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RE: Future Generations of Engineers

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>I actually like the engineering path to licensure MUCH better than
>what lawyers do (at least my understanding of it) and to a certain degree
>better than what doctors do.
Some lawyers (at least) get to clerk for judges, which I understand is 
very hard, low paid work, but a good introduction to the practice of law. 
Check <>

>(i.e. non-related general interst courses and
>pre-pre-pre-requisite courses such as math and physics in engineering
Interesting. My first two years included 3 quarters of pre-calculus math, 
3 quarters of chemistry, 3 quarters of physics, 2 quarters of economics, 
2 quarters of history, 4 quarters of drafting and descriptive geometry, 5 
quarters of english composition, literature and speaking, 3 quarters of 
calculus and 1 quarter each of strength of materials, statics, surveying, 
engineering orientation and fundamentals of logic. The math, physics, 
chemistry and mechanics met 5 times a week, the rest 3 times a week. So I 
took 18 hours a week except for two quarters where I was taking 20. I 
sure think all that coursework was very important both for technical 
instruction and general personal cultivation, particularly the English 
courses. Are things that much different now?

>I don't buy the need for more formal education for engineering students
>because I don't feel that it is the role of universities to graduate fully
>prepared, profficient engineers.
I really do agree. If that didn't come across in my post, I'll say it 
now. I was a co-op and that was probably the most valuable professional 
training I got. In fact working in a couple of engineering offices was 
what got me to switch from Aero Engineering to Engineering Mechanics when 
I was a junior. I didn't know it at the time, but that was probably the 
most important career decision I ever made, and I owe Dan Pletta (EM 
Department head) a great debt for the help he gave me in making the 

>I just don't see adding a required
>masters degree as fixing such a problem.
Absolutely agreed. The problem I see with MS and PhD level coursework is 
that it becomes increasingly narrow. No offense, but think that most 
engineering departments which focus on graduate work would prefer that 
all their students be so specialized that they would graduate knowing 
everything about nothing. As opposed to the B Ad department who would 
like their graduates to have such a broad education that they graduate 
knowing nothing about everything. ;-> 

Of course people like J. P. Den Hartog are the exception to the above. 
I've mentioned it before but it's worth emphasizing. Here's a marvellous 
Here's another set of bios 

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

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