American Society for Engineering Education
||This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (October 2012)|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2012)|
|Key people||Walter W. Buchanan, President
Kenneth F. Galloway, President-elect
Don P. Giddens, Immediate past president
|Method||Industry standards, Conferences, Publications|
ASEE members include more than 13,000 deans, professors, instructors, students and industry representatives.
ASEE produces many publications on the topic of engineering education, including the general-interest ASEE Prism, a monthly magazine covering the pervasive role of engineering in the world, the Journal of Engineering Education, a peer-reviewed journal covering research in engineering education, Profiles of Engineering and Technology Colleges, prociding data on engineering colleges and universities, and the eGFI: Engineering, Go For It! magazine and associated website, designed to attract high school students and their parents and teachers to engineering.
A full reading of the history of ASEE can be found in a 1993 centennial article in the Journal of Engineering Education.
Founded initially as the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education (SPEE) in 1893, the society was created at a time of great growth in American higher education. In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Land-Grant Act, which provided money for states to establish public institutions of higher education. These institutions focused on providing practical skills, especially "for the benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts". As a result of increasingly available higher education, more Americans started entering the workforce with advanced training in applied fields of knowledge. However, they often lacked grounding in the science and engineering principles underlying this practical knowledge.
After a generation of students had passed through these new public universities, professors of engineering began to question whether they should adopt a more rigorous approach to teaching the fundamentals of their field. Ultimately, they concluded that engineering curricula should stress fundamental scientific and mathematical principles, not hands-on apprenticeship experiences. To organize support for this approach to engineering education, SPEE was formed in the midst of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Known as the World's Columbian Exposition, this event heralded the promise of science and engineering by introducing many Americans, for example, to the wonders of electricity. Emerging out of the Fair’s World Engineering Congress, SPEE members dedicated themselves to improving engineering education at the classroom level. Over its history, the society has put out several reports on the subject, such as the Mann Report (1907), the Wickenden Study (1920s), and the Grinter Report (1955).
During World War II, the federal government started to place more emphasis on research, prompting SPEE to form the Engineering College Research Association (ECRA), which was more concerned with research than SPEE had ever been. The ECRA spoke for most engineering researchers, sought federal funds, and collected and published information on academic engineering research. After the war, the desire to integrate the less research-oriented SPEE with the ECRA resulted in the disbanding of SPEE and the formation of ASEE in 1946.
ASEE was a volunteer-run organization through the 1950s. In 1961, ASEE established a staff headquarters in Washington, DC, and undertook a more activist posture. However, through the 1960s, the Vietnam War and social unrest in general made the mood on many campuses anti-technology, anti-business, and anti-establishment. In the 1960s and 1970s, ASEE presidents Merritt Williams and George Hawkins reorganized ASEE to better represent its members and return its focus to teaching. As a result of this new focus, ASEE began to administer several teaching-related government contracts, including NASA’s summer faculty fellowships and the Defense Department’s Civil Defense Summer Institutes and Fellowships. Currently, ASEE administers over ten government contracts, including the prestigious National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Another result of the renewed emphasis on teaching was ASEE’s initiative for recruiting minorities and women into engineering. ASEE created the Black Engineering College Development program which used industry funding to upgrade engineering faculty in traditionally black colleges and to develop public information on these schools. ASEE also received several grants in the 1970s to research the status of women and American Indians and develop programs to attract more of these students to enter engineering. Since then, ASEE has continued to release studies on the subject in its Journal of Engineering Education, and has created divisions specifically devoted to developing programs and research in this area.
Presidents since 2000 
- 2000-2001 - Wallace T. Fowler
- 2001-2002 - Gerald S. Jakubowski
- 2002-2003 - Eugene M. DeLoatch
- 2003-2004 - Duane L. Abata
- 2004-2005 - Sherra E. Kerns
- 2005-2006 - Ronald Barr
- 2006-2007 - David Wormley
- 2007-2008 - Jim Melsa
- 2008-2009 - Sarah Rajala
- 2009-2010 - J.P. Moshen
- 2010-2011 - Renata Engel
- 2011-2012 - Don Giddens
ASEE annually recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of engineering and engineering technology educators through the ASEE awards program. By their commitment to their profession, desire to further the Society's mission, and participation in civic and community affairs, ASEE award winners exemplify the best in engineering and engineering technology education.
Current awards 
Former awards 
- George Westinghouse Award (1946-1999)
ASEE and its members organize a number of conferences, meetings, and workshops. The ASEE Annual Conference hosts over 3,000 participants, dedicated to exploring and improving engineering and engineering technology education. Other events include regional member meetings, professional-interest focused conferences, and K-12 teacher training.