EDUCATING THE ENGINEER OF 2020

ADAPTING ENGINEERING EDUCATION TO THE NEW CENTURY

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC www.nap.edu



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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century EDUCATING THE ENGINEER OF 2020 ADAPTING ENGINEERING EDUCATION TO THE NEW CENTURY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, DC www.nap.edu

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: To arrive at the findings and recommendations of this report, the National Academy of Engineering has used a process that involves careful selection of a balanced and knowledgeable committee, assembly of relevant information, and peer review of the resultant report. Over time, this process has proven to produce authoritative and balanced results. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0242173, with contributions from the Hewlett Packard Company, the General Electric Foundation, and the National Academy of Engineering Fund. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring organizations. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Educating the engineer of 2020 : adapting engineering education to the new century / National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies. p. cm. ISBN 0-309-09649-9 (pbk.)—ISBN 0-309-55006-8 (pdf) 1. Engineering—Study and teaching (Higher)—United States. I. National Academy of Engineering. T73.E37 2005 620′.00711—dc22 2005023673 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr.Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century Acknowledgments About the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) was established in 1950 by the Congress and is the only federal agency dedicated to supporting education and fundamental research in all science and engineering disciplines. The mission of NSF is to ensure that the United States maintains leadership in scientific discovery and the development of new technologies. NSF promotes the progress of engineering in the United States in order to enable the nation’s capacity for innovation and to support the creation of wealth and a better quality of life. About the Hewlett-Packard Company Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company engages with the higher education community and leading academic institutions in many ways. From research interaction and student recruitment to customer relationships and policy advocacy, numerous HP organizations and hundreds of HP employees advance the company’s interests with higher education globally. University Relations, a unit of HP Labs, works to add value to the corporation and its partners through these various company engagements. University Relations cultivates close relationships with HP’s academic partners and aligns trends in education with HP’s technology and business directions. University Relations articulates company posi-

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century tions in higher-education forums, manages strategic technology initiatives, builds market presence with thought leaders, and facilitates high-level engagement with partner institutions. About the General Electric Foundation The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to strengthen educational access, equity, and quality for disadvantaged youth globally; and supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2004, the GE Family contributed more than $150 million to community and educational programs, including $52 million from the GE Foundation. For information, visit www.gefoundation.com.

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century COMMITTEE ON THE ENGINEER OF 2020, PHASE II G. WAYNE CLOUGH (NAE), Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology ALICE M. AGOGINO (NAE), University of California, Berkeley MARK DEAN (NAE), IBM Corporation DEBORAH GRUBBE, BP RANDY HINRICHS, Microsoft Corporation SHERRA E. KERNS, Olin College ALFRED MOYE, Hewlett-Packard Company DIANA NATALICIO, University of Texas, El Paso SIMON OSTRACH (NAE), Case Western Reserve University ERNEST T. SMERDON (NAE), University of Arizona KARAN L. WATSON, Texas A&M University DAVID WISLER (NAE), GE Aircraft Engines EX OFFICIO MEMBER STEPHEN W. DIRECTOR (NAE), Drexel University NAE PROGRAM OFFICE STAFF RICHARD TABER, Project Officer LANCE DAVIS (NAE), Executive Officer NORMAN FORTENBERRY, Director, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education NATHAN KAHL, Project Assistant PROCTOR REID, Director, Program Office

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century COMMITTEE ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION STEPHEN W. DIRECTOR (NAE), Chair, Drexel University JOHN R. BIRGE, University of Chicago ANJAN BOSE (NAE), Washington State University ANTHONY BRIGHT, Harvey Mudd College BARRY C. BUCKLAND (NAE), Merck Research Laboratories MICHAEL CORRADINI (NAE), University of Wisconsin, Madison JENNIFER SINCLAIR CURTIS, University of Florida JAMES W. DALLY (NAE), University of Maryland RUTH A. DAVID (NAE), ANSER Corporation ANN Q. GATES, University of Texas, El Paso RANDY HINRICHS, Microsoft Corporation JAMES H. JOHNSON, Howard University LARRY V. McINTIRE (NAE), Georgia Institute of Technology LINDA PETZOLD (NAE), University of California, Santa Barbara ESTHER TAKEUCHI (NAE), Wilson Greatbatch Technologies, Inc. EX OFFICIO MEMBERS CRAIG R. BARRETT (NAE), Chairman, National Academy of Engineering RALPH J. CICERONE (NAS), President, National Academy of Sciences HARVEY V. FINEBERG (IOM), President, Institute of Medicine SHEILA E. WIDNALL (NAE), Vice President, National Academy of Engineering WM. A. WULF (NAE), President, National Academy of Engineering

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century REVIEW COMMITEE This report was reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authoring committee and the National Academy of Engineering in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge for this activity. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscripts remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. ELEANOR BAUM, The Cooper Union JAY BROCKMAN, University of Notre Dame PAUL CITRON, Medtronic, Incorporated CANDIS CLAIBORN, Washington State University DELORES ETTER, United States Naval Academy MARIO GONZALEZ, University of Texas, Austin FRANK HUGHES, Boeing Corporation (retired) MARSHALL JONES, General Electric Company GRANGER MORGAN, Carnegie Mellon University WARREN SEERING, Massachusetts Institute of Technology THOMAS SKALAK, University of Virginia REPORT REVIEW MONITOR ROBERT F. SPROULL, Sun Microsystems, Incorporated

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century Preface The Engineer of 2020 Project centers on an effort to envision the future two decades from now, to use this knowledge in an attempt to predict the roles engineers will play in the future, and to position engineering education in the United States for what lies ahead, rather than waiting for time to pass and then trying to respond. It is driven by concern that engineering students of today may not be appropriately educated to meet the demands that will be placed on the engineer of 2020 and that, without refocusing and reshaping the undergraduate engineering learning experience, America’s engineering preeminence could be lost. It takes as a given that the nation’s societal goals will not be met absent a robust engineering community in the country. It asks what restructuring of program, reallocation of resources, and refocusing of faculty and professional society time and energy are required so that our educational infrastructure can educate engineers prepared to tackle the challenges of the future. It questions how we can more effectively share with students—current and potential—our passion for designing systems, structures, and devices to solve problems and our conviction that engineering is a profession that offers rich rewards for serving the interests of society. In addressing a Summit on Engineering Education held in conjunction with this project in July 2004, Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Charles Vest encouraged the assembled educators and stakeholders to think about the students when considering how the engineering education system should be reengineered by stating, “This is the most

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century exciting period in human history for science and engineering. The explosive advances in knowledge, instrumentation, communication, and computational capabilities create a mind-boggling playing field for the next generation…. As we think about the plethora of challenges, it is important, in my view, to remember that students are driven by passion, curiosity, engagement, and dreams…. Despite our best efforts to plan their education, to a large extent we simply help to wind them up, and then step back to watch the amazing results.” Gretchen Kalonji, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Washington, expanded on Vest’s desire to engage the passion and curiosity of students stating that “[a]s we move forward, I think we need to undertake a far more bold reformulation of engineering education. Bluntly speaking, with existing models, we are losing the battle for the imagination of our youth…. What I would argue for is a dramatic and fundamental transformation of the educational process.” Originated and chartered by the Committee on Engineering Education of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Engineer of 2020 Project consists of two parts, the first related to the development of a vision for engineering and the work of the engineer in 2020. A report of the first phase was published in the spring of 2004. The second part, the subject of this report, is to examine engineering education, in the broadest context, and ask what it needs to do to enrich the education of engineers who will practice in 2020. This initiative is not unique in that other groups have somewhat similar efforts under way or have recently completed them. The work of NAE differs in that it considers the issues with respect to all the diverse branches of engineering and examines them from the broadest possible perspective. Its principal focus is on the future of undergraduate engineering education in this country, although it is appreciated that to understand the full perspective, engineering practice and engineering education must be considered within a global context. A Steering Committee for the Phase II project was established in February 2004 by the NAE president to guide the work. The committee met in July 2004, coincident with the Summit on Engineering Education, which was held at the National Academies’ Constitution Avenue location in Washington, D.C., attended by approximately 100 participants. As background information for the summit, a series of papers was prepared by education experts on a variety of subjects, including cooperative education, the National Science Foundation engineering education coalitions, the Olin College experience, diversity, the Greenfield Coalition, the Pedagogies of

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century the Professions Program of the Carnegie Foundation, accreditation systems, and the history of efforts to realign engineering education. These papers are included in Appendix A. The Summit featured keynote addresses by Ruth David, Charles Vest (see Appendix B), Shirley Ann Jackson, and Nicholas Donofrio and, between the plenary sessions of the Summit, five breakout groups met to allow more detailed and interactive discussions on various aspects of the engineering education system. The Summit agenda is in Appendix C. Immediately following the workshop, the Steering Committee met to review the workshop discussions and was assigned the task of preparing this report. Final review of the report by the Steering Committee to critique its conclusions and recommendations was conducted by e-mail. It is notable that the Phase I report posits a statement of aspirations for the engineer of 2020 and closes with a statement of attributes thought suitable for the engineer of 2020 that match the aspirations. These aspirations and attributes express a bold optimism for the engineering profession if it is willing to confront the possibilities for the future and to prepare for them. Ahead lies the challenge of debating and adopting, where appropriate, the recommendations of this report for adapting engineering education to the new century. The committee recognizes that “one size does not fit all” and has attempted to suggest a suite of interventions, not all of which will work in every institution. We expect that debate on these interventions will take place over the course of the coming year and we hope that their introduction into the engineering education infrastructure will rapidly follow so that today’s students will indeed be prepared to practice engineering effectively in 2020.

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century Contents     Executive Summary   1 1   Phase I Revisited   7 2   The Past as Prologue   13 3   Getting to 2020: Guiding Strategies   17 4   Guideposts to the Future   33 5   Recommendations   51 Appendix A:   Papers Prepared as Input to the Summit   59      A Brief Summary of Cooperative Education: History, Philosophy, and Current Status Thomas M. Akins   61      Information Technology in Support of Engineering Education: Lessons from the Greenfield Coalition Donald R. Falkenburg   69

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Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century      The Engineering Education Coalitions Program Jeffrey Froyd   82      Designing from a Blank Slate: The Development of the Initial Olin College Curriculum Sherra E. Kerns, Richard K. Miller, and David V. Kerns   98      Patterns in the History of Engineering Education Reform: A Brief Essay Bruce E. Seely   114      Preparation for the Professions Program: Engineering Education in the United States Sheri Sheppard   131      International Recognition of Engineering Degrees, Programs, and Accreditation Systems Kevin Sweeney   135 Appendix B:   Written Remarks Provided by Several Summit Speakers   145      Capturing the Imagination: High-Priority Reforms for Engineering Educators Gretchen Kalonji   146      The Global Engineer Linda Katehi   151      The Importance of Economics G. Bennett Stewart, III   156      Educating Engineers for 2020 and Beyond Charles M. Vest   160 Appendix C:   Summit Agenda and Attendees   171