Message from the Chair


  • Mary A. Sadowski Purdue University


At the EDG MidYear Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, I asked each of those present to give me their ideas in response to the following question.  "What is at least one thing we can do as a membership to ensure the viability of the EDG Division into the next century?"  Later I put the same question on the EDG Listserve.  I stripped all names from the responses and have been trying to compile and make sense out of the wide and varied information I received.  While many of the ideas have merit and I will try to make a full report in the next issue of the Journal, I would like to comment on what one member had to say.


I would suggest that we consider actively broadening the mission of the Division in promoting graphic communication for engineers through any and every technical means available.  Within the broader context, (perhaps a Divisional name change to Graphic Communicate for Engineering - notice I left out the sacred Design word) the role of the Division would be to greatly expand its development into the visual communication realm.  This could certainly be used to attract a broader base of professionals into the field.  If we're going to be successful at this, we must actively recruit EVERYONE, including DEED and other existing divisions, interested in the implications of graphic communications in engineering education.  Gee, I guess that's everybody!!


At first I thought this might be considered heresy, and then I began to think about all of the Engineering Design Graphics programs that used to exist and how many of them are now defunct.  The decision has already been made at many universities across the country that individual departments devoted to Engineering Graphics are not needed.  Although Engineering Graphics is still being taught to engineering students often it is not being taught in and Engineering Graphics Department.  This does not diminish the importance of what we do, it just points out how things have and continue to change.  When I compare our name and what we have done in the past with what we are now doing I wonder if it is time that WE changed along with the times.


As a division we are struggling to find new members, and although we have established a great tradition in the Engineering Design Graphics Journal, we are struggling to fill the pages with papers.  This seems to be due in part to our small membership and aging members who no longer need publications for their promotion, but also to the narrow focus of what our reviewers rightly consider to be associated with our mission.  Graphics for communication is emerging as an integral part of what we do and we need to be major players in the field.  Already, many of our members are involved in using variety of new media for their classroom, books, handouts, and lectures.  Multimedia, the Web, and interactive presentations all involve graphics in a huge way.  Who is better equipped to add technical engineering graphics advise than the members of the EDG Division?


I am not suggesting that we abandon Engineering Design Graphics, but I will continue my theme of suggesting that we expand our horizons and become more inclusive rather than exclusive.  We need to be proactive about graphics rather than reactive.  We should be so attractive that ASEE members are flocking to our division.


By the way, if you are not on the EDG ListServe, contact Eric Wiebe at: eric_wiebe@ncsu.ecu and he will get you subscribed.




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