Recently, the National Engineering Forum at The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to discuss ways to encourage STEM students to pursue engineering as their profession. During the forum, members explored options for increasing student interest in the ‘E’ of STEM and sought concrete answers for converting STEM students into professional engineers. 

VOCABULARY 180The forum, made up of 60 engineering professionals,  discussed the shortage of engineering professionals and the the challenges the shortage will pose to the industry and our national economy. An underling theme was filling the upcoming vacancies with native U.S. citizens instead of heavily relying on outsourcing.

“In terms of strengthening national security for the country, it is a national asset,” said Deborah Wince-Smith, the president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness. “Tonight really pushes the idea that engineering is part of our overall success. This state should have the highest levels of science and engineering, that’s your ecosystem. You should have a leading workforce.”

The group, which included several business leaders and engineers from Sandia National Labs, discussed ways to encourage more STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics, education in New Mexico.

“For many of us, the ‘E’ in STEM is silent,” said Jeffrey Wilcox, the vice president of engineering for Lockheed Martin. “It should be writ large. That means that industry, academia, the labs, and education come together and find out how best to leverage it and make sense.”

Sandia Director Paul Hommert is on the board of directors for the Council on Competitiveness, a national group focused on maintaining America’s cutting edge in the global marketplace. He was instrumental in organizing Wednesday’s meeting, Wince-Smith said.

“The state should see Sandia National Labs, and Los Alamos National Lab, and the Air Force Research Lab as assets, assets through engineering capacity and it’s strategic that we’re here,” said Wince-Smith.

CONTINUE READINGGroup looks for ways to strengthen STEM studies

 

dan-mayfield-1000x1334Dan Mayfield is a Technology & Economic Development Reporter for – Albuquerque Business First

 

 

 

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