Page images
PDF
EPUB

TABLE 4.--Type of organization where previously employed or enrolled

[blocks in formation]

(6) College and university sources

Table 5, entitled "College and University Sources of Recruitment” shows that

1. Seventeen schools accounted for 33 percent of the college and university recruits, while 64 percent came from 203 other schools—with none of the 203 contributing more than 10 new NASA employees.

2. The schools from which NASA drew a significant number of recruits10 or more—are largely located near NASA centers and many of these same schools have cooperative training agreements with the NASA centers.

TABLE 5.—College and university source of recruitment
College or university:

North Carolina State College ?
VPI.
Case Institute.
George Tech ?
University of Alabama ?
University of Texas---
Tennessee Polytechnic
Michigan State University.
Auburn University ?
University of Maryland.
University of Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania State University-
University of South Carolina.
Mississippi State University
University of Tennessee 1
Florida State ---
University of Detroit ?

Number

33 25 22 21 17 16 15 15 14 14 14 12 12 11 10 10 10

Subtotal (17 schools) (33 percent). 203 other schools (64 percent). No response (3 percent)

271 525 25

Total.--

821 1. Co-op schools—Those colleges and universities with which NASA has formal cooperative training agreements. (c) Industry sources Table 6, entitled "Industry Sources of Recruitment" shows that

1. Approximately 43 percent of the industry scientific and engineering recruits came from 10 companies and that the remaining 57 percent came from some 275 other industrial firms.

2. In only 3 cases did more than 50 employees come from the same company. In each of these three cases the companies were experiencing work cutbacks during the period most of the NASA recruits were employed.

TABLE 6.-Industry source of recruitment
Industrial firm:

General Dynamics Corp-
General Electric Co.--.
Martin-Marietta Corp-
Chrysler Corp---
Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc.
Boeing Co----
A.T. & T..
Westinghouse Electric Corp-
Lockheed Aircraft Corp--
North American Aviation, Inc---

[blocks in formation]

Subtotal (10 industrial firms) (42.6 percent of total). 275 other industrial firms (57.4 percent of total)

475 641

Total ---

1, 116

CONTINUING DEVELOPMENT OF MANPOWER RESOURCES

(a) Programs within NASA

Much has been written and spoken recently about the problem of technical obsolescence and the need for continuing training for engineers and scientists. In a recent article, Dr. J. R. Killian, chairman of MIT, stated, “It is likely that thousands of engineers in industry are working with reduced effectiveness, or are in danger of being shunted aside by progress because their knowledge and skills are obsolescent or because they have not had an opportunity to enhance or update their abilities by acquiring new skills and knowledge.”

Since its inception, NASA has recognized this problem of technical obsolescence. In fact, NASA has acted to prevent obsolescence from occurring. Its staff development concepts are based on the belief that scientists and engineers associated with the newly emerging disciplines of the aerospace sciences require continuous, lifetime retraining in order to maintain their optimum effectiveness.

NASA relies heavily on the university community for advice and assistance in carrying out its staff development program. This relationship is not a oneway flow from the universities to the agency. NASA scientists and engineers serve as part-time professors in graduate schools, thus bringing to university campuses the most current technical and scientific knowledge resulting from space science and engineering.

NASA management attempts to build an attitude toward work-study which will become a way of life for the scientist and engineer. Cooperative work-study arrangements with universities for undergraduates represents one effective method of accomplishing this at the undergraduate level. NASA has such cooperative agreements with over 25 colleges and universities in the United States. It is estimated that 750 NASA employees are participating in this program during this fiscal year. This compares with 500 in fiscal year 1962. Dr. Killian recommends that “there is a quick way to increase our manpower supply and improve our use of talent: Give these seasoned engineers an opportunity through specially tailored educational programs, to update their knowledge."

NASA's practice is to tailor a special work-study program for each scientist and engineer who joins the staff in order to keep him at the forefront of developing technologies and prevent technical obsolescence.

The young engineer and scientist enters into an internship or advanced study program, during which he takes high-level courses conducted by senior staff members, has assigned readings, and carries out carefully selected work assignments. It is estimated that about 500 NASA employees will participate in various elements of advanced study programs during this fiscal year.

The work-study concept is continued for the seasoned, experienced staff members through NASA's graduate study program. This program is conducted in close association with the graduate departments of universities and colleges throughout the country. In some instances the universities have established off-campus centers on the NASA installation. These centers are administered jointly by the universities and the agency and offer graduate courses. A considerable number of professors for these courses are outstanding NASA scientists and engineers who teach after hours.

A limited number of NASA scientists and engineers attend universities away from the NASA center which offer the best curriculum in their particular field of research. It is estimated that 1,500 NASA employees will participate in various elements of graduate study programs during this fiscal year. This compares with 1,200 in fiscal year 1962.

26–460—64 -10

Another method of developing the scientific and engineering manpower re sources is to encourage and support attendance at short, concentrated courses sponsored by colleges, universities, and professional societies. These courses are geared to the specific needs of experienced engineers and scientists and are usually 2 weeks in length. To assure that necessary courses are offered, NASA identifies its needs and makes these known to the universities. It is estimated that about 1,700 NASA employees will participate in short, concentrated courses during this fiscal year.

We believe that NASA's development program for scientists and engineers reflects recognition of the hazards of technical obsolescence which have led Mr. A. C. Monteith of Westinghouse to observe that the half-life of an engineer is now about 10 years. (6) NASA's university training grants

The President's Science Advisory Committee has said "we should and could increase the number of Ph. D.'s each year in engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences to reach 7,500 in 1970, the number of masters or equivalent to 30,000. This annual production of 37,500 advanced degrees by 1970 should be compared with 15,000 in 1960, 11,000 in 1950.”

With this problem in mind, NASA has embarked on a program of lending positive assistance to the universities in increasing the future supply of highly trained scientists and engineers. NASA sponsors a predoctoral training pro gram with the objective of assisting in the graduation of 1,000 Ph. D.'s a year.

In this program NASA now supports predoctoral training programs at 88 separate schools. The purpose of these grants is to help achieve the long-range objectives of the national space program and meet the Nation's future needs for highly trained scientists and engineers. These skills are in supply today and will be needed in increasing numbers over the next decade.

The institutions were selected not only because they have doctoral programs in space-related science and engineering, but also because of their willingness to undertake strengthening of their programs in these areas.

NASA awards training grants to institutions rather than to individual scholars. The institution then selects the individual scholars, using its own standards, This program began in 1962 with grants to 10 universities for support of 100 graduate students. In fiscal year 1963, NASA has provided for 786 new trainees. Present plans call for addition of some 1,250 new trainees in the fall of 1964.

The President's Science Advisory Committee has called for an increase of 4,100 in the annual graduation of Ph. D.'s from 3,400 in 1962 to 7,500 by 1975.

The NASA program will provide support for about a quarter of this increase. This goal is predicated principally upon the fact that NASA's current annual budget is approximately one-fourth of the Federal Government's research and development budget.

IMPACT OF NASA'S MANPOWER NEEDS ON THE NONAEROSPACE SECTORS OF THE NATION

Statements have been made that the space program has had significant adverse effects on privately financed research and development, retarding innovation in consumer products, harming the consumer sections of the economy, and hiring professors away from universities.

NASA's manpower studies and surveys have not found verification of these fears as shown in the following findings :

NASA's program is not using a substantial percentage of the Nation's scientists and engineers. The relative magnitude of the NASA demand upon the total national supply of scientists and engineers during the rest of the decade is indicated by the 6.6 percent maximum requirement set forth earlier in this presentation.

A portion of the increase in scientific and engineering manpower being assigned to new NASA work in the industry is being met without a proportional increase in staff. There is evidence that this trend is rising.

The research and development scientists and engineers used on NASA's programs are about a third less than usually estimated, since over one-third of NASA's expenditures and effort are for work or products not requiring research and development scientists and engineers. Under the planning assumptions previously cited concerning future NASA expenditures and manpower, less than 12

percent of the national requirements for research and development scientists and engineers will be used at any time during the rest of the decade on the NASA program. Industrially financed research and development has continued to grow and has increased even as a percentage of the gross national product. Industryfinanced research and development has risen from 0.613 percent of the gross national product in 1953–54 to 0.907 percent in 1961-62, which is the most recent period for which statistics are available.

NASA training grants and in-house training are contributing to the Nation's graduate level training of scientists and engineers.

NASA has hired few teaching professors and its large industrial contractors indicate they rarely hire from university teaching staffs.

NEED FOR BETTER DATA ON SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS

There is a scarcity of essential information about scientists and engineers. This lack of information has been highlighted in many studies of scientific and engineering manpower problems including those by the President's Committee on Scientists and Engineers for Federal Government Programs, 1957; the Hauser Committee, 1958; and Mr. Siciliano's Information Essentials Group, 1959. These reports all concluded that the data on the numbers, kinds, demand, supply, characteristics, and deployment of scientists and engineers was inadequate. These informational inadequacies still exist. They are even more apparent now because of growing needs for such information and the present high interest in scientific and engineering manpower.

The reports cited above concentrated upon manpower information and its deficiencies. Recently, attention has been focused on deficiencies of manpowerrelated information such as the interrelationships of manpower resources, funds for scientific and engineering work, and national objectives such as defense, space exploration, health, and the need to increase industrial productivity. Informational deficiencies in this broader context are even more apparent. Such information is vital to effective policy formulation by the executive branch and the Congress.

This testimony is intended to fill the gap insofar as possible with respect to NASA's program. But much of the data had to be provided by special surveys and analyses and by the use of extrapolation methods which are unsatisfactory at best.

Segments of data concerning scientific and engineering manpower, national and private funding, objectives of the work, and physical facilities are collected by many Federal and non-Federal organizations. Among these are the Civil Service Commission, the Bureau of the Census, the National Science Foundation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Office of Education. NonFederal organizations include the National Research Council, the National Education Association, the Engineering Manpower Commission, and various industry associations. In addition, Federal agencies collect scientific and engineering manpower and related information in considerable detail concerning their inhouse employe and functions, but little with respect to their contractors and grantees.

However, three major types of deficiencies make this apparent wealth of information difficult and often impossible to use in major policy setting, without supplementing it by special collections of data.

One deficiency is the gaps in existing information. Another is the differences among definitions, categories, and methodologies used. A third is the difficulty of interrelating different kinds of manpower information with expenditures, facilities, and objectives.

These difficulties appear to indicate the need for development of an integrated, national system for the collection and analysis of scientific and engineering manpower and related information, including centralized storage of data from many sources and perhaps the utilization of modern computer technology for rapid access and analyses. Such a system would also reduce the multiple overlapping requests for basic information which burden reporting organizations in industry and throughout the economy. This is only a suggestion and one that is beyond the purview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »