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i Strengthening U.S. Engineering Through International Cooperation: Some Recommendations for Action A Report of the Committee on International Cooperation in Engineering National Academy of Engineering and Office of International Affairs, National Research Council Washington, D.C. 1987
ii NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose mem- bers are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report are drawn from the National Academy of Engineering and were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of sci- ence and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineer- ing programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. This report has been reviewed according to the procedures of the Report Review Committee by members of the National Academy of Engineering other than the authors. The work on which this publication is based was performed under Cooperative Agreement No. ENG 8519387 between the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences. The material is also based in part upon work supported by the National Academy of Engineering Technological Leadership Program. Available from Office of Administration and Finance National Academy of Engineering 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 Printed in the United States of America
iii NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING 2101 CONSTITUTION AVENUE, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20418 Office of the President June 26, 1987 Mr. Erich Bloch Director National Science Foundation 1800 G Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20550 Dear Mr. Bloch: It is my pleasure to submit this report, âStrengthening U.S. Engineering Through International Cooperation,â to the National Science Foundation. It is now universally recognized that the United States and other nations are engaged in a global competition to advance their national welfare in an integrated global economy. It is also recognized that a necessary condition for maintaining a strong national competitive posture is to preserve and advance a highly innovative engineering research and education system. This report addresses the question of how U.S. participation in the engineering and technological activities in centers of excellence throughout the world might strengthen engineering capabilities in the U.S. There is growing appreciation that in today's world a company or a nation must be cooperative to be competitive. This is manifest in the increasing number and diversity of joint ventures between the industrial companies in the United States and those in many other countries. There is also a long-standing recognition that the solution of many global problems depend on international cooperation in engineering. Space, health, and environmental research activities are examples. Cooperative ventures among government and academic institutions link facilities and intellectual capabilities for the benefit of all mankind. Cooperative joint ventures in industry link the diverse strengths of the private sectors of different countries in research, development, production, and marketing. The result is a cooperative participation in the global economy to the benefit of all parties. The committee points out the need to adopt new attitudes and strategies if we are to maintain and enhance our industrial health in the face of intense international economic competition. The committee suggests many modes of international interaction for consideration by the National Science Foundation, other agencies of the federal government, and private firms, professional societies, and universities. The report addresses the growing need to recognize the excellence of the engineering and technological work taking place abroad and also the need in U.S.
iv educational institutions to adopt a more responsive outlook toward engineering progress as it takes place in many other countries of the world. The committee has suggested that expanded programs of fellowships would permit U.S. citizens receiving doctorates in engineering to spend time abroad in centers of excellence. With regard to the perennial question of whether sufficient worldwide information about engineering and technology can be made available to the U.S. engineering and technological community, the committee has recommended examination of the adequacy of present federal system for gathering and disseminating technical information from abroad. The committee has suggested that there be a government-wide review of U.S. participation in international engineering organizations and a more assertive U.S. participation in international standards development. The charge to the committee was to explore and suggest various modes of collaboration in engineering to advance U.S. engineering and technological capabilities. I believe the committee has provided a thoughtful set of options. It is clear that not all of the suggestions of the committee can be implemented in the near future. The menu of ideas and suggestions, however, can serve the National Science Foundation and other organizations well as they examine how to achieve what the committee believes is a very important goal--to improve U.S. interchange with other countries in engineering and technology and thereby enhance U.S. engineering and technological capabilities and leadership. Sincerely, Robert M. White President
PREFACE v Preface Invention and innovation may occur anywhere in the world, and no nation has ever had a monopoly on excellence in technology. Many U.S. engineers and technologists have come as immigrants to this country, or are the children of immigrants, and since early in our history ties to foreign lands have enriched our traditions of engineering education and practice. For most of our history the United States has had the good fortune to be a leader in engineering and technology, and the various sectors of our society concerned with education, governance, and production have made many wise decisions to foster this leadership. Today the United States retains preeminence in several fields of research in engineering and technology and in some key fields of practice. However, by any measure, much engineering knowledge is available and can be gained from our colleagues and associates in other lands. Moreover, there are many global and international problems for which cooperation among the technical communities of different countries is necessary or desirable if an expeditious and economical solution is to be found. In the U.S. government, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has the unique role of both supporting fundamental engineering research and education, and of identifying needs, gaps, and opportunities in the nation's science and technology policies and programs. Recognizing the increasing excellence of engineering worldwide, and the possibilities for enhanced cooperation in engineering research and education, the Committee on International Science of the National Science Board asked the National Academy of Engineering in August 1984 to define some of the most important issues related to international cooperation in engineering. The consequent letter report, delivered later that year (NAE, 1984), suggested that engineering was underdeveloped in terms of both the present amount of international cooperation and the
PREFACE vi existence of a framework within the United States to support future cooperation. Subsequently, with concerns deepening about this nation's industrial competitiveness, NSF requested NAE to undertake a more comprehensive study to guide the agency with respect to strategy and action leading to improved international cooperation in engineering, consistent with national policy objectives. The study prospectus identified three major concerns: identification of areas of excellence in engineering abroad; identification of areas for enhanced international cooperation in engineering research and education; and the effectiveness of mechanisms for both academia and industry to connect to engineering progress abroad. In October 1985, the NAE established the Committee on International Cooperation in Engineering to address these concerns, and the committee in turn formed panels chaired respectively by F. Karl Willenbrock and Albert R. C. Westwood, to examine the issues from a university and an industry perspective in parallel. The committee and panels met on 10 occasions over a two-year period, and subgroups undertook brief fact- finding trips to Western Europe and to Japan. Meetings were held with foreign associates of the NAE in the United Kingdom, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Japan, and we held discussions and corresponded with many leading foreign engineers, technologists, and other experts (see Appendix D). As discussed in the report that follows, our committee concluded that the following four issues were of concern, and that something could be done about them: â¢ symmetrical cooperation in selected areas of engineering research; â¢ increased awareness in U.S. engineering education of international developments; â¢ gathering, analysis, dissemination, and assimilation of information on foreign engineering developments; and â¢ a more coherent and committed approach by the United States to international organizations concerned with standards. Although this report is a response to an NSF request, we recognize that there are many institutions, governmental and nongovernmental, and individuals who might benefit directly from the committee's findings. These include leaders in other federal agencies and Congress, in industry, academia, and engineering professional societies, as well as our foreign counterparts. We hope that this report will also be read by young engineers and technologists, and that their future attitudes and actions might be beneficially influenced by the committee's recommendations. I would like to thank the members of the committee for meeting a very active schedule. Karl Willenbrock and Bert Westwood provided determined leadership in their respective areas, and we are especially indebted to NAE foreign associates Sir Arnold Hall (United Kingdom), Pierre Aigrain (France), Wolf HÃ¤fele (Federal Republic of Germany), and Hiroshi Inose (Japan) for organizing valuable meetings and discussions in their respective
PREFACE vii (Japan) for organizing valuable meetings and discussions in their respective countries for committee members. NSF liaisons William Butcher and Norman Caplan were consistently helpful and forthcoming. The staff of the NAE Program Office and the National Research Council Office of International Affairs, including Jesse Ausubel, Victor Rabinowitch, Bruce Guile, Janet Muroyama, Dale Langford, Barbara Becker, Benta Sims, and NAE consultant Steven Anastasion, provided the range of support needed to bring a project from initial conception to a completed report. In this intensely competitive era, the question of international cooperation in engineering and technology requires carefully balanced consideration. I hope that this report contributes both to ensuring that the U.S. engineering enterprise remains at the forefront in the technological areas crucial to U.S. industrial competitiveness, and to advancement of engineering knowledge on a global basis for the security, development, and well-being of all peoples. H. Guyford Stever Chairman, Committee on International Cooperation in Engineering REFERENCE National Academy of Engineering. 1984. International Engineering in the National Science FoundationâIssues and Ideas. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Engineering.
PREFACE viii COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP Committee on International Cooperation in Engineering Steering Committee H. Guyford Stever, (Chairman), Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering Martin Goland, President, Southwest Research Institute Walter A. Rosenblith, Emeritus Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Albert R. C. Westwood, Corporate Director, Research and Development, Martin Marietta Corporation (Chairâ Industrial Panel) F. Karl Willenbrock, Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education (ChairâAcademic Panel) Academic Panel Bernard Budiansky, Gordon McKay Professor of Structural Mechanics, Harvard University A. E. Dukler, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Houston Kenneth E. Haughton, Dean, School of Engineering, Santa Clara University George W. Housner, C. F. Braun Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology Arthur E. Humphrey, Provost and Vice President, Lehigh University Ernest S. Kuh, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley Ronald M. Latanision, Shell Distinguished Professor of Materials Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology M. E. Van Valkenburg, Dean, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Industry Panel William G. Agnew, Director, Programs and Plans, General Motors Research Laboratories Arden L. Bement, Jr., Vice Presidentâ Technical Resources, TRW Inc. William W. Lang, Program Manager, IBM Corporation Robert W. Lucky, Executive Directorâ Research, Communications Sciences Division, AT&T Bell Laboratories Keith W. McHenry, Jr., Vice Presidentâ Research & Development, Amoco Oil Company James Y. Oldshue, Vice Presidentâ Mixing Technology, Mixing Equipment CompanyâUnit of General Signal Harold Paxton, Professor, Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University. Former Vice Presidentâ Corporate Research & Technology Assessment, United States Steel Corporation
PREFACE ix Staff Jesse H. Ausubel, Director, NAE Program Office Barbara L. Becker, Administrative Assistant H. Dale Langford, Editor Benta A. Sims, Executive Assistant Steven N. Anastasion, NAE Consultant
CONTENTS xi Contents Summary of Findings and Recommendations 1 1. The Changing World of Engineering Practice 4 2. International Cooperation in Engineering Research 12 3. Education for Technological Competitiveness in a World Society 21 4. Gathering, Disseminating, and Assimilating Technical Information from Abroad 29 5. International Organizations and Standards 38 Notes 45 Appendixes A. Federal Activities for International Technical Information Flow 47 B. International Multipurpose Nongovernmental Engineering and Science Organizations 51 C. Present System of U.S. Participation in International Standards Development 57 D. Contributions 61 E. Biographical Information on Committee Members 66