Reflecting the firm belief of its donor that young engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund's major program is focused on younger engineering educators. Its objective is to provide an engineering atmosphere that these teachers can meet and exchange views with practicing engineers.
The program accomplishes this by underwriting the costs of annually bringing engineering educators to the SAE World Congress & Exposition in Detroit, Michigan, or the SAE AeroTech meeting held every other year. These events attract more than 45,000 engineers who share common interests in research, design, development, production, and utilization of land, sea, air, and space vehicles.
Besides having the freedom to attend their choice of technical sessions, the SAE Teetor Award participants are invited to attend SAE technical committee meetings, take part in visits to industrial and research facilities, and an awards ceremony. Special functions allow the group to meet with officers of SAE, as well as to get to know each other better. The participants are encouraged to tour the Exposition and to talk with as many practicing engineers as possible.
As a feature of the Award program, one of the major automobile manufacturers and one of the leading aerospace corporations are hosts-for-a-day to the participants. The host's engineering and research department customarily arrange specialized tours and sessions where new techniques are demonstrated and discussed. At other forums, views are exchanged on subjects of mutual interest to the engineering educators and the host engineers.
The Teetor Program has been an important part of the SAE service and educational story since 1963. It has provided an unparalleled opportunity for more than 800 engineering educators to develop a better understanding and closer relationship with practicing engineers. Since its inception, Teetor Award recipients have represented over 200 universities and colleges.
SAE Teetor Award Alumni continue to develop new concepts in teaching, engage in research programs, participate in local industrial-college efforts, and assist SAE Sections, thanks to their exposure to industry via this unique program. They have continued to interface with industry and government bodies by serving on the SAE Board of Directors, on administrative , executive & technical committees, and by actively supporting other educational programs administered by SAE.
The unique program has been enthusiastically welcomed by Deans of Engineering and has generated comments such as these from the participants:
- The new challenges that industry faces has put new and higher demands on the practicing engineer. He should now be prepared to tackle previously unresolved problems in addition to finding answers to routine problems. We as engineering educators have to prepare our graduates for assuming such responsibilities. The Teetor Award Program gave us guidelines and hints that will help in our task.
- The Teetor Award provides an excellent opportunity for young educators to access information about the automotive industry. The direct benefit is the ability to tie together theory and real world in the classroom. The capability to bridge this gap results in a significantly enhanced educational experience for the student. Without the Teetor Program, I would not be able to bridge this gap as effectively.
- By attending the technical sessions and talking to practicing engineers, I obtained a much clearer picture of the important problems and the new frontiers in automotive technology. It also gave me a better idea of the functions of engineers in industry, which will help me to better prepare my students for their careers.
- Participation in the program was a most valuable experience for me. I now have a broad understanding of current industry practices and design goals that I can pass on to my classes. In addition, the program made me much more aware of the exciting research being carried out in my area of specialization.
- I believe the opportunity to discuss engineering education with leaders of the automotive industry was extremely valuable. I can see both engineering education and industry gaining from informal interchanges such as these.
- The goals of academic and industrial interchange were met with maximum benefits. Each participant will take back to hundreds of students the industrial knowledge gained as a result of this program. This was not simply attendance at a SAE annual meeting. This was truly an update of industrial contact for the professors involved.
For more information on the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, contact Teetor Program.