American Society of Civil Engineers

Should Conversion to SI System Continue to be Debated?

by Autar K. Kaw, (Assoc. Prof., Mech. Engrg. Dept., ENB 118, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620-5350) and Melissa Daniels, (Student, Mech. Engrg. Dept., ENB 118, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL)

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 122, No. 2, April 1996, pp. 69-72, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Discussion: by R. Attwood    (See full record)
Closure:(See full record)
Abstract: Ninety five percent of the world’s population uses the international system of units—Système International (SI). However, we continue to debate converting to the international system of units in the United States. In this paper, a comprehensive list is presented of the advantages of the SI system. We then give the reasons why we need to convert to the SI system of units. A few major corporations in the United States have already made the changeover to the SI system, but the general population is still reluctant to make the change from U.S. customary units. Studying these conflicting issues simultaneously is important in the implementation of the SI system, if enforced in our country. We have also enumerated the ways we can progress toward the changeover. These ways include learning from the experiences of our own failed effort of the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 and study how other countries made the successful changeover in recent decades.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Metric systems
International factors
Economic factors