Influencing Engineering Education: One (Aerospace) Industry Perspective

John H. McMasters
Ed Wells Initiative, The Boeing Company
Seattle WA 98124-2207, USA

The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the steps that we within the broader technical community (industry, government and academe) can and should take to assure an adequate future supply of well-prepared engineering graduates for the full range of employers who have need for such talent. While presented from an aerospace industry perspective, and thus from that of a `mature industry’ (at least in some major traditional product areas), it is believed that the issues to be addressed have far wider relevance, because the evolution of engineering (and specifically design) practice in the `airplane business’ provides a lens for discerning future trends and requirements for both university and post-employment engineering education programs. Although much has been accomplished in the past decade to enhance engineering education, we, as both educators and practitioners, have much to do to cooperatively create a strong and vivid vision of our future and assure the proper development of a future generation of engineers with the skills and motivation to meet society’s needs in our always evolving and ever-volatile enterprise.


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