The image of engineers in society has improved somewhat since Michael Douglas' portrayal of a decidedly unattractive engineer 20 years ago in the movie "Falling Down," writes Richard Benson, dean of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. In popular culture, a number of TV channels put the profession in a positive light, and various teen competitions and global organizations highlight the work of engineers. But more is needed if we are to fill the nation's need for engineering graduates and make urgently needed progress in growing the number of minorities and women in the field.

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