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Re: Continuing Professional Development

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>Both in the US and India, I have seen
>wide variation in the quality of professional development courses
>being offered by universities.
The way to provide continuing education is to have the profession itself 
responsible for the coursework. College is great--wouldn't have missed 
it, but academics don't focus on what's happening in the field--the 
building code and professional certification issues under discussion here 
are two examples of professional matters that universities can't handle. 
Finite element analysis is another. The University of Minnesota can 
provide me with a belly full of excellent theoretical courses on FEA but 
nothing to tell me how to use it as a professional--what are the 
liability issues, how do I fit FEA into my design cycle, what to do about 
validation and problem checking.

The real issue in continuing ed is keeping up with tools and techniques, 
not expanding one's theoretical grasp, important as that is. The ASME has 
begun some action in the professional development area, and I daresay so 
has the ASCE. My feeling is that organizing such efforts should be a 
joint effort between the engineering registration boards and the 
technicla societies. Academia can help, but there's more to it than 
additional college. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)