Engineering technology: Wikis

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Engineering Technology is the profession in which a knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences gained by higher education, experience, and practice is devoted primarily to the implementation and extension of existing technology for the benefit of humanity. Engineering technology education focuses primarily on the applied aspects of science and engineering aimed at preparing graduates for practice in that portion of the technological spectrum closest to product improvement, manufacturing, construction, and engineering operational functions.[1]

Contents

Education

In the United States, Engineering Technology programs are accredited through the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC/ABET) or via The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). Depending on the institution, associate and/or bachelor degrees are offered, with a few institutions also offering advanced degrees. The type, length, and quality of education offered can vary greatly depending on the educational institution and the specialty pursued within Engineering Technology. ATMAE programs in Engineering Technology require a management core as opposed to those accredited by TAC/ABET.


According to the U.S. Department of Education, Engineering Technology [is the field concerned with the application of] basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers engaged in a wide variety of projects. [Engineering Technology programs typically include] instruction in various engineering support functions for research, production, and operations, and applications to specific engineering specialties.[2][3]

Worldwide Perspectives

The Sydney Accord is an agreement among the signatory nations acknowledging the academic equivalence of accredited Engineering Technology programs.

In June of 2007, ABET was admitted as a provisional member of International Technology Accords. The recognition for the Accords is in this order: Washington Accord for engineering, Sydney Accord for engineering technology, and Dublin Accord for engineering technician.

The Engineering Technologist Mobility Forum is an international forum held by signatories of the Sydney Accord to explore mutual recognition for experienced engineering technologists and to remove artificial barriers to the free movement and practice of engineering technologists amongst their countries.

Engineering versus Engineering Technology Programs

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology describes the difference between engineering and engineering technology as: "Engineering and technology are separate but intimately related professions. Here are some of the ways they differ:

  • Engineering undergraduate programs include more mathematics work and higher level mathematics than technology programs.
  • Engineering undergraduate programs often focus on theory, while technology programs usually focus on application.
  • Once they enter the workforce, engineering graduates typically spend their time planning, while engineering technology graduates spend their time making plans work.
  • At ABET, engineering and engineering technology programs are evaluated and accredited by two separate accreditation commissions using two separate sets of accreditation criteria.
  • Graduates from engineering programs are called engineers, while graduates of technology programs are often called technologists.
  • Some U.S. state boards of professional engineering licensure will allow only graduates of engineering programs—not engineering technology programs—to become licensed engineers."[4]


The engineering graduate typically requires a period of 'internship' since engineering programs stress fundamentals. The engineering technology graduate, however, is prepared to immediately begin technical assignments since technology programs stress current industrial practices and design procedures.[5]


The National Society of Professional Engineers describes the difference between engineering and engineering technology:

"The distinction between engineering and engineering technology emanates primarily from differences in their educational programs. Engineering programs are geared toward development of conceptual skills, and consist of a sequence of engineering fundamentals and design courses, built on a foundation of complex mathematics and science courses. Engineering technology programs are oriented toward application, and provide their students introductory mathematics and science courses, and only a qualitative introduction to engineering fundamentals. Thus, engineering programs provide their graduates a breadth and depth of knowledge that allows them to function as designers. Engineering technology programs prepare their graduates to apply others' designs."[6]

Professional Engineer Licensure

Most U.S. states allow Engineering Technology graduates from accredited programs to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to become an Engineer Intern (E.I.), and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam to become a Professional Engineer (P.E.), but some require several additional years of experience before doing so.

However, this is controversial[7] and against the formal policies of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).[8] The NCEES Model Law,[9] would allow only engineering graduates to sit for these exams, and movement is underway to require a master's degree or equivalent for licensure as a Professional Engineer.[10] In this case, a Bachelor of Engineering is not suffice for licensure.

Typical Positions

Positions vary according to the degree received. Graduates acquiring an associate's degree or lower typically find careers as Engineering Technicians. Those acquiring a bachelor's degree or higher “...often are hired to work as technologists or applied engineers, not technicians.”[11] Entry-level positions such as product design, testing, development, systems engineering, field engineering, technical operations, and quality control are all common positions for Engineering Technology graduates.

Programs

See ABET for a list of accredited Engineering Technology programs.

Notes and references

  1. ^ ABET. http://www.abet.org/
  2. ^ U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences: Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). Retrieved on October 26, 2009 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/cip2000/ciplist.asp?CIP2=15
  3. ^ ATMAE Membership Venn Diagram. http://atmae.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=227&Itemid=48
  4. ^ ABET FAQ
  5. ^ UNCC Engineering Technology. http://et.uncc.edu/comparison.html#adaptability
  6. ^ Engineering Technology
  7. ^ http://fie.engrng.pitt.edu/fie97/papers/1446.pdf
  8. ^ Engineering Technology
  9. ^ http://www.ncees.org/introduction/about_ncees/ncees_model_law.pdf
  10. ^ Microsoft Word - ASCE Policy Statement 465_ 05-13-04.doc
  11. ^ Engineering Technicians

External links

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