SPIE Senior Member Daniel Hull has been appointed to a US National Academy of Engineering study committee on the status, role, and needs of engineering technology education in the United States.
Hull is the principal investigator and executive director of the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC), a consortium of two-year colleges, high schools, universities, national laboratories, industry partners, and professional societies funded by the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The 18-month NAE study will review the production and employment of engineering technologists and technicians in the United States; gather data and explore private- and public-sector employer perceptions on the adequacy of engineering technologists and technicians as well as the knowledge and skills they bring to the workplace; and describe US engineering technology education programs. The study is funded by the NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education.
Hull has presented several papers on optics education and technical training at SPIE events, including "Preparing technicians for photonics industries and organizations" at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2011 and "Green activities to interest high school students in electro-optics" at SPIE Eco-Photonics 2011. Both papers are available in the SPIE Digital Library.
He is the author of several books on technician preparation and contextual teaching, including Career Pathways for STEM Technicians (2012), Adult Career Pathways (2007), and Career Pathways: Education with a Purpose (2005).
The final report will be widely distributed to raise awareness of engineering technology among educators, policy makers, and funders. It is aimed at promoting discussion and action among stakeholders on the steps needed to more effectively and strategically support the education and hiring of individuals with engineering technology skills.