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Friday, February 25, 2011

PITT-BRADFORD PROFESSOR PRESENTS PAPER ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION

PITT-BRADFORD PROFESSOR PRESENTS PAPER
ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION


BRADFORD, Pa. – Klaus Wuersig, assistant professor of engineering, presented a paper on the recent history of engineering education at the 5th International Forum on Engineering Education held in the United Arab Emirates.

Wuersig’s paper, “Five Decades of Engineering Education: A Nostalgic Look Back, a Bold Look Forward,” traced the impact of computers on engineering education, beginning with students programming mainframe computers in a language called Fortran.

The appearance of the handheld calculator in the early 1970s ushered out slide rules, and soon the Apple II, the first real usable personal computer, had students running multiple programs that could help with their studies.

The most recent development in engineering education has been the rise of the Internet. In 1968, the forerunner of the World Wide Web had four host computers and now there are more than 700 million. Information that used to take hours to find in a library is now available with a few key strokes. The cell phone has greater capability than a mainframe computer of the 1960s. The invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope in the 1980s made it possible to look at structures at atomic scale, and a flurry of activity in nanotechnology followed.

Wuersig predicted that the next big movements in engineering education will be alternative energy sources and nanotechnology, which he expects will yield entirely new branches of engineering.

Wuersig retired from the State University of New York in 1998 as a full professor.

From 1998 to 2000, he was part of a team that set up programs in information technology, mathematics and science at a brand new university for women in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also spent a year from 1995 to 1996 setting up programs in electrical engineering at the University Technology Malaysia in Batu Pahat, Malaysia.

He has presented numerous papers on engineering education at international conferences in Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico and the United States.

He lives in Cuba, N.Y.

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