HAVE WE DONE OUR BEST TO EDUCATE THE ENGINEER OF 2020?
They’re here! The Engineers of 2020 have just switched their tassels (virtually) and now are making their first steps into a world we, as engineering educators, have been trying to anticipate and prepare them for since the turn of the century. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) “The Engineer of 2020” and “Educating the Engineer of 2020” reports published in the early 2000s were designed to help us comprehend this moment in time. In some respects, we adapted to the changes we envisioned from our year-2000 lens, but in many other ways, we simply have not untangled ourselves fromwhat we
engineering education today is much as it was then. This past month, like most engineering educators, I sat in front of my computer watching the virtual celebrations of Class of 2020 engineers. I was confident that every one of our graduates has the analytical skills, design skills, and even practical hands-on skills that form the basis of a good engineer. But I truly wonder if we have honored our craft and done our best work in preparing them for the 2020 world that they are stepping into? Now that the Engineer of 2020 has just graduated, it is an appropriate time for an honest reflection on our work as engineering educators.
By DR. DON WEINKAUF, DEAN SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
experienced as engineering students ourselves, and thus
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