ERIC Number: ED311884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: N/A
Communication Skills: A Bonus for Engineers.
Hodes, Carol L.
For many engineers, writing skills have proven to be almost as important as technical background. Many prominent engineers have found that writing often consumes one-fourth of their time; they are expected to submit reports and proposals and give presentations. Many engineering schools now require either additional writing courses or integrate writing skills into existing courses. The Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has issued guidelines to guarantee that engineering schools deal with such a curriculum deficiency. This is commendable and greatly needed, but it is only a first step. Job-related writing requires different skills than student writing. While student papers usually have single authorship, job-related writing is often collaborative, having multiple authors. Devoting more of the engineering curriculum to writing is not the complete solution. Collaborative teamwork is also vital, and undergraduate courses should reflect the engineering profession and give students a professional orientation. College and university faculty can encourage collaborative writing skills by requiring papers and projects resulting from a cooperative effort. In addition, employers can provide continuing education opportunities and additional training to encourage the technical professional. Strengthening the engineer's communication skills not only ensures quality, accuracy, and upward mobility, but also protects the reputation of the engineering profession. (12 references) (GL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at an Informal Seminar at the Applied Research Laboratory (Spring and Fall 1986).