June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.284.1 - 23.284.11
CHALLENGING TIME FOR ENGINEERINGThe present world full of challenges and crises of deep consequences to society aswell to environment has a strong incidence in terms of decision making in any field. Itmeans that it is becoming more and more complex and difficult to take decisions dueto the fact that the implications are felt in a faster way and in a larger community. Forengineers the decision process is even more complex once the implications haveserious impact not only to the target customers but also to the society as a whole andto the environment. This is an aspect that shows the necessity for engineers to searchfor the acquisition of an ability to respond to social necessities having in mind thecultural aspects when developing a project. The effects of this aspect in engineeringformation implies in a different approach providing the future engineers a notionabout policy, ethics and social sciences, so important to prepare them to the futurework market that will require the respect and promotion of society and environment asassets. Most of social groups have ambiguous understanding about science andtechnology; some understand it as responsible for the environmental deterioration andthe voracious capitalism and others as the ones responsible for the better quality oflife with the improvement of health systems, agricultural production and otheraccomplishments. Both perceptions are not far from the reality. In any case theimpacts can be seen along the history and more recently with the sophistication of theso called “information society”. This particular “information society” shows howstrong can be the impact of any technology introduced in the society. Real timecommunication, brutal amount of information available have changed drastically howpeople relate, make business and study. Engineering occupies an important role in this“brave new world” and it is in fact crucial for the development of science andtechnology and more important it is responsible for the delivery of such technologieson the service of the betterment of humanity. This aspect may lead to the notion thatengineers should be aware of the responsibility to society as they contribute to itsdevelopment. It is to be aware of the impacts not only environmental but also social ofthe outcomes of projects. Looking closer to the formation of engineers, there is still aprevalence of good technical formation without thinking of a broader knowledgeachievement. This broader achievement is not a recent idea; the French School ofEngineering implemented under Napoleon governance formed the “Mr. Engineer”that prepared leaders with high profile of technical knowledge. Even after theglobalization phenomenon, with all the discussions about introducing humanisticcourses in engineering programs, the results are humble. There is still a difficulty forengineers to address technology to solve social issues rather than to apply technologyregardless social needs. The other point is that the design of a project now for the“informed society” has to take into account the social impacts as well as theenvironmental. So the question is the engineering school preparing the future engineerto perform in the new challenging social environment? If it is possible to suggestsome actions the key is to prepare the future engineers to learn how to work close tothe communities and the governments, addressing the outcomes of the projects tosolve sociotechnological problems.
Brito, C. D. R., & Ciampi, M. M., & Vasconcelos, R. M. C. F., & Amaral, L. A. M., & Barros, V. F. D. A. (2013, June), CHALLENGING TIME FOR ENGINEERING Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19298
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015