Information Exchange: Publications

The Engineer’s Dilemma – The Educator’s Opportunity

Author: James H. Matteson

"As an engineering practitioner, recently retired as head of a very large Municipal Agency, I hired many new civil engineering graduates and had the opportunity to meet and lecture to many others. I am somewhat amused at the attitude that many display when they first venture out into the real world, that they have the world by the tail, and dismayed at their lack of a real-world educational foundation that prepares them for what they will face.


I am a product of the traditional civil engineering education, with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. I am licensed to practice as a Civil Engineer in most of the Western States. I came out of the University of Washington with the same narrowly focused education that I see being provided today, that was based on innumerable calculations of static loads on members, sizing of rebar in a retaining wall, or calculation of a pipe diameter for one purpose or another. That is to say, I was provided with a set of skills to pursue a very narrow technical field of endeavor. "

Date Created: November 1999; Date Posted: April 2006






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