National Engineering Week reaches out to undergrads

Week kicks off with international Web-based dialogue about engineering


The world's first international Web-based dialogue among engineering students, young professionals and business leaders "Connecting the World to Engineering" will debut Feb. 23 as part of National Engineers Week. "Connecting the World to Engineering" is featured on the National Engineers Week Website at, and Fluor Corp. is spearheading the project. The company is co-chair of 2004 National Engineers Week, along with The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) / IEEE-USA.

The new program, designed specifically to encourage and maintain career interest for engineering undergraduates, underscores two powerful trends in the profession: the expanding global marketplace of ideas, and the Internet as the preferred vehicle for sharing those ideas. While many engineering societies already host professional and technical forums, "Connecting the World to Engineering" is the first to link business, academia and engineering disciplines from around the globe.

Connecting the World offers two main components: Web-based forums and live teleconferences. The forums launch on Feb. 23 and will continue through the year, addressing a variety of engineering disciplines and issues, each moderated by a leading professional in that specialty. Forums include:

* Chemical Engineering

* Civil Engineering in the Air Force

* Electrical and Electronics Engineering

* Engineering for Sustainability

* Engineering Professionalism, Ethics and Licensure

* How to Become a Licensed Engineer

* Heating, Ventilating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering

* Industrial Engineers in Health Care

* Manufacturing Engineering: Made in USA - Future Careers, Prospects and Strategies in Manufacturing Industries

* Naval Engineering / Architecture

* Oil and Gas Industry

* Systems Engineering

* Women in Engineering

Part Two of "Connecting the World to Engineering" involves prominent corporate leaders hosting teleconferences throughout the year. These teleconferences delve into the latest issues and developments with engineering societies and their student sections, along with university and corporate partners.

The first teleconference begins on Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. EST and features Alan Boeckmann, chairman and CEO of Fluor, addressing "Engineering in the 21st Century." Joseph V. Lillie, lead National Engineers Week volunteer for IEEE/IEEE-USA, will serve as moderator. Boeckmann will cover the emergence of a global engineering workforce from the integration of systems, its implications for tomorrow's engineering professionals and the skill sets required to be a successful engineer in the 21st Century. Boeckmann will also offer a personal perspective on how he grew from an electrical engineer to become the leader of one of the industry's most well-known companies. Following his presentation, students will be able to ask questions and participate in a discussion.

The teleconference will draw students from universities around the world, including the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; the University of Pretoria, South Africa; Texas A&M University, United States; and the University of Surrey, England. A transcript of the teleconference will be available at in early March.

National Engineers Week, founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, is dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession and technology and to encouraging pre-college interest in engineering. It is celebrated by thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers and leaders in government and business.

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