Presentation on theme: "TO BE AN ENGINEER/TO ENGINEER Opportunities for Global Engineering in the 21 st Century."— Presentation transcript:
TO BE AN ENGINEER/TO ENGINEER Opportunities for Global Engineering in the 21 st Century
“The ideal engineer is a composite... they are not a scientist, not a mathematician, not a sociologist or a writer; but they may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems.” ▪ N. W. Dougherty, 1955
A STORY & SOME CONTEXT… ▪ Over the years our global engineering lectures have asked students to answer: ▪ What does engineering leadership mean to you? ▪ What is the role of engineering in society? ▪ What is something you’d like to accomplish by 2020 as an “engineer”? ▪ 1 st year students struggled to define engineering leadership and provided nearly homogeneous thoughts on accomplishment and what engineers do
A STORY & SOME CONTEXT… ▪ By fourth year students began to articulate inspiring visions of engineering and what it could do for society ▪ Answers to what they would like to accomplish as engineers were very diverse and had moved past the 1 st year answers
TRANSITION FROM CLASSROOM TO PRACTICE ▪ Students thought they had the ambition and discrete skills…. ▪ But they were not sure how to put them together
ENGINEERING TRENDS ▪ Today’s engineers and engineering students are faced with ▪ Globalization ▪ Increased complexity in global and local challenges – (but also opportunities!) ▪ These trends call for changes in the way we engineer
SOME PERSPECTIVE – COMPLEX PROBLEMS Inequality and poverty Natural Disasters Climate Change Sustainable Energy Economic meltdown! Urban Migration Infrastructure renewal Sustainable Communities
COMPLEX PROBLEMS ▪ Emergent topics such as sustainability, human centered design, and new economic realities challenge us to explore these issues in new ways ▪ Our clients and projects are also touched by these complex problems – challenging us to rethink and recreate how we look at delivering outcomes ▪ Where does this leave us?
THE PROBLEM OF DILBERT…. OR BEING AN “ENGINEER” VS. PRACTICING ENGINEERING
T-SHAPED ENGINEERS IN THE 21 ST CENTURY Depth of Expertise Breadth of Knowledge
ENGINEERING PRAXIS 20 th Century The world is defined mechanistically Reliant on heuristics such as codes or guidelines Develop solutions I shaped professional 21 st Century Problems are complex Reliant on ‘out of the box thinking’ and novel approaches Enable outcomes T shaped professional
BUILDING THE T… ▪ T shaped engineers blend technical skills with a diversity of talents and knowledge to conduct engineering from a holistic approach ▪ This means actively cultivating diverse skill sets outside of the traditional engineering curriculum ▪ This also means expanding the curriculum where appropriate
THE WORK OF ENGINEERS ▪ The work engineers conduct touches communities locally and globally ▪ While some situations may still call for a 20 th century approach, many call for 21 st century thinking ▪ With a large number of engineers graduating worldwide there is an opportunity and need to articulate and differentiate our own capabilities to develop better outcomes
BUILDING THE T… ▪ Education is evolving – for example University of Calgary Electrical Engineering in a Globalized World Course ▪ But there will always be a need to develop a diverse skill set on top of and in addition to what we learn and practice as ‘formal engineering’ ▪ This means life long learning and continued exposure to global and local issues
A VISION OF HOLISTIC ENGINEERING ▪ These engineers have: ▪ Well tempered leadership skills ▪ Expanded problem solving ability through breadth and depth of knowledge ▪ Awareness of globalization and its impact on their local and global work ▪ These concepts enable engineers to expand engineering and play a leading role in Canada and on the world stage in the 21st Century.
THE CALL FOR HOLISTIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE ▪ The communities and clients our work impact require unique solutions to create ideal outcomes ▪ In order to stay relevant as engineers we must always adapt our skills and continue to evolve our approaches ▪ Interdisciplinary approaches will be the cornerstone of our work in the 21 st century
WHAT DOES THIS ADD UP TO? ▪ Two questions… ▪ How do I use my identity and my unique skills to engineer instead of how do I become ‘the engineer’? ▪ How do we leverage our education system and career development opportunities to increase depth and breadth?