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RE: Engineering Education & Professional Pra

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BHW: Thanks Roger, I feel you always give considered responses. I'll jump on
your bandwagon with a few comments sprinkled in below.

snip....

Barry,

The University of Arizona Civil Engineering Department apparently conducted
a
survey several years ago both among its faculty and among practicing
professionals.  The results from the two groups, if not diametrically
opposite, showed a huge difference in what each group felt was important.
You probably can get some specific information from the head of the
department, Dr. Juan Valdes (jvaldes(--nospam--at)u.arizona.edu).

BHW:  I'd like to see what this is about.

It is my opinion that the practicing professional's job is not to train
recent graduates in basic engineering design and that a new graduate should
be familiar with design codes for concrete, steel, wood, and masonry,
whether
or not the design codes are in a model code or separate.

BHW:  When I went to school (University of Connecticut), I remember this
controversy. Is it the University's responsibility to "train" or to educate.
Leave the "training" to the individual office because it is dependant on how
offices choose to practice. Fair enough I say, but I also agree with you
about familiarity with design codes and working examples. Recently I read a
mission statement for a university which indicated it was their belief that
education was to prepared the student to develop the necessary analytical
and technical skills in professional practice.

When I last taught, it was a class in advanced reinforced concrete design.
I
gave them an assignment to design some concrete beams to get an indication
of
their background and knowledge.  I was appalled that they could not design a
concrete beam without iterating from now until doomsday and had never seen
ACI 318 or another code.

BHW:  My most memorable teachers during my college education were
practitioners. They brought the rubber to the road.

If we think of universities as industries that are supposed to provide a
marketable product (students) and if the universities cannot produce a
product that can minimally do design, then the university is not doing its
job properly.

BHW: In some instances yes. My point is we may need to speak to this issue
to make any impact.

In a word, yes, I think that practitioners should have a say in the means
and methods used to educate students.  If the practitioner is going to have
to
re-educate graduates, why not hire someone without a college education so
that we will not have to be faced with the "unlearning" of taught material.

BHW:  I'm with you. I'm just trying to figure out how we become effective in
voicing our concerns.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Barry Welliver wrote:

. > This forum is perhaps slanted toward the latter, however we all have
. > experienced the former.

. > Is it appropriate for practitioners to have any serious influence on the
. > "means and methods" established by schools to educate students?

. > My impression is that schools tend to feel comfortable off-loading
design
. > tasks to employers, which is fine to a point, but can become an
impediment
. > if taken to an extreme. I realize this discussion may evolve into a pros
. > and cons of specific schools, but what I'm really interested in is
. > whether or not professionals feel they have any specific way to address
. > this issue to schools.

. > Thanks for your thoughts

. > Barry H. Welliver

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