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Stuff You Don't Learn In Engineering School, and What To Expect Beyond

:: The Sept 2003 issue of IEEE Spectrum features the first of a series of articles by Carl Selinger, called "Stuff You Don't Learn In Engineering School." As John Dupuis suggests, there is a role that engineering librarians can play in teaching some of that "stuff", including research and library skills. Yesterday I spent 50 minutes with 155 Mechanical Engineering 465 design students, and did my best to impress upon them the importance of developing these skills for use beyond their capstone design projects, i.e., in the field, when they are employed as full-time engineers.

One approach I take is to highlight examples of why they will need research skills, such as failure analysis, technology integration, developing new products or upgrading existing ones, developing intellectual property, confirming existence of studies or experiments to avoid duplication of effort, locate licensable technologies, etc. This information, and more, is extracted from the following article, which I distribute to each student in their handout package. I recommend it highly if you are interested in getting engineering students to begin thinking of life beyond the classroom.

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