university in order to promote innovation in teaching and learning in science and technology, reports Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed.  The report proposes the creation of 75 interdisciplinary faculty slots to be managed by a committee rather than individual departments.  Recommendations also call for first year graduate students to be supported outside of departments, to permit them to explore interdisciplinary paths early in their careers. And traditional undergraduate science lectures should be replaced by hands-on lab work and projects.  (See

Report calls for national foreign student recruiting effort in US – Nafsa: Association of International Educators has issued a report ( “Restoring U.S. Competitiveness for International Students and Scholars,” which includes a list of recommendations intended to improve the attractiveness of the US to students seeking higher education.  Citing statistics that show the significant drop in foreign student enrollments since September, 2001, and pointing to growth of foreign student enrollments in countries such as the Britain , the report calls urgently for better coordination between the federal departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Education and State.  Nafsa also recommends that visa applicants not have to prove their intent to return home after their studies are completed, and that tourist visas be available for use for short-term study in the US .  Some of the issues raised in the report are being debated in the US Congress in its comprehensive look at immigration laws, writes Burton Bollag in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

MBA programs seek big picture – Integrated, cross-functional, multidisciplinary – these are the popular buzzwords for how some academics and corporate recruiters believe schools should redesign their MBA curricula. According to an article in the July 11th Wall Street Journal by Ronald Alsop, the intent is to break out of academic silos like finance, accounting, marketing and operations, and teach students to take the big picture of how those functions blend together in business. Some schools are taking bold steps toward a more integrated curriculum, while other are more cautiously creating a single capstone course that attempts to pull everything together near the end of the MBA program. (See

US financial aid cut for online learning coming from foreign shores – US students may no longer use federal financial aid to pay for enrolling in online education programs offered by foreign institutions, according to the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005, writes Dan Carnevale in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  While federal financial aid is still available for students studying abroad, courses from overseas offered through television or computer transmission no longer qualify for federal financial aid.  Courses delivered in traditional modes with distance learning supplements are not affected.  (See


5 – Employment, competitiveness

Focus on innovation – Cost cutting and manufacturing efficiency have been a main concern for companies like John Deere, but research spending as a route to innovation has not been cut. According to an article in the July 17th Wall Street Journal by Carol Hymowitz, innovation is the latest management mantra for a growing list of CEO’s, particularly at big established companies who for years have fixated on reducing budgets. With just-in-time inventory, outsourcing and other cost-squeezing measures now widespread, executives know their companies must become more creative to capture customers in the global market. (See

China and India lure corporate research centers – Long considered cost-saving havens for companies’ call-centers and back-office staff, India and China are now attracting the research labs of some of the world’s biggest companies. According to an article in the July 13th Wall Street Journal by Megha Rajagopalan, one survey of 186 top companies found that more than three-quarters of research and development sites planned through 2007 are slated for India and China . The eastward migration of R&D has been picking up for more than three decades, but has accelerated tremendously in the past few years. A recent survey revealed that about 31% of R&D employees world-wide will work in India or China by the end of next year, up from 19% in 2004. While cost is a primary motive, physical proximity to factories and target consumers are also important factors in locating R&D facilities. (See

UK company comes home from India – Powergen, an energy company which is part of the German E.ON, has decided to close its Indian call centers after five years, according to an on-line article which appeared on June 16.  The company employs a total of 5,000 workers and has six million domestic customers.  Officials cite the need to maintain customer satisfaction in making their decision to replace 450 jobs in India with a new group of 980 specially trained staff in the UK .  (See

Post-college interns get jump on jobs – Career coaches say that post-college internships can be a good way for employers and recent graduates to test each other out. According to an article in the June 27th Wall Street Journal by Erin White, many employers are happy to hire cheap and eager recent grads as interns, and some college seniors see internships as a low-risk way to try a career or to get their foot in the door of a highly competitive field. To convert an internship into a regular job, coaches advise hard work and networking. (See


6 – Journals

Issues in Science and Technology – The Summer 2006 issue focuses on Energy Conundrums. Articles include: “New Nukes”, “Nuclear Waste and the Distant Future”, “Power Play: a More Reliable US Electric System”, “Natural Gas: the Next Energy Crisis”, and “The Myth of Energy Insecurity”. Additional articles discuss he US health care system, the Pentagon’s defense review, and preparing for pandemic flu. (See

European Journal of Engineering Education – The August 2006 journal is a special issue on Global ICT Strategies in Engineering Education, edited by Anders Hagstrom and Jean Michel. Articles cover learning content management systems, ICT-aided engineering courses, instructional technology research, computer-assisted learning, student understanding, distance education, tellecommunication engineering, and assessment of engineering design projects. (See


7 – Meetings

SEFI annual meeting in Uppsala – The 34th annual conference of the European Society for Engineering Education was held in Uppsala, Sweden from June 28 through July 1, 2006. The theme of the meeting was “Engineering Education and Active Students”. A major plenary session of interest featured representatives from major European industries describing what their companies look for in engineering graduates today. Frank Stefan Becker of Siemans discussed “Generation 21: What markets require, what active students can do, and how companies can help them”. He noted several current market forces: customers want holistic solutions, not components; the need to design to cost; and the need to have corporate presence in the local market. He listed several elements that industry wants in graduate engineers: trainee/internship experience, preferably abroad; engagement in non-university activities, to gain soft skills; project management skills; presentation skills, to non-experts; and teamwork skills. Billy Fredericksson of Saab added to the discussion by noting that products today are complex, requiring interdisciplinary approaches; that systems integration is a key skill needed for complex system design; and that lifeling learning is a necessity. (See

Civil Engineering triennial in London – The Institution of Civil Engineers UK hosted a conference on “Safety, Security and Sustainability: Can Engineers Rise to the Global Challenge” in London, during 3-4 July 2006. It brought together civil engineers from the UK, the US and Canada in one of a series of triennial conferences involving engineers from the three countries. The opening address was by Lord Alec Broers, President of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. He noted that safety, security and sustainability of the human race are in the hands of engineers. Technologies have shaped the way we live, according t Broers, and current technical marvels are the result of collaborations between engineers to utilize combinations of basic technologies. He cited the current major challenge to engineers: to utilize technologies for the needs of man, while protecting the environment. The conference culminated with adoption of a protocol for engineering, which committed the three sponsoring organizations to turn their commitment to sustainable development into practical and beneficial outcomes in civil engineering practice. (See  

UICEE Conference in Brooklyn – The UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education held its 5th Global Conference on Engineering Education at the Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York, from 17-21 July 2006. Sessions covered innovation and best practice in engineering education, new trends and approaches in engineering education, the use of ICT in engineering education, and research and development activities in engineering education. (See



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