After picking six of the best from 1,500 entries, ASEE names UB technology management professor a finalist for its coveted Best Paper Award

Neal Lewis, a professor in the Technology Management Department at the University of Bridgeport, one of his former students, and a colleague from the University of Alaska Anchorage are among six teams to make it to the final rounds of the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) highly competitive Best Paper competition.

More than 1,500 entries were submitted to the competition. The winner will be announced in June 2013.

“We don’t know anyone who’s ever won at this high a level,” said Lewis. “It’s a very big success and we feel very, very good about it. It’s prestige.”

Lewis; Ted Eschenbach, professor emeritus at University of Alaska Anchorage; and Yiran Zhang, ’11, submitted their paper, “When to Start Collecting Social Security: Designing A Case Study.”

In it, the trio outlines a case study they created for engineering students to determine the best time to take Social Security withdrawals based on a series of factors, including one’s personal life expectancy, the value of retirement benefits accrued over time vs. monthly benefits, and various risk factors.

Despite the fact that Social Security is a major source of income for many older Americans, too many remain woefully uninformed about the best time to start collecting the benefit, said Lewis.

“What the financial advisers and Social Security Administration do not talk about is the concept of risk. Engineers do think in terms of risk, and that is part of how we analyze things in engineering economics,” said Lewis, who tested the case study in his Engineering Economics class during the spring semester.
Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,