How Professional Societies Support University Engineering Education: Direct Classroom Impact

Douglas Gorham, Nnamdi Nwulu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Professional engineering societies support engineering education through direct engagement programmes and activities. This chapter highlights how engineering societies are involved in two areas of direct engagement that have an impact on the engineering education classroom: the development and education of industry and programme-specific standards and ensuring programme quality via accreditation. Professional engineering societies are engaged in social innovation programmes and activities that support and promote engineering and engineering education. These programmes/activities have a significant impact on educators, students, practitioners, and the public. There are various categorisations of these activities and their corresponding impact on engineering education. A key categorisation prevalent in literature, is classification based on “classroom” impact (NAE 2017). Thus, engineering societies’ engagements are categorised as either formal or informal engagements (NAE 2017). Examples of formal engagements include the development of field-specific standards, involvement in programme accreditation, establishment of student chapters and outreach, as well as national and international competitions. It has also been argued that financial support of students, which most societies do, can be classified as formal support, as it aids students in achieving their educational objectives. Examples of informal (i.e., non-classroom) educational activities include service learning and community service projects, outreach to high schools etc. The philosophy behind the classification hitherto described will be used in this book. However, the terminology we use in our classification is having either a direct classroom impact or an indirect classroom impact. This chapter focuses on examples of engineering societies that have a direct classroom impact, while the following chapter (Chap. 4) discusses activities that have an indirect classroom impact. In this chapter, three direct classroom impact mechanisms will be discussed among the multitude of mechanisms available.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
ISSN (Print)2367-3370
ISSN (Electronic)2367-3389

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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