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HA board. "Technology in New Dean of En
I refer the Committee to Dr. Edward Friedman, Dean of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, who is chairman of the CUTHA board. I would like to see a government representative on that board of directors because that would lend a great deal of credence to the important point of bringing increased understanding of technology in human affairs to all of our population.
As an individual engineer, and speaking for the industrial sector also, I want to say how much we appreciate what has been done over the years by NSF and other agencies, and we sincerely appreciate the difficulties in sustaining high levels of support year in and year out as political and economic climates change.
Notwithstanding, my recommendations are first, to continue to provide graduate fellowships in the engineering disciplines. Second, to continue a high level of support for R. & D. via NSF and the mission agencies because after all, basic research feeds engineering.
Third, I should like to suggest that we reinstate the NSF program to provide financial aid for undergraduate laboratory equipment. Fourth, I should like to suggest that we make it attractive to the private sector to get involved in direct grants to universities for R. & D., equipment donations and fellowships. By attractive, I mean through some designed tax relief. I'm not an attorney. I'm an engineer. So, I cannot be more specific than that.
Fifth, I would like you to lend your influence and prestige to change the salary structure affecting government-employed engineers. We have all been aware of the brain drain of qualified engineers from government. It is essential to have top flight engineers, particularly in the defense sectors, working with industry, if we are to keep healthy and alive.
Lastly, I would again request that you support, along with industry, this exciting new endeavor known as CUTHA. We should have a government official on the CUTHA board and perhaps modestly help contribute to the new organization's budget, which is being put together right now.
We have asked for your help, but I want you to understand that we in industry and academe are taking our responsibilities very seriously. We know, at least, that industry must be more involved in the educational process than we are now. It is my task in town here for the next 2 years to provide some creative solutions, some ideas how we can work together in a better way.
It may even be that a major restructuring of the educational system will be required. I referred to that earlier when I said attitudes and images must change. This is a point of active debate in my profession, and we don't have all the answers at the moment. But, it is as partners, each contributing to the goal of maintaining quality engineering manpower, in discrete and combined ways, that we will meet our needs and our collective obligation to the quality of life in this country.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and members of this committee.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Geils follows.]
John W. Geils
The following testimony is in support of the request that funds be appropriated and government effort be dedicated to assist a fast-evolving team effort between industry and academe to improve the quantity and quality of engineering education in the United States.
My name is John Warren Geils, and I am Staff Executive of the American Society for Engineering Education, on loan from AT&T Co., where I was Director, Network Department Administration. For 40 years I have been with the Bell System in the continuous practice of engineering development and design and engineering management.
I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to testify today, as I believe very strongly in the necessity of government partnership with industry and academe if we are to impact the current deteriorating engineering manpower situation.
A month ago I came to Washington to lead a two-year project funded by eight major U.S. corporations (AT&T Co., du Pont, Exxon, General Electric, General Motors, General Telephone & Electronics, IBM and Union Carbide) to take positive action to solve the engineering college faculty shortage problem. In addition to the eight corporate sponsors, I am receiving strong moral and organizational support from key colleges and universities and all of the professional and technical societies including both the American Association of Engineering Societies which represents 39 societies and institutes and the National Society of Professional Engineers.
The impact of technology on the American economy and on American living is relentless: every day our lives are affected in some new way by the increasingly complex applications of innovative technology to our industrial and domestic tools, transportation systems, agricultural and water systems, defense systems, communication systems, energy systems, etc. The key point, of course, is that these applications are the work of engineers -- not scientists. The engineer applies the new knowledge created by scientists in a practical way via designs of new and improved structures, products and services. Thus, as technology multiplies, increasing quantities of quality engineers are vital to the nation's well-being. We are in a recognized productivity slump and only engineering effort can pull us out. Last October I chaired a two-day engineering personnel and productivity conference in Houston, TX., attended by well over 100 eminent engineers from all parts of our country. We had a three-hour session on computer-aided design and manufacturing, and quite naturally invited an engineer from Nippon Electric Co. in Tokyo to address the computer-aided manufacturing issues since the Japanese are way ahead of us in robotics and computer controlled machining. The company's Engineering Director came to the conference also and told me at lunch that when he explains to his engineers about obsolete manufacturing tools and methods he simply authorize his people to take a brief trip to the U.S. and visit almost any plant to see for themselves what obsolescence is all about!
A systems engineering approach tells us that there are inadequacies in every element of the American engineering education system, and, as in most systems, all elements are codependent. By this I mean every element affects the next; e.g., if a faculty person is overburdened by large class sizes, his or her effectiveness and efficiency degrades and the quality of teaching goes down. Not only does teaching suffer, but time available for research and/or consulting is affected. At this point our faculty person no longer is a good role model for students to continue in graduate school to Ph.D. level which is the key to filling future faculty posts, and a turned-off B.S. candidate looks elsewhere for a career -- to industry or government or private practice, but not to teaching. Our faculty person now has fewer teaching assistants to help with the load since gradu
ments are down significantly and the already overworked professor works a little harder and longer, and quality suffers another decline. Meanwhile, the demand from industry steadily increases, normal competition sets in, and starting salary rates go up -- a current average figure is $25,000 for a B.S., more than many associate and assistant professors earn. University administrations panic and limit undergraduate enrollments. The supply worsens. The system is on the verge of self-destruction in much the same way as a malfunctioning engine governor lets the RPM's increase well beyond the "red line", and the engine destroys itself. And, we haven't even mentioned antiquated laboratory equipment and teaching tools!
I have been in constant contact with major corporate recruiters and we are in agreement that the recruitment, education and utilization elements of the process all need attention. Before this year is out, my company alone will have recruited over 7,000 college graduates. About 2,000 will be technically trained (engineers and computer scientists). We could use more. Some of my corporate colleagues have begun massive programs of aid. On September 17th of this year, Exxon announced a $15 million grant to 66 schools to provide living expenses to graduate students and salary supplements to faculty. Other companies have announced similar programs or have them in preparation. It has been estimated that it will take one quarter billion dollars a year to fix and maintain the colleges' laboratory equipment and hardware problems.
But, we can't do it alone! Before giving specific recommendations, let me say that I believe every sector of our economy, including government, has an obligation to educate the general public on the importance of technology in American life. Living in today's society means being technologically unafraid and adequately informed. Government must join industry and academe in a true partnership if we are to apply a systems engineering approach to solving the engineering education problem.
As an individual engineer and speaking for the industrial sector also, I want to say how much we appreciate what has been done over the years by NSF and other programs, and we sincerely appreciate the difficulties in sustaining high levels of support year in and year out as political and economic climates change.
Continue a high level of support for R&D via NSF and
3. Reinstate the NSF program to provide financial aid for
undergraduate laboratory equipment.
Make it attractive to the private sector to get involved in direct grants to universities for R&D, equipment donations and fellowships.
Lend your influence and prestige to change the salary
Support along with industry an exciting new endeavor known
We have asked for your help, but I want you to understand that we in industry and academe are taking our responsibility very seriously. We know at least that industry must be more involved in the educational process than we are now. It may even be that major restructuring of the educational system will be required: this is a point of active debate in our profession at this time. But it is as partners, each contributing to the goal of maintaining quality en
neering manpower supply in discrete and combined ways that we will meet our needs and our collective obligation to the quality of life in this country.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee.
Mr. FUQUA. Thank you very much, Mr. Geils. We appreciate the fine work that your group is performing.
Our next witness is General Robert Marsh, Commander of the Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base.
General MARSH. I welcome the opportunity to appear before you today to express my views on what I see as a critical problem, the shortage of trained engineering and scientific manpower. As I explained in my formal statement, which I would like to insert for the record-
Mr. FUQUA. Without objection, we will make the entire statement a part of the record.
General MARSH. I believe the technological power balance is shifting away from the United States. I believe to a large measure, this shift is due to the lack of scientific and engineering manpower. If I'm correct in this causal relationship, then we face a long-range problem as the shortage is not susceptible to quick solutions and the situation is likely to be with us for some time.
The world is becoming more and more dependent on advanced technology, a fact that has escaped few people. Not widely appreciated, however, is that the United States now lacks and probably will lack for some time the necessary scientists and engineers to satisfy the needs of industry, government, and academia to allow for future technical growth of the Nation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the United States will be short 16,000 engineers each year through 1990, the cutoff of the study. A quick analysis of our capability to produce those engineers is disappointing, although a look at the statistics does show some growth in output. The United States yearly production of baccalaureate degrees is now about 58,000 up from 38,000 in 1975. The number of masters degrees increased about 71/2 percent from 1979 to 1980. The number of Ph. D.'s decreased slightly to 2,750 over the same period.
However, these figures are offset by the fact that a significant portion of the growth is due to foreign students. Foreign enrollment has doubled since 1975 and is currently at 47 percent of Ph. D.'s, 40 percent of masters degrees and 8 percent of bachelors degrees.
Although some estimates show production increasing to 65,000 in 1983, I am not sure that it is realistic to expect significant growth beyond current levels unless concerted action is taken. I question the estimates of significant growth because I am not certain there will be a significant supply of engineering students entering the universities or that the universities can handle the load.
The student supply is limited by demographics and secondary school curricula. U.S. secondary school students receive inadequate emphasis on math and science courses: only 9.1 percent take physics; only 16.1 percent take chemistry; only 3.4 percent take calculus and seven States require no high school math at all and, we have seen a 15-year decline in scholastic aptitude test scores in both math and verbal skills.
Compounding these concerns are estimates in demographic studies which show declines in the 18-year-old population in the mid1980's, which will lower the number of students entering engineer