July 22, 2008
‘Be All the Engineer That You Can Be’
U.S. ARMY FUNDS PRE-COLLEGE ENGINEERING SUMMER CAMPS According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2006, engineers held about 1.5 million jobs - 201,000 of them being industrial engineers. Those numbers are expected to grow within three to five years with a big push from early industry training programs and government sectors such as the U.S. Army.
The U.S. Army Research Office announced the support of camps to be held at nine university locations across the country to generate interest in engineering among high school students. In partnership with the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), the joint organization known as UNITE (the Uninitiates' Introduction to Engineering) serves historically underrepresented and disadvantaged populations by helping students prepare for engineering tasks with four- to six-week camps that are structured around intensive academic courses with assorted hands-on activities.
"Through a unique three-prong approach - explore, assess and experience - JETS academic competitions and educational resources excite students about careers in engineering and technology by showing them the critical role engineers play in the world around us," said Megan Balkovic, director of the development.
With other sponsors that emphasize industrial engineering such as Motorola, CH2M Hill and Rockwell Collins, industries like manufacturing, transportation and facilities planning have marked coursework in the past. In a survey by JETS asking students why they wanted to become an engineer, reasons were designing things that matter, desire to improve the world, use of creativity, good salary and travel.
All hands are on deck for these students participating in the UNITE program.
Interest in industrial engineering looks positive in the coming years as indicated by the U.S. Department of Labor s assessment on its Web site: "Industrial engineers are expected to have employment growth of 20 percent over the projections decade, faster than the average for all occupations. As firms look for new ways to reduce costs and raise productivity, they increasingly will turn to industrial engineers to develop more efficient processes and reduce costs, delays and waste."
Participating universities in the engineering summer camps include Florida International University, Morgan State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Mexico MESA, Savannah State University, Texas Southern University, University of Delaware, University of Detroit-Mercy and University of New Orleans.
Copyright Institute of Industrial Engineers-Publisher Jul 2008
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