of the Pacific
Northwest Section
American Society for
Engineering Education


Spring 2006


ASEE PNW Spring Conference
'Preparing for Professional Life'
May 11-13, 2006
Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Pre-registration due May 1, 2006
Registration Form
Preliminary Program

Invited Speaker:
Dr. Gerald Galloway

"Preparing the Civil Engineer of the Future: Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice in the 21st Century"

Today's world is fundamentally challenging the way civil engineering is practiced and the preparation needed for that practice. In 2001, ASCE initiated an effort to "Raise the Bar" in educational requirements for practice of engineering at the professional level (licensing).  As part of this initiative, in 2004, ASCE defined the Body of Knowledge (BOK) required of civil engineers as a prerequisite for licensing and defined two paths to attainment of the BOK: one requiring the future engineer to obtain a bachelor's and a master's degree in engineering or related disciplines (B+M), and the other by obtaining an ABET accredited bachelor's in civil engineering and 30 credit hours of upper level undergraduate or graduate course work (B+30). The presentation will discuss ASCE's progress and challenges in moving forward with this initiative and the timeline for bringing it to fruition across the nation.

ASCE link:  "Key Points about Policy 465"

Join us for the ASEE PNW Business Meeting

Thursday, May 11th at 7:00 pm - OIT College Union

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Teaching Tip - Promoting Professionalism in Design Classes
Adapted from ASEE Paper by Steve Zemke, Gonzaga University
Student teams are commonly used in engineering design classes to integrate learning of teamwork, design, and analytic skills. A mixed-method study was used to identify curricular elements in a sophomore design class that influenced team professionalism. Analysis of student responses identified four curricular design choices by the professor that strongly influenced student team professionalism. These are:

1. Integrate a challenging team project, explicit teaching of teamwork processes, and instructor coaching of teams into the class. Each of these elements builds on and contributes to the other factors to form a rich learning environment. When incorporating these three elements into the class, take extra care to insure that they fuse into a whole environment rather than exist as three disjoint pieces.

2. Choose the challenging team project so that it necessitates practice of interactive teamwork skills for completion. Make sure that the interactive component is intrinsic to the project and not merely an add-on. Also, remember that a challenging project provides strong motivation by being intrinsically interesting.

3. Teach teamwork processes that the students can directly, and practically, apply to project completion. Think of these processes as skills that a competent engineer would naturally use in industry to get work

done. These processes must be time efficient and produce identifiable results. Beware of teamwork processes that appear to be merely “academic.”

4. Coach each team individually in a short meeting as their “manager” every week. The meeting should both monitor progress and give guidance. We found the review of action item completion as an effective foundation for the meeting. Remember, the team sets the action items and you, as their manager, review targets and progress.

Elements that enhance team professionalism
  • Open-ended decision making (guided activity)
  • Team members cooperating
  • Giving constructive feedback (formal activity)
  • Being time efficient
  • Team members communicating well
  • Team members being considerate of others
  • Team members taking time to reflect on situation


Elements that hinder team professionalism
  • Time pressure
  • Team distractions
  • Poor documentation of work
  • Poor punctuality


Download entire paper

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Upcoming dates and deadlines:

Northwest Regional Professional Development Center

The newly formed Engineering Education Research Center at Washington State University is hosting a series of faculty development institutes throughout 2006-2007.  These events center on creating enriched learning environments.  A variety of external facilitators and mentors will lead each of these events.  The series includes:

- Activity Design Institute (June 6-8, 2006) - Creating engaging and enriching learning activities
- Teaching Institute (June 26-28, 2006) - Implementing active learning, mentoring, and assessment
- Performance Measures Institute (Oct. 6-7, 2006) - Measurement tools for products and processes
- Facilitator's Institute (January 25-27, 2007) - Facilitating knowledge acquisition and professional growth

Registration for one or more events is open to all faculty in any discipline. For more information, visit the NWRPDC site

2005-06 PNW Section Contacts

Pacific Northwest Engineering Education is the official communications organ of the Pacific Northwest Section, American Society for Engineering Education. It is published twice annually, in fall and spring. Reader submissions are welcomed! Please send feedback and ideas to the Newsletter Editor.