June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1667.1 - 22.1667.12
Vision 2030 – Charting the Future of Mechanical Engineering EducationIntroductionIn July 2009, the ASME Center for Education formed an engineering education task force,subsequently entitled ASME Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 Task Force is still actively pursuingtwo primary objectives: help define the knowledge and skills that mechanical engineering ormechanical engineering technology graduates should have to be globally competitive in the 21stcentury, and, to provide recommendations for mechanical engineering education curriculatowards providing graduates with necessary expertise for successful professional practice.Paper ContentsWhile the task force is still active, much progress has been made. This paper will provide anoverview of the task force composition, the approach towards accomplishing the goals, andinitial findings. Importantly, the task force is not composed of just academics. Rather, industryrepresentatives have been involved from the initiation of the task force and an extensive surveyeffort was undertaken to gather input from both industry and academics. The paper willsummarize these data, the issues revealed by them and curricular modifications to address thoseissues.The task force recognizes that the role and scope of mechanical engineering practice have beentransforming rapidly. What mechanical engineers do, and how they do it, is changing due to anumber of drivers, including the expansion of the discipline’s boundaries and the multifacetedimpact of the globalization of engineering and manufacturing. In addition, many contemporaryengineering problems are considered to be ‘multi-disciplinary’ in nature, involving more thanclassic mechanical engineering expertise and traditional knowledge domains. These importanttransformations within mechanical engineering profession serve as motivators for academicprograms to make significant changes to mechanical engineering curricula and serve as a basisfor recommendations coming out of the task force.The Vision 2030 task force has identified the challenges of sustainable engineering, energy, andhuman health as ones where mechanical engineers should lead development of innovative andsustainable solutions. There are many opportunities for mechanical engineering education tofocus on the challenges of improving human health and alleviating poverty in the developingworld. Many students find such activities attractive and very rewarding; as they provide a venueto apply their mechanical engineering skills to improve the quality of life of people in lessfortunate circumstances. The paper reflects the task forces suggestions for curricular change toreflect this perspective.The task force believes that implementing suggested changes to mechanical engineeringeducation, mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology programs will attracta wider diversity of students and educate students that will be well suited to lead, bothtechnically and politically. Such graduates will be well equipped to face the demands of rapidlychanging business models and the rapid expansion of technology, communication, andworldwide engineering talent.
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