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					3rd Global Congress on Engineering Education                                                                 2002 UICEE
Glasgow, Scotland, 30 June-5 July 2002

   Engineering education and training in the field of high technology in the context of
                               “intelligent economics”

                               Yu.P. Pokholkov, B.L. Agranovitch & V.N. Chudinov

                                          Russian Association for Engineering Education
                                                        Moscow, Russia
                                                  Tomsk Polytechnic University
                                                         Tomsk, Russia

ABSTRACT: The paper is based on the issues of high technology engineering education in the context of emerging intelligent
economics. The analysis of the issues covers the fundamental features of a new technology set-up (system) that influence
significantly the engineering curricula. The definitions are given to the following notions: high technology and an engineer
specialized in the high technology area. Discussed are the ways of solving existing problems of high technology engineering
education. The paper suggests that the fundamental educational approach, engineers‟ innovation thinking formation and special
training in technology transfer are vital for reorganization of the engineering education curriculum.

INTRODUCTION                                                        The latest technology set-up is formed together with the
                                                                    creation of transnational virtual corporations on the basis of
The authors have been conducting a substantial research based       information technologies and global computer networks.
on the issues of engineering formation for several years. The
research paper [1] shows that heuristic procedures and methods      These producing establishments based on knowledge and high
of the “goal tree”, function and structure formation may act as a   technology promote the processes of the intensive
solid frame for a uniform engineering activity.                     concentration of intellectual and innovation forces, eliminate
                                                                    the distinctions between goods and services and realize mass
The process of a uniform engineering activity creation is           production of custom designed goods. It is hardly possible to
supposed to involve experts to implement the formal aspect of       refer their final products to the national production of a
the tree formation, specific features of engineering activity       separate country. They can be considered as an aggregate
curriculum and to determine how complete, simple and vital the      product, the result of international division of labor.
acquired goals and functions are. All mentioned above allows        Transnational industrial corporations change their idea of the
receiving a standardized variant of a uniform education activity.   economic situation due to growing importance of such
That is supposed to be the basis for reorganization of existing     intangible assets as human, structural, managerial and
engineering curricula for a new generation of specialists. The      innovation resources and others. “Intelligent economy”
analyzed “goal tree”, functions and structures allowed the          promotes the global changing of technology set-up in the line of
authors in their works [1], [2] and [3] to show that engineering    developing regions, education and information service,
education curriculum can be regarded as a combination of            providing healthy environment, improving the quality of life
training, methodology standard formation and habilitating           and contributing to creative personal self-actualization [4].
                                                                    Therefore, the modern period of social and economic
Training implies acquisition of humanitarian, socio-economic,       development can be characterized as a period of global
mathematic, scientific, general and specific attainments on the     technological development of the world. Now it is already
required level.                                                     universally recognized that the sources and main motivating
                                                                    forces of the strong economic growth are scientific and
Education along with training provides graduate‟s methodology       technical ideas and discoveries, high technology and scientific
standard formation, mastering skills and methods in cognitive,      production, intellectual and educational potential of the
professional, communicative, and value forming activity on the      personnel rather than mere capital accumulation.
required level.
                                                                    Russia accumulated vast resources in the area of high
Habilitating process along with education and training give full    technology. The facts that engineering education and industry
preparation of an individual to the professional career.            in Russia have existed for more than three hundred years,
                                                                    fundamental research in various fields was well financed in last
Within the framework of       this paper the authors continue       years, and Russia is one of the first countries in the world in the
analyzing and extending        the developed methodological         number of highly qualified research workers allowed the
principles of professional     engineers specialized in high        country to accumulate vast intellectual resources which are its
technology education in the   context of developing “intelligent    principal property now.
                                                                    Both Russian (the Russian Academy of Engineering, Russian
                                                                    Association for Engineering Education, League of Russian
                                                                    Independent Scientists) and foreign experts (International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development) evaluate the existing in
Russia intellectual property as ten times as much as the basic
assets of the country.

According to the experts from the Russian Association for
Engineering Education, engineering universities and scientific
establishments attached to the, we have accumulated more than
forty thousand high technologies, high-tech techniques and
complete scientific and technical projects.

The Innovation Activity Committee of the European
Community repeatedly emphasizes in its annual reports on the
innovation activity analysis that innovation is a key factor in the
new century, and the true wealth of a country is its intellectual
property. At the same time, the EC Committee admits that              A professional engineer in high technology is able to fully
Europe has been facing a considerable decrease in innovation          combine research, designing and entrepreneurship that are
activity in the economy for the last 15-20 years, mentions            aimed at highly effective structure creation that promote the
innovation challenge and innovation stagnation. As American           growth and development in various fields of social activities.
politicians and experts say, growing concern of modern states
in the technological development of their countries and               According to the above-mentioned definition, a professional
providing them with up-to-date technologies to promote the            engineer in the field of high technology is an explorer,
growth and development of various fields of social and                intellectual value creator who knows how to put them into
economic activity is due to the fact that high-tech production is     practice and to create on their basis new material values as well
a determining factor of economic development in the 21 st             as to convert the latter into goods.
Century. In the near future, the USA and the countries of
South-East Asia will face the phenomenon of innovation                Complexity of training of specialists in the area of high
challenge.                                                            technology is concerned with necessity to combine profound
                                                                      mastering of fundamental knowledge and engineering
In its report submitted in September 1997, the International          creativity, as well as entrepreneurial ability.
Bank for Reconstruction and Development stated, “We are
facing a unique situation in our history. New technologies            The solution of the problem of training specialists in the area of
together with reforms and investments into education give             high technology requires reorganization of curriculum, shift to
developing countries the possibility of rapid economic growth.        new educational technologies, and new forms of training
It especially concerns the group of countries possessing half of      administration. It is also essential to incorporate industrial and
world resources. Russia together with China, India, Indonesia         scientific community potential into modern training of
and Brazil will have made five new economic „tigers‟ and will         specialists (Fig.1).
play an important and active role in global economy by 2010-
2015 (D. Stiglech, the Vice-President of the International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development).

It is natural that under such conditions engineering curricula
and technologies of engineering education change significantly.
This paper covers the problems of developing engineering


An updated technology set-up is characterized by its
information telecommunications approach. The key role is
played by global information network, systems of artificial
intelligence    and    integrated   high-speed    transport           Reorganization of curriculum in training of high technology
communications. The recent developments in energy storage             specialists demands a fundamental approach in the first place,
and ecology technologies, in nuclear power and space                  formation of creativity among specialists and special training
engineering, in structure material with required properties           according to the technology transfer. With all this going on, the
manufacturing and flexible process of automatic production            requirements refer equally to research, designing, and
are used.                                                             entrepreneurial training.

High technology is understood in the paper as a high-end               As a consequence of systematic analysis of the factors
technology promoting the growth and development in various            discussed above, the curriculum of training of specialists in the
fields of socio-economic activities and insuring peak efficiency      area of high technology includes mastering of humanitarian,
as well as their harmonious involvement in natural and social         socio-economic, mathematic, scientific, general and specific
systems (Table 1).                                                    attainments. It also involves formation of methods of cognitive,
                                                                      professional, communicative, value forming activities, and
                                                                      complex preparation of the graduate for professional activity.
The knowledge system feature of training of engineer in the
area of high technology lies in solid scientific, mathematic,
world view basis. It lies in breadth of interdisciplinary system-
integrative knowledge of nature, society, and world outlook,
high level of general and specific attainments, which provide
solution in thorny problems.

Universally recognized idea in training engineers in the area of
high technology is that conventional approach to professional
education as learning certain amount of information based on
teaching fixed courses is not enough. Moreover, a conventional
approach becomes a hindrance to engineer‟s new style of
thinking. The basis of education must consist not so much of
regular courses, rather than methods of thinking and acting, i.e.
reflection methods. It is essential to incorporate attainments,       FORMATION OF INNOVATIVE THINKING
methods of cognition and activity into one coherent entity.
                                                                      An important constituent part of education curriculum should
The knowledge system feature of training engineers in the area        be education mediums and education technologies, which
of high technology should be of high methodology standard,            provide conditions to form innovative thinking. Multi-criteria
and exceptionally and creatively wield cognition and activity         problem setting and solution, non-linear thinking, long lasting
methods.                                                              skills of wielding of information are implied (Fig. 3).
Not only classical methods of natural science aimed at search
of one solution are implied, but also the methods of formation
and broad inculcation of multi-criteria target settings and
innovative problem solving into education. Search for multiple
resolution, methods of systematic approach to optimum
selection of any decision to satisfy customers‟ needs are of vital
importance as well.

As the previous experience of specialists‟ training, engineer‟s
success is determined in many respects not only by high level         SPECIAL TRAINING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
of education and fruitful command of cognition and activity           TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
methods, but also by full preparation for professional career.
This preparation includes not only the professional activity in       An essential element in the area of high technology is
normal living conditions and debugged industry, but also in test      considered to be guaranteeing of social training in accordance
conditions, change in mode of life, ideas, outlook, and attitude.     with technology transfer. It includes knowledge acquisition and
Thus, a successful professional activity implies not merely the       forming of methods of systematic design and programming of
high level of training and education, but also intellectual           development,     strategic     management    and     marketing,
wealth, morality, socio-psychological and physical culture of a       entrepreneurship, formation of scientific basics of technology
human being.                                                          transfer, wielding methods and means of cross-culture
                                                                      communication (Fig. 4).
While projecting the curriculum and requirements to the
standards of engineers‟ training, there is a need to find place for
knowledge and methods aimed at developing of self-knowledge
and self-actualization.


The fundamental education curriculum is achieved through the
broadening and deepening of interdisciplinary attainments of a
specialist. These attainments are directed to/at solution of          CONCLUSIONS
thorny problems in scholarly, designing, and entrepreneurial
activity. Fundamental education curriculum is achieved through        The discussed approaches to specialist training in the area of
increasing level of formed methods of cognitive,                      high technology in the condition of “intelligent economics”, the
communicative and value activity; through providing synthesis         stated requirements for the curriculum were systematically
of science and humanities as well. The fundamental education          accomplished in the Tomsk Polytechnic University. These
curriculum is achieved by providing change into combined              approaches and methods were reached along with the
production criteria, effectiveness, and quality; ability to enlarge   development of the new generation of the university
scientific background of socio-professional life with the help of     educational standards, and the quality management of training
methodology, generalization and various kinds of modeling             and educational services.
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