June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1197.1 - 13.1197.16
Engineering education reform is not a new issue or a new debate. However, engineering education reform is now a global crisis that is being brought into sharper focus as the world begins to confront such transnational issues as climate change, decaying infrastructure, infrastructure security, natural disasters, etc. While engineers remain strong in terms of their technological skills, they are generally weak in terms of their management and communication capabilities. They do not fully understand the concept of globalization; have a firm grasp of the issues confronting the 21st-century engineer; lack the competencies that would enable them to rise to leadership positions within government and industry; and are not developing curricula that would train engineers to anticipate and focus on the rapid changes by which the 21st century will be at least partially defined.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with its Body of Knowledge has highlighted the need to quickly develop continuing education modules in order to best prepare the engineer for enhancing their skills to in turn enhance the profession. This concept is founded on the concept that all engineers need to broaden their skill sets if they are to become leaders in business and public policy. The paper is geared toward engineers interested in enhancing their skill sets, be they company executives who are trying to determine what continuing education is needed for their employees so their companies will succeed; students who want to enhance their studies and get a head start in their careers; officials with government entities as they face critical engineering issues and determine how best to solve them; and educators, who can truly make a difference in engineering education reform.
The need to educate the engineer of the 21st century more strategically is essential to the endurance of the profession. Developing a proposed education program through modifications of successful programs to meet the needs of the 21st-century engineer will enable engineers to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the world economy and to grow within the domestic engineering and construction market in a more transparent manner. This paper is based on the author’s book The 21st Century: A Proposal for Engineering Education Reform which will provide the reader with a better understanding of what a 21st-century engineer may be facing in his or her endeavors, of how we as a profession must elevate our public standing and increase the public’s confidence in us, and of what skills may be necessary to add to one’s individual tool box in order to succeed in the 21st-century global marketplace.1 The paper also provides a model for engineering education suggesting curricula which could be used for a master’s degree in professional engineering management.
Why the Need For Engineering Education Reform?
The world changed more during the past hundred years than during any preceding century. By the dawn of the new millennium, the developed world constituted the healthiest, safest, and most productive civilization in history—a civilization that has advanced and continues to advance with extraordinary rapidity, in large measure through the achievements of the engineering profession. But the speed with which this civilization continues to advance is fundamentally challenging the way in which engineering is practiced and the way in which engineering students are educated. Technological breakthroughs—the Internet most prominent among them—have effected an
Galloway, P. (2008, June), The 21 St Century Engineer Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3171
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