Engineering Education in the Rapidly Changing World: Rethinking the Vision for Higher engineering Education

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Abstract

When drafting the first issue of this document it sometimes felt like I was manoeuvring a small canoe through a highly viscous fluid of conservatism and complacency, with everybody bogged down by today’s thinking, preparing next Tuesday’s nine o’clock lecture, aiming for the best learning experience by optimising teaching and assessment. The issues of the day are about the “how next week”, not about the “what next year”, let alone the “why in the next decade”. After publicising I was happy to discover that I had been somewhat mistaken in my impression. Many people in universities, industries and research institutes across the globe informed me they are with me in my canoe, or want to be. That they want to rethink higher engineering education and help initiate change to enhance the effectivity of engineering study programmes and professional training. Like me, they are concerned about as well as challenged by the technological revolution that will rock the foundations of engineering education in the coming decades. The first edition inspired many conversations about “The Future Engineer” at my home university and many partner universities and institutes abroad. The “Free Spirits” Think Tank of the 4TU.Centre of Engineering Education in the Netherlands, which investigates the rise of new engineering profiles in the coming 10 to 15 years and develops matching scenarios for campus education in 2030, has taken my vision as a source of inspiration. The numerous meetings and workshops I attended between engineering academics, industries and engineering consultancies in the Netherlands and abroad, and the conferences and panels of the global CDIO Initiative and the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Florence (2015) all discussed the subject of the engineer and industry of the future. They addressed the impact of the changing global economy, the fast pace of change, the Foreword to the Second Revised Edition limited shelf life of specialist knowledge, the university’s role in innovation, the need for an interdisciplinary mind-set, the global interconnectedness, the rise of machine intelligence and the use of open standards. These are all aspects that shape the rapidly changing world in which we live and in which we educate tomorrow’s engineers, who might be a different breed than the ones we have been educating over the past 50 years. These factors set the scene for the “why” and “what” of our future education.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherTU Delft, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Number of pages88
Edition2nd revised edition
ISBN (Print)978-94-6186-609-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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PublisherDelft University of Technology, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering

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