June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.401.1 - 23.401.23
Developing Innovation Capabilities and Competencies as a Integral Component of the Engineering and Technology Education Undergraduate CurriculumAbstract: The exponential factoring of knowledge due to scientific and technologicaladvance, solving complex global problems will require a different way of thinking than wasused to create them. No longer are solutions bound within a domain, science ortechnology. Instead solutions require a highly integrated approach across many domains,sciences, or technologies. Albert Einstein stated “We can’t solve problems by using thesame kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein was emphasizing thatone’s knowledge and understanding are limited by one’s own experience, education, andresearch and that the advancement of knowledge and science required more. Friedman inhis book, Hot. Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It CanRenew America, and Senge, Smith, Kruschwitz, Lauer, and Schley in their book, TheNecessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together toCreate a Sustainable World, called for this type of thinking to solve complex globalproblems to produce a sustainable world. To better prepare students to become more effective citizens and problem solvers in ourincreasingly interconnected, globalized world, the kind of thinker who contemplates complexglobal problems, the engineering and technology education curriculum must move to a moreglobal educational model, and in particular, one that embraces integrating innovation capabilitiesand competencies that develop this new way of thinking about global problems. This change inthe engineering and technology education curriculum will be necessary to address the ever-changing environment of ABET standards for accreditation. The authors of this paper present what key innovation theorist believe are the necessaryinnovation capabilities and competencies necessary for future leaders to solve the critical globalproblems facing our society. A traditional approach, for example, utilizes “systems-theoretic”approaches to studying global problems that relate to the dynamics of science, technology, andinnovation and their relationship to economic growth. However, while these complex systemdynamics approaches are attractive, they are also limited in their nature for solving globalproblems. Instead solutions require a highly integrated approach across many domains, sciences, ortechnologies. The paper describes the innovation capabilities and competencies necessary fordeveloping sustainability solutions by integrating and applying knowledge of how organicsystems (systems of nature) work with human systems, the nexus between problem solving(deductive reasoning) and scientific inquiry (inductive reasoning). It also focuses on thenecessary innovation capabilities and competencies for understanding how relationships betweentwo metabolisms, biological (cycles of nature) and technical (cycles of industry), provide aknowledge of systems of nature, how phenomena in nature exist, and how humans think thoseenvironments ought to be. The concept deals with the integrative relationship of how sciencestarts with a problem and is guided by theory, while technology results in discoveries which leadto theories. The result is a problem-centric curriculum approach developing the key innovationcapabilities and competencies necessary to solving complex global problems by providing anovel way of answering the questions of what is the necessary knowledge and sufficientconditions to solve complex global problems, what are the sources of knowledge about naturethat are most applicable, and how is that knowledge structured and limited. Using this type ofthinking can greatly enhance the opportunities to solve, manage, or control the major complexglobal problems facing society. Through this presentation the authors present a study that has wide application for allfacets of engineering and technology education as an integral component of continuous programimprovement.
Barnes, J. L., & Dyrenfurth, M. J., & Barnes, S. K. (2013, June), Developing Innovation Capabilities and Competencies for Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19415
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