American Society of Civil Engineers

Civil Engineering Evolution

by Hal Kassoff, M.ASCE, (Administrator, Maryland State Hwy. Administration, 707 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202), Alan Shute, (Manager, Special Proj., Maryland State Hwy. Administration, 707 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD), and Linda Singer, (Special Asst. to the Administrator, Maryland State Hwy. Administration, 707 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD)

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 119, No. 1, January 1993, pp. 8-13, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper discusses the demands on civil engineers in the future and how the skills required of top-quality professionals will be very different from those required in the past. The profession needs to be able to cultivate top-quality students with varied backgrounds and be able to recruit from a diverse demographic pool of college graduates and a changing workforce. In addition to traditional technical knowledge, these professionals will need a strong background in people skills. To meet these demands, the profession must refocus its recruitment and outreach strategies to create an approach that is people-oriented, innovative, and technically sophisticated. It must aim at students who are first starting to formulate ideas about their future, so they can get the training that they will need to compete and fulfill the needs of the profession. The TRAC (transportation and civil engineering) program, outlined in the paper addresses these challenges by focusing on bright young students as early as junior-high-school age and uses techniques that stress the skills that these potential professional engineers will need. TRAC nurtures these students through school with age- and grade-appropriate techniques, including help with math and science skills (stressing profession-related applications), a mentoring system, a summer-jobs exchange, job opportunity information, and an electronic bulletin board informational network.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Professional development
Engineering education