Published: Jan 1960
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I am very happy to have the privilege of presenting a brief discussion of education in the field of materials from the point of view of an educator. It is my intention to present a somewhat general point of view regarding an approach to the problem. I believe there will be a great deal of difficulty in adopting the points of view of those who advocate the teaching of the properties of materials as a science, because, throughout our experience, the area of education in materials has traditionally been of a very practical nature, and all of the vested interests in a particular curriculum in our universities are active here in the extreme. Furthermore, one can argue here with more validity than in many areas that, while an engineer must know the theories of thermodynamics, for example, he must from the very beginning of his engineering career have some knowledge of the external or useful characteristics of the materials with which he must deal. Consequently, there are few fields in which the employer's opinion of a young engineer can be influenced for better or for worse much more quickly than in the use or misuse of the various materials which the young engineer has available.
Alexander, W. T.
DeanPresident of ASEE, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.