Engineering Education: Can It be More Practical—

by Robert W. Richards, (F.ASCE), Assoc.; Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, Atlanta, Georgia,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1975, Vol. 45, Issue 7, Pg. 60-61

Document Type: Feature article


U.S. engineering schools were derailed after World War II by some well-meaning educators who decided future engineers should be patterned after physicists and aero-space scientists. Post-war neo-engineering, sometimes called engineering science, has slowly but surely displaced traditional courses in graphics, field surveys, materials testing, etc. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are slanted toward research. At last, practitioners are telling the world that the product of an engineering-science curriculum is ill-prepared for practice. To educate for practice, universities should: restore civil engineering fundamentals to the curriculum; emphasize flexibility; relegate courses in engineering management to a post-graduate program; encourage educators and practitioners to divide their time between education and practice; develop an alternative to tenure.

Subject Headings: Engineering education | Aerospace engineering | Field tests | Material tests | Curricula | Engineering profession | Graphic methods | Geomatic surveys

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