Making the Case for Engineering

:
(CASE) Study and Recommendations

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

An opportunity to improve and better position engineering to the public, media, Congress, and other governmental organizations.

Making the case for Engineering
Task Force to strategize how ENG can better define and communicate its role in enabling the Nation’s future through research, education and innovation.
Members: KEN CHONG, CMS [CHAIR] CHERYL ALBUS, DMII FIL BARTOLI, ECS CHARLES BLUE, OAD DELCIE DURHAM, DMII DARREN DUTTERER, OAD BRUCE HAMILTON, BES SUE KEMNITZER, EEC GLENN LARSEN, OAD [SECRETARY]

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

Why the Case is Needed
• Poor success rates impact ENG funding of projects that can have a positive impact on the quality of life. • Perception of engineers – prestige is lower than scientists, teachers, and policemen. • Engineering pipeline – example, in a recent interview (May 2005), Bill Gates announced that Microsoft had to go outside the US for engineers as America’s supply could not keep up with demand.

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century (by order of impact)
1. Electrification 2. Automobile 3. Airplane 4. Water Supply and Distribution 5. Electronics 6. Radio and Television 7. Agricultural Mechanization 8. Computers 9. Telephone 10. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration 11. Highways 12. Spacecraft 13. Internet 14. Imaging 15. Household Appliances 16. Health Technologies 17. Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies 18. Laser and Fiber Optics 19. Nuclear Technologies 20. High-performance Materials

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

Funding can have an impact on future achievements. NAE, 2003

FY 2004 NSF Directorate Success Rates (Research Grants)
40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%
SF N PP O G EO M PS R H E O BI E SB G N E * E IS C

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

*Does not include SBIR/STTR

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 61 55 53 46 41 34 34 26 25 23 20 19 18 18 17 16

Public Perceptions of Engineering
Harris Interactive Prestige of Various Professions 1998

Do ct or Sc ien tis t Te ac he r M ini st er Po lic En e gin ee r M ilit ar y Ar ch Co ite ct ng re ss m an La wy er At hl En ete te rta Bu i sin ner es sm an Ba nk Ac er co un Un ta nt ion Le ad er Jo ur na lis t

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• How can we better educate the general public and policy makers (e.g. OMB and the Congress) about the role of engineering and ENG? • How can we get the engineering communities (in government, academe, and industry) to help make the case for moving ENG forward? • How can we better focus ENG’s portfolio of funding of research and education in order to move ENG forward? • What partnerships are needed in order to move ENG forward? • Are the engineering communities being effectively served by NSF? If not, what needs to change? How can we better communicate w/ them? • Based on feedback from the AD/ENG the charge was modified to reflect an “outreach” oriented

Task Force Charge

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

Internal Recommendations
National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

• Develop a formal mechanism to support Public Understanding of Engrg programs within ENG • Support and expand linkages with the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs • Ensure NSF adopts the terms “engineering” and “innovation” appropriately and pervasively • Work with SRS to ensure engineering is addressed specifically in attitude surveys • Expand NSF-communications through ENG Distinguished Lecture Series • Make “outreach” a stronger element of the “Broader Impacts” section of proposals.

External Recommendations
National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

• Fund research on how to improve the public messages and outreach programs • Sponsor workshops and conferences on public understanding to help unify engineering community behind messages • Support and catalyze engineering community-wide outreach activities and cultivate a young, exciting “voice” or spokesperson for engineering • Work with engineering societies to promote engineering with a unified voice • Work with engineering community to communicate and promote the recommendations from (Engineer of 2020, Innovate America, Assessing the Capacity) • Catalyze effort to add “engineering” as a formal category for the Nobel Prize

ENG AdComm Liaisons
• Joan F. Brennecke • Legand L. Burge, Jr. • Patricia D. Galloway • Richard Miller • Cherri Pancake • Jacquelyn (Jackie) Sullivan • Judy Vance

National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

Making the Case: Report
• • • Perception of engineering by the public is the number one issue for “Making the Case” that ENG needs to address. Change the name of NSF to include “Engineering” Fund ENG research on: – What “engineering messages” would resonate most effectively with young (K-12) peer groups – What “engineering messages” would be welcoming to broader, more diverse audiences Support the development of AP courses (curriculum and pedagogy that are more welcoming to diversity) in engineering. Encourage the engineering societies to form larger coalitions to address outreach challenges.
National Science Foundation – Directorate for Engineering

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