December 14, 2001
Worldwide Engineering Education and Research Community
Win Aung, Secretary-General, iNEER
Invitation to Participate
I am pleased to take this opportunity to invite you to join the International Network for Engineering Education and Research (iNEER), a worldwide volunteer, networking, ”virtual”, professional organization dedicated to helping members achieve mutual progress through international cooperation. As of today, iNEER comprises more than 4,800 leading members of the engineering education and research community around the world.
Focused on collaboration in both education and research, iNEER is born out of the increasingly crucial and urgent role of international cooperation in science and technology.
In the last several years, engineering schools in industrialized and emerging economies around the world have begun to undertake a comprehensive examination of their undergraduate and post-graduate education systems. In order to meet new challenges in the 21st century, some of these institutions are seeking to broaden or even restructure the systems. Among the many issues of common concern is the need to broaden the curriculum, by incorporating information technology and distance learning, hands-on experience for undergraduates, global perspectives, and to emphasize interpersonal and communications skills.
The need to open more opportunities to women and minorities is also driving the change in engineering and related disciplines such as computer science.
Pacing the changes, there are the Engineering Education Coalitions, Combined Research and Curriculum Development, Information Technology Research programs in the U.S. and similar programs in Brazil, Taiwan and elsewhere. In Europe, there is the Bologna Declaration signed in 1999 by cabinet level officials from 29 nations, with more nations having joined since then.
Today, a high quality engineering education experience must be an inclusive one, in which the education process is integrated with research, and enabled by new technology-based teaching and learning techniques. Sufficiently broadly prepared, the graduates should be able to work anywhere in our global village, or branch into new careers using his or her engineering training as a spring-board.
The costs of implementing these changes are high and no nation can succeed by doing it alone. The need for international cooperation is also underscored by recent global expansion of marketing and R&D by many industrial companies. International cooperation in R&D is providing companies with access to leading-edge fundamental developments, technologies, and fresh ideas.
Stimulated by these developments, policy makers around the world have placed a high priority on international cooperation in scientific and engineering research and education. Budget realities, however, have forced these nations to focus spending on domestic programs, with international science and engineering relegated to a relatively small role.
Faced with these intersecting trends, iNEER has been formed with a mission to address the challenges in a radically new way.
iNEER’s mission is aimed at using recent advances in information and communications technologies to foster the creation of collaborative networks and partnerships among engineering education and research communities worldwide to achieve mutual progress. iNEERs main objective is to link ongoing, already funded domestic research and education programs, in order to work together without depending on new funds. We have the best chance to make progress if we work together as a coordinated network linked through the Internet, united by a desire to share ideas, information and resources, and jointly start to formulate new solutions.
iNEER represents a new concept in global networking, partnership and resource sharing.
The iNEER community is comprised of educators and researchers from academe, industry and government bonded by a desire to work collaboratively to elevate the quality of engineering education in institutions around the world. iNEER is committed to work with members from both industrialized and developing nations.
Every year, the iNEER Secretariat sponsors a number of activities and sends out about a dozen e-mail announcements, all relating to international engineering and science. It also develops and maintains a website for information dissemination and exchange. If you have no interest in these areas, and wish to discontinue hearing from us, please simply reply with the word ”Discontinue” on the subject line.
As a sample, please click here to see one of the recent e-mail items sent out to the community, about a speech on the role of women in science made by Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation. You can learn more about iNEER and its activities by browsing through this website.
If you find what we do interesting and worthwhile, I encourage you to send me an e-mail to tell me and I will include you as a member. Please participate and network with us by joining us at our meetings and workshops, and share with us your experiences. Volunteer your time and energy in working with your colleagues around the world to achieve mutual progress.
Please help us spread the word by copying this memorandum and forwarding it to other colleagues, or nominate them to be iNEER members by dropping us a note with their names, affiliations and addresses, including e-mail addresses.
There is no membership fee to be a member of iNEER. The benefit that can accrue to you is the opportunity to network and form collaborative partnerships with community members from academia, industry and government in close to 100 countries. Furthermore, you will be invited to attend the International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE), our unique once-a-year conference, and other related partnership workshops and retreats around the world. The hallmark in all of our activities is an emphasis on international collaboration in addition to information sharing.
ICEE-2001 was held last August in Oslo, Norway with 420 attendees from 48 countries. Next year the community will assemble in Manchester, UK at ICEE-2002 with UMIST as the host. In the ensuing years, we will meet in Valencia, Spain and Gainesville, FL, USA. We are currently evaluating proposals from institutions in six countries to host the conference in 2005 and beyond. Other conferences have been held in Taiwan (2000, 1995, 1994), Czech Republic (1999), Brazil (1998), USA (1997).
Calls for Papers for ICEE-2002 will be issued in the near future, with January 18, 2002 as abstracts due date. I would welcome a contribution by you.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Win Aung, Ph.D., Dr.h.c., P.E.
Secretary General, iNEER
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