Explore the future of engineering technology - Technical.ly DC

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Oct. 5, 2017 11:58 am

Explore the future of engineering technology

The Engineering Technology Leaders Institute returns for its 42nd event in Arlington.

The Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, where the event will be held.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

As it starts to head toward its 50th year, an event that looks at engineering technology is looking toward the next half-century.

Tonight marks the start of the 42nd annual Engineering Technology Leaders Institute event, which will be held Oct. 5-6 by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. The conference will focus on the theme of “Looking Toward the Future: The Next 50 years,” bringing in a number of speakers to talk about accreditation and education issues, as well as how to interact with lawmakers.

The conference will open on Thursday night with a session on ABET, an organization that provides certification for engineering programs. The session will look to inform attendees about the Academic Councils that ABET maintains, and to allow them to provide feedback on the accreditation process. After that, dinner will be served and the Engineering Technology Council will provide an update on their activities, discuss issues they have faced and talk about how to be actively involved in the organization.

Friday features an opening plenary session, as well as three additional sessions on various topics and a talk and discussion over lunch. The plenary talk features guest speaker Timothy Ryan, congressman for Ohio and one of the chairs of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus. After a brief break Bevlee Watford, the President of ASEE will address the conference attendees as the keynote speaker. Over lunch on Friday Tom Hall, Vice Chair of Operations for the Engineering Technology Accreditaion Comission, will speak about the proposed changes that that organization plans to make to two of its criteria to make its assessments more manageable for engineering technology programs.

After the event will have a presentation of several major issues in engineering technology. At the last annual conference ASEE identified several issues that it wanted to address, including:

  • How to attract more minority students
  • How to best fund and provide resources for its programs.
  • How to standardize registration of graduates as professionals across the nation.

Volunteers formed teams to address this issue, and now these teams will report on their progress and look to add more members to the teams so that progress on these issues can continue.

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The final session will offer attendees the tips for interacting with lawmakers, including tips on when and how to engage with lawmakers and their staff, and what message advocates should have to maximize their chance to succeed. A final event on Friday evening will provide takeaways from all the sessions.

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Grace Ballenger

Grace Ballenger is a recent graduate from Wellesley College who has written for Slate and The Tempest. She enjoys writing about technology, language and culture.

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