Effect of the Space Age on the Engineering Profession

by R. W. Johnson,


Serial Information: Journal of the Professional Activities, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 1, Pg. 9-14


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: The space age has created many problems for the professional engineer by increasing the demand for engineers, by accelerating the rate of technical obsolescence, by merging the role of scientist and engineer and by creating greater management responsibilities. Analysis of these problems indicates that more and better educated engineers will be needed in the space industry in coming years. Although, the trend is to curricula emphasizing engineering science and interdisciplanary subjects, our rapidly expanding technology will require the engineer to continue his practical education in his field. The specialized areas of space technology tend to serge scientific and engineering positions so that the work of one overlaps that of the other to the dissatisfaction of both. The challenges presented to the engineer are greater than ever before; this stimulus acts as a powerful motivation to continued professional growth. Additionally, increasing attention must be given to the training and development of engineering managers and administrators. This area of professional development cannot be considered as solely evolutionary, but must be taught and developed in the engineer, who will frequently be required to perform in areas in which both engineers and scientists are associated, thus complicating management.

Subject Headings: Aerospace engineering | Professional development | Engineering education | Industries | Curricula | Motivation | Training

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