Message from the Editor - The Times They Are A-Changin'...


  • La Verne Abe Harris Purdue University, West Lafayette


Bob Dylan’s lyrics keep playing in my head.


Come gather ‘round people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You’ll be drenched to the bone.

If your time to you

Is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’

Or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’


(Dylan, 1964, 1967, 1979, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2000).


Imagine this. It is the beginning of the semester, and the chemistry professor walks into his or her class and observes that the chemistry periodic table of the elements has been revised within the past couple of months; in fact, the atomic structure of Polonium, Antimony, and Boron have not only changed, but the names and some of the properties of all of the Metalloids have been revised.  Truth or fiction? Well, in a graphic technology classroom, this would be a normal event. That is what makes professors who teach and research technology different from other disciplines. “Change” is our middle name. It is our one constant. The one thing we can be sure of is that technology changes, and we have to change along with it.


The active core of the Engineering Design Graphics Division are baby boomers who are now beginning to seriously consider retiring within five to 10 years. This is not just a professional organization of university graphics professors. This is a tight group of professionals who have become friends throughout the years. We see each other twice a year. Many have done so for over 20 to 30 years. We have become a family.


It will soon be time for the members in their 20s and 30s to step up to the plate and take over the leadership roles. The vision of the Engineering Design Graphics Division has expanded, just as the type of members have diversified. We also welcome community college instructors and encourage undergraduate and graduate students to attend the conferences and present their research. We have covered topics in online learning, animation, project management, assessment and international studies in all areas of graphics.


We have grown together in this world of the “teacher scholar” and realize the importance of access to research and the importance of citing each other. We are forming a task force to set up having our conference proceedings and Journals available online, having abstracts posted on our website (, and becoming members of Google Scholar and ERIC. The future publication process will include permission of EDGD to publish articles from the proceedings and Journal in ERIC and Google Scholar.


This issue of the Engineering Design Graphics Journal focuses on the history and assessment of engineering design graphics. The “Engineering Design Graphics: Into the 21st Century” article traces the 6,000-year journey of engineering design graphics and the impact it has had in the academe and on the profession and the way designers work. It addresses the future of the discipline and the inevitable changes coming about because of emerging technologies.


Brad Kinsey et al. combined a subset of the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test and a self-efficacy test that they developed to investigate the “Effect of Object and Rotation Type on Self-efficacy and Spatial Ability Test Results.” The participants in this study were engineering students from a variety of disciplines.


In the article “Drafting the Basics” Carol M. Lamb and David G. Kurtanich identified, evaluated, and developed a course to address the importance of drafting/plan preparation and plan reading skills required by the various engineering technology programs.


I hope you enjoy this issue of the Journal and I encourage all of you to submit articles to be published. All articles were submitted to the same peer-review process and accepted using a double-blind review. That way, EDGD officers can publish their articles in the Journal under the same scrutiny as the other authors.


Just as I set down the proof of this issue, I thought about the video conferences I just completed with graduate students defending their Applied Projects through networking three different campuses in two different states. Hmmm ... The times they are a changin’ ...




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