As companies flock to China to save on growing production costs in the United States, a similar trend has been identified in the engineering industry. Intensive and competitive programs at international universities threaten domestic graduates, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Adam Bruckner, chair of the aeronautical engineering program at the University of Washington, sites shrinking and inferior education opportunities stateside as cause for alarm.
Nearby aero-giant Boeing is notorious for recruiting from the University of Washington, but many students are graduating with qualifications and grades that the company finds subpar. “We don’t want to just crank people out for the sake of cranking people out. We want to produce good engineers,” says Bruckner of program shortcomings. He notes that educational cutbacks have left students unmotivated and created a bigger divide between the stellar performers and those who merely coast.
On a recent trip to China to check out Beihang University, a school that specializes in engineering and the aeronautical field, Bruckner saw vast differences in their approach to teaching. Many will go on to work at companies like Boeing. What remains to be seen is how U.S. schools will look to fight back in a time when smart engineers are in greater demand than ever before.
To read the full interview with Adam Bruckner from the Seattle PI, click here.