Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

July 22, 2003


Win Aung

Secretary-General, iNEER



Good Morning!


In welcoming the delegates to this conference, Vice-Chancellor Justo Nieto has told us that all of us in engineering education need to work harder, and become more innovative, through collaborative, and active teaching and learning efforts. Prof. Enrique Ballester, the Executive Vice Chair of this conference, and Prof. Luis Sanchez, the Conference General Chair, also encourage us to make the most of our stay here. Prof. Justo Nieto and Prof. Ballester are two of the earliest supporters of the ideals behind the iNEER movement. They both had papers in the first ICEE held in Taipei, Taiwan in 1994. Prof. Nieto himself attended ICEE-1994, and it was there that I first met him. And I saw him again in Chicago at ICEE-1997.  


As a representative of the iNEER Network, I am pleased to add my welcome to all of you to this conference. 


Even though ICEE-2003 has survived the War in Iraq and SARS, our world continues to be under stress. There is still a lot of mutual suspicion by people, and diseases continue to kill and maim and sap our resources and threaten our resolve.


Yet, our work must go on. Many leaders of engineering around the world have told me that international cooperation is now even more important than before. We must be ready when nations emerge from war and devastation and are ready to rebuild. Surely, we all recognize that engineers are at the forefront of any national rejuvenation process.


All of you remember the recent war in the former Yugoslavia. Barely 10 years ago, the situation there seemed so hopeless. Yet, today, countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro are seeking new ways to work with the outside world. Just last November, Prof. Ejup Ganic, the former President of Bosnia and now a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sarejevo, visited with me in USA to discuss future interaction between the iNEER community and the engineering community in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Upon an invitation by the Chairman of the International Steering Committee of ICEE, Prof. Ganic will be joining the Committee.


Similarly, iNEER Board member Prof. Vic Ilic recently visited Serbia and, because of that, a very influential faculty from the University of Nis in Serbia-Montenegro, will be joining the newly formed International Steering Committee of the iNEER Conference on Engineering Education and Research, or iCEER-ISC in short.


This brings me to an important announcement. The iNEER Board has authorized me to announce the formation of the iCEER-ISC. In addition, the first iCEER conference, iCEER-2004, will be held at the Bouzhov Castle in the Czech Republic. The dates are June 27-30, 2004.


These developments followed a series of e-mails that the iNEER Board and the iNEER Secretariat had with members of the iNEER community during the past several month.


Therefore, next year, we will hold the ICEE-2004 in Florida, USA in October and the iCEER-2004 in Ostrava in the Czech Republic in June. Please give your support for these two events by your own participation as well as by helping to publicize it.  


ICEE-2003 attracted 1,250 people submitting over 650 abstracts. Out of this, only about 400 could be accepted and 150 abstracts were turned away. Today, we have over 400 people assembled at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.


This is a big number of important engineering educators, and we are pleased and we thank you all for being a part of this.


Yet, there is much that we need to do. Paralleling Vice-Chancellor Nieto’s remarks, we have been using innovative approaches in networking and information exchange in engineering education.


We are globally welcoming, expansive and inclusive. Membership is free, but it is available only to anyone who supports our goals and ideals.


We are gratified to note that support for iNEER vision and practices is growing. The membership in the iNEER Network now stands at over 16,000 members from 98 countries.


While this is a large number as far as professional societies go, we need to work harder together to spread the word about international cooperation and about iNEER, thereby helping to include more educators into our partnership fold.


If each of you were to recommend a colleague to join us every month (and need I re-emphasize that joining iNEER is free?), then we would easily double our membership in no time.


Together, all of you who are present today, and the many others who cannot get here for one reason or another, are helping to create a new paradigm for international cooperation.


In the world of engineering education and research, ours is a significant, balanced, authoritative voice; we are creating new quality standards; and  we are certainly raising the bars of expectations. In short, we are about a new thrust from a new direction.


On behalf of the iNEER Board and the iNEER Secretariat, I thank you for your work. I welcome your participation in ICEE-2003.


We encourage you to heed the words of Vice-Chancellor Nieto and his colleagues: Form new friendships; learn from each other; and discover Valencia and its surroundings. You will be surprised and happy with what you find.


And, most of all, look around the campus at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, and see how computer-based teaching and learning has become a part of campus life here.


I would also like to take this opportunity to express my personal appreciation to the iNEER Board and the International Steering Committee for their support and leadership.


A special thank goes to the iNEER Board of Editors and the iNEER Awards Committee for their excellent work this year. I hope you are pleased with the results.


In closing, I wish to thank Professors Nieto, Ballester and Luis Sanchez and their colleagues for their welcome, and their vision and hard work in putting up ICEE-2003.


Thank you.