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Re: Engineering Education & Professional Pra

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Roger makes some good points.  I agree that the curriculum established by
the professors and the needs of the "clients" are often at odds.

Basically,  a  University,  School  Of  Engineering,  Civil  or  Structural
Department  has  options  when  presenting  a  degree  program.  Should the
program  prepare  the students for productive employment in the real world,
employment   in   the   research   world,   or  continued  education  on  a
masters/doctorate  track?   Many  programs try to address all three, or two
out of three.  At the same time, they are being pressured by the University
to reduce the required units for a degree.

Some  universities try to prepare students for productive employment in the
real  world  by  employing  practicing  engineers  to  teach the real world
"design" classes.  I know, because I teach or have taught undergraduate and
graduate   level   Structural   Steel  Design  classes  at  two  California
universities  for  just  that  reason.   My  students still need real world
experience to be really productive, but I like to think they'll progress to
that  point  faster  because  they  were  taught be a practicing Structural
Engineer.   Yes,  they  even  see  connection  design  in  my undergraduate
classes, lots of them.

If  you  a  practicing  engineer  and ever have the opportunity to teach an
undergraduate  or  graduate  level  structural  design  course, jump at the
chance.   Not  only  will  the class preparation force you to really become
knowledgeable  about  the topic, the students will be better prepared to do
"real world" design for their employer.

Rick Drake, SE
Fluor Daniel, Aliso Viejo, CA



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