Responsibility: The Professional Educator, The Profession, The Professional Society
- C.V. Kirkpatrick
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 116 - 120
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.6 Natural Gas
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KIRKPATRICK, C.V. MEMBER AIME, U. OF HOUSTON, HOUSTON, TEX.
This paper reviews the inter-relationship between the professional engineering educator, the professional practitioner (industry) and the professional society. Specific suggestions concerning the responsibility of each of the three groups are given. Various engineering educational viewpoints are discussed in the light of their significance to the subject. Problems and progress within the industry and Society are noted. The relative youth of these three professional groups, as compared to the companion areas, is cited and the significance discussed. It is concluded that the engineering profession as a whole (and the petroleum engineering profession in particular) has not yet matured to the status enjoyed by those of law and medicine and that this is a significant factor to be considered when assessing the responsibility of the three groups in question. Excellent progress has been observed, however, and constructive moves have been initiated which will inevitably accelerate this progress.
It would seem appropriate to look carefully into the factors which prompted preparation of a paper with this title before giving more detailed consideration to the specifics involved. Remarks contained herein are concerned primarily, though not exclusively, with the petroleum engineering profession, the petroleum engineering educator and the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME. Several factors make an article such as this pertinent. 1. The profession, the society and the specific engineering education are all quite young by comparison with similar groups. 2. Rapidly evolving changes in engineering educational philosophy, resulting from significant new advances in science, have had a profound impact on engineering education, industry and the profession as a whole. 3. Significant and concrete proposals for changing the present structure of engineering education are now being voiced from within the Society and the profession by engineers other than educators: changing philosophies regarding accreditation of engineering curricula are being actively pursued; pointed papers have recently appeared which raise the question as to just where the responsibility for engineering education for the profession should be; recent official actions of the Board, both at the SPE and AIME levels, have spoken to the over-all question; special and standing committees are continuing a vigorous study of the problem; sessions on professionalism and education have become a regular part of the annual program just within the past two years; and more articles relating to the issues are currently appearing in the Journal of Petroleum Technology than ever before. 4. Finally, there are indications that the petroleum industry is beginning to foresee a technical manpower problem which promises to become acute within the next few years. This paper proposes to examine the over-all question of responsibility as related to the three areas of education, profession and the Society. Specific recommendations directed toward constructively improving existing efforts are suggested. Any criticism offered in this paper is directed as much at the writer as any others. All can well appreciate that this is a difficult subject for an individual to discuss, and the rapidity with which new advances are now occurring both in education and industry makes it even more so. The time has arrived for a full, frank and objective appraisal of the total problem.
Responsibility The Professional Educator
What are the responsibilities of the engineering educator? Before attempting to answer the question, let us first examine some pertinent points of view on engineering education as a whole, as these viewpoints definitely affect the question at hand. President Pusey of Harvard has stated in effect that universities thrive best only as they are free to pursue objectives chosen by themselves. The university pursues knowledge for its own sake uninfluenced by practical considerations. As pointed out by Ragland, this viewpoint would seem to be the antithesis of the objectives of engineering education.
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