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Published on November 7, 2008

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Prof. Jonathan Colton Zeigler Outstanding Educator Award Lecture February 26, 2008 The Case for Liberal Engineering

Jack M. Zeigler (ME 1948) Thanks for supporting this award and lecture. Mr. Jack M. Zeigler received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering after interrupting his education with 3 ½ years of service in the U.S. Army. While at Georgia Tech, he was a co-op student at two companies, where he worked primarily as a draftsman. In one company he earned $1.25 an hour; this was a raise from $0.55 per hour at the other company. Mr. Zeigler is the retired President and Owner of Fabrication Engineering Service Company, Inc. (FESCO). FESCO specializes in the made-to-order fabrication business using high quality alloy steels to produce tanks for the chemicals industry and pressure vessels for textile manufacturers.

Thanks for supporting this award and lecture.

Mr. Jack M. Zeigler received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering after interrupting his education with 3 ½ years of service in the U.S. Army. While at Georgia Tech, he was a co-op student at two companies, where he worked primarily as a draftsman. In one company he earned $1.25 an hour; this was a raise from $0.55 per hour at the other company.

Mr. Zeigler is the retired President and Owner of Fabrication Engineering Service Company, Inc. (FESCO). FESCO specializes in the made-to-order fabrication business using high quality alloy steels to produce tanks for the chemicals industry and pressure vessels for textile manufacturers.

Previous winners William Black Said Abdel-Khalik Farrokh Mistree Robert Fulton James Hartley David McDowell Robert Nerem

William Black

Said Abdel-Khalik

Farrokh Mistree

Robert Fulton

James Hartley

David McDowell

Robert Nerem

Acknowledgments My students Ray Vito – Georgia Tech James Duderstadt – U. Michigan Charles Vest – MIT

My students

Ray Vito – Georgia Tech

James Duderstadt – U. Michigan

Charles Vest – MIT

Bully Pulpit Current UG engineering education is increasingly outmoded and irrelevant. We need a new paradigm in engineering education to produce future technological leaders.

Current UG engineering education is increasingly outmoded and irrelevant.

We need a new paradigm in engineering education to produce future technological leaders.

Liberal Engineering Prepares students for lives that go beyond short-term, practical problem solving. Provides students with critical skills and interests in the larger problems of living in society.

Prepares students for lives that go beyond short-term, practical problem solving.

Provides students with critical skills and interests in the larger problems of living in society.

The World is Flat Perception – jobs going to India and China due to lower costs

Perception – jobs going to India and China due to lower costs

Engineering Degree Production in Selected Countries NSF China Thousands Japan USA S Korea UK Germany

Disturbing Trends Commoditized engineering jobs are being lost overseas Reduced production of US engineers due to lack of interest? due to lack of careers opportunities?

Commoditized engineering jobs are being lost overseas

Reduced production of US engineers

due to lack of interest?

due to lack of careers opportunities?

The World is Spiky - Patents The Atlantic Monthly, October 2005

Scientific Citations The Atlantic Monthly, October 2005

Science, Vol 314, 8 December 2006, 1547 Where is the New Science in Corporate R&D?

Characteristics of Non-fungible, On-shored Jobs Very high value-added contributions Idea generators Define problems within the context of the local society

Very high value-added contributions

Idea generators

Define problems within the context of the local society

U.S. Goals for Graduates Educating the Engineer of 2020 Technically Proficient Broadly Educated Think of Themselves as Global Citizens Can be Leaders in Business and Public Service Ethically Grounded

Technically Proficient

Broadly Educated

Think of Themselves as Global Citizens

Can be Leaders in Business and Public Service

Ethically Grounded

GT Strategic Plan Georgia Tech will define the technological research university of the 21 st century and educate the leaders of a technologically driven world.

Georgia Tech will define the technological research university of the 21 st century and educate the leaders of a technologically driven world.

So, what are we doing to educate these leaders?

1 year of a combination of college level mathematics and basic sciences 1½ years of engineering topics, consisting of engineering sciences and engineering design A general education component A curriculum culminating in a major design experience

1 year of a combination of college level mathematics and basic sciences

1½ years of engineering topics, consisting of engineering sciences and engineering design

A general education component

A curriculum culminating in a major design experience

ME Requirements Chemistry, Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Physics, English, Humanities, Social Science, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Ethics, Statistics, Economics, Engineering Economics, Computing, History, Wellness

Chemistry, Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Physics, English, Humanities, Social Science, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Ethics, Statistics, Economics, Engineering Economics, Computing, History, Wellness

ME Requirements Engineering Graphics, Computing, Dynamics, Design, Mechanics, DefBods, Fluids, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Controls, Machine Design, Thermal Design, Experimental Methods Lab, Systems Lab, Manufacturing, Capstone Design…

Engineering Graphics, Computing, Dynamics, Design, Mechanics, DefBods, Fluids, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Controls, Machine Design, Thermal Design, Experimental Methods Lab, Systems Lab, Manufacturing, Capstone Design…

Educational Experience Over-loaded with (technical) courses Average time to graduate 4.5+ years Hold-over from quarter-system No time to explore without delaying graduation Personal interests (sleep) Minors Double majors Junior year abroad

Over-loaded with (technical) courses

Average time to graduate 4.5+ years

Hold-over from quarter-system

No time to explore without delaying graduation

Personal interests (sleep)

Minors

Double majors

Junior year abroad

Five Minute University Father Guido Sarducci http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =kO8x8eoU3L4

ME Five Minute University Mechanics Free-body diagram Fluids Bernoulli Thermodynamics Control volume Dynamics Rotation about a fixed axis

Mechanics

Free-body diagram

Fluids

Bernoulli

Thermodynamics

Control volume

Dynamics

Rotation about a fixed axis

Technological leaders are produced in spite of what we do Students somehow find the time

Today’s Engineering Education 21 st century students 20 th century curriculum 19 th century institutions Changes one grave at a time Hasn’t changed much in 100 years

21 st century students

20 th century curriculum

19 th century institutions

Changes one grave at a time

Hasn’t changed much in 100 years

What Should We Do?

Nothing, things are fine Engineers are valuable because they know how to think. Set up problems Solve problems We teach students how to think. It works: 25% of S&P 500 CEOs have an UG degree in engineering. But, what are their advanced degrees in?

Engineers are valuable because they know how to think.

Set up problems

Solve problems

We teach students how to think.

It works: 25% of S&P 500 CEOs have an UG degree in engineering.

But, what are their advanced degrees in?

Things aren’t fine We can’t continue to create commoditized, plug-and-play graduates who are easily replaced by lower-wage, overseas engineers. We can teach thinking in better ways.

We can’t continue to create commoditized, plug-and-play graduates who are easily replaced by lower-wage, overseas engineers.

We can teach thinking in better ways.

New Paradigm Needed Liberal Engineering

Charles William Eliot Professor at Harvard & MIT President of Harvard “ The student in a polytechnic school has a practical end constantly in view…. This practical end should never be lost sight of by student or teacher in a polytechnic school, and should seldom be thought of or alluded to in a college .” (1869)

“ The student in a polytechnic school has a practical end constantly in view…. This practical end should never be lost sight of by student or teacher in a polytechnic school, and should seldom be thought of or alluded to in a college .” (1869)

J.S. Coon Professor of Mechanical Engineering “ It will be conceded that it is not sufficient for a course in engineering to turn out technical experts , if it can hope to do even this. But it must do much more; it must turn out men . While the schedule of subjects in this course does not indicate it, it is the prime object to send out young men to engage in the commercial work of the world with high ideals, and a keen sense of moral responsibility. Good character is of more importance to the young engineer than engineering ability .” GST Catalog 1906-07

“ It will be conceded that it is not sufficient for a course in engineering to turn out technical experts , if it can hope to do even this. But it must do much more; it must turn out men . While the schedule of subjects in this course does not indicate it, it is the prime object to send out young men to engage in the commercial work of the world with high ideals, and a keen sense of moral responsibility. Good character is of more importance to the young engineer than engineering ability .”

Charles Vest President of MIT “ Making universities and engineering schools exciting, creative, adventurous, rigorous, demanding, and empowering milieus is more important than specifying curricular details.” (2007)

“ Making universities and engineering schools exciting, creative, adventurous, rigorous, demanding, and empowering milieus is more important than specifying curricular details.” (2007)

What is Liberal Engineering? A liberal education prepares students for lives that go beyond short-term, practical problem solving. It leaves them with critical skills and interests in the larger problems of living in society. Source: a Harvard undergraduate

A liberal education prepares students for lives that go beyond short-term, practical problem solving. It leaves them with critical skills and interests in the larger problems of living in society.

Why do we need it? To keep engineering relevant to students to employers to the world Responds to societal needs

To keep engineering relevant

to students

to employers

to the world

Responds to societal needs

What have others done? Dartmouth A.B. (engineering science) – not accredited B.E. (engineering science) – one more year, accredited Harvard A.B. (engineering science) – not accredited S.B. (engineering science) – accredited WPI B.A. (liberal and engineering studies) Not accredited

Dartmouth

A.B. (engineering science) – not accredited

B.E. (engineering science) – one more year, accredited

Harvard

A.B. (engineering science) – not accredited

S.B. (engineering science) – accredited

WPI

B.A. (liberal and engineering studies)

Not accredited

Open Engineering Degrees Cornell Independent Major Not accredited MIT Course 2A ABET accredited S.B. in Engineering

Cornell

Independent Major

Not accredited

MIT

Course 2A

ABET accredited

S.B. in Engineering

COE Strategic Plan Explore creating a new, innovative, rigorous and flexible bachelor’s degree that will serve as a foundation for advanced study in professions other than, and including, engineering.

Explore creating a new, innovative, rigorous and flexible bachelor’s degree that will serve as a foundation for advanced study in professions other than, and including, engineering.

Proposed Mission Shift Produce leaders of a technologically driven world by producing a liberally educated and technologically literate population.

Produce leaders of a technologically driven world by producing a liberally educated and technologically literate population.

Desired Characteristics of GT Graduates Broad range of understanding and knowledge Liberal arts Technical arts Problem identification and solving skills Define problems within societal contexts Develop multiple solutions Decision making skills Leadership skills

Broad range of understanding and knowledge

Liberal arts

Technical arts

Problem identification and solving skills

Define problems within societal contexts

Develop multiple solutions

Decision making skills

Leadership skills

Desired Characteristics of GT Graduates Operates in global environment Understands engineering in a global context Knows foreign languages and cultures Prepared for career changes Self-learner (life-long learner) College is just the beginning Ideas person Symbol manipulator Independent thinker Innovative, Entrepreneurial, Commercially savvy

Operates in global environment

Understands engineering in a global context

Knows foreign languages and cultures

Prepared for career changes

Self-learner (life-long learner)

College is just the beginning

Ideas person

Symbol manipulator

Independent thinker

Innovative, Entrepreneurial, Commercially savvy

Operate at Extremes Nano, Femto National, global

Nano, Femto

National, global

Operate at Frontiers Charles Vest Bio Info Nano Macro Energy Environment Health Care Manufacturing Communications Logistics Bio-based Materials Biomemetics Personalized, Predictive Medicine Synthetic Biology Biofuels

Technologically Literate Population Informed decisions on technical matters – balanced views Political Personal Business Examples Frankenfoods Nanotechnology or

Informed decisions on technical matters – balanced views

Political

Personal

Business

Examples

Frankenfoods

Nanotechnology

Educational Philosophy Attract larger numbers of diverse students Undergraduate education Technical literacy Liberal education Exposure Graduate education In-depth technical understanding Professional practice Life-long process Required for future success

Attract larger numbers of diverse students

Undergraduate education

Technical literacy

Liberal education

Exposure

Graduate education

In-depth technical understanding

Professional practice

Life-long process

Required for future success

Undergraduate Education Mass customization, rather than mass production Flexible degrees Accredited Non-accredited Create your own Multiple paths Multiple entry points Multiple graduation points Self-paced and self-directed

Mass customization, rather than mass production

Flexible degrees

Accredited

Non-accredited

Create your own

Multiple paths

Multiple entry points

Multiple graduation points

Self-paced and self-directed

Flexible Curriculum Options Traditional majors Allow for student interests Explore various “majors” Create your own “majors” Easy to change “majors” Time available to explore other pursuits International experience Semester or year overseas Foreign language competency

Options

Traditional majors

Allow for student interests

Explore various “majors”

Create your own “majors”

Easy to change “majors”

Time available to explore other pursuits

International experience

Semester or year overseas

Foreign language competency

Increase Technological Literacy GT attracts very smart students Increasing numbers are not engineering majors Many don’t have the mathematics and science background needed to enter engineering immediately We need to attract greater numbers of students to technology

GT attracts very smart students

Increasing numbers are not engineering majors

Many don’t have the mathematics and science background needed to enter engineering immediately

We need to attract greater numbers of students to technology

Take in smart students Show the necessity for technological literacy for every career Teach them the material Preliminary material (pre-calc, basic science) Engineering Minors, such as Eng & Mgt, don’t address this issue Teaching Technological Literacy

Take in smart students

Show the necessity for technological literacy for every career

Teach them the material

Preliminary material (pre-calc, basic science)

Engineering

Minors, such as Eng & Mgt, don’t address this issue

New Undergraduate Trivium Basic knowledge Engineering knowledge Liberal knowledge

Basic knowledge

Engineering knowledge

Liberal knowledge

Basic Knowledge Mathematics Science Written and oral communication Leadership Humanities Social Science Wellness ☺

Mathematics

Science

Written and oral communication

Leadership

Humanities

Social Science

Wellness ☺

Engineering Knowledge Common COE Core Courses Design Systems modeling and dynamics Mechanics and materials Thermodynamics and fluids Computing Etc. Taken early enough, ABET requirements can still be met

Common COE Core Courses

Design

Systems modeling and dynamics

Mechanics and materials

Thermodynamics and fluids

Computing

Etc.

Taken early enough, ABET requirements can still be met

Liberal Knowledge Management Public Policy Modern Languages International Affairs Science, Technology and Society Economics Etc.

Management

Public Policy

Modern Languages

International Affairs

Science, Technology and Society

Economics

Etc.

Implementation Four-hour classes Fewer classes Deeper level of understanding Team taught - integrated courses Unified, rather than specialized, fragmented, seemingly unrelated Experiential learning Engineering is observation-based and hands-on

Four-hour classes

Fewer classes

Deeper level of understanding

Team taught - integrated courses

Unified, rather than specialized, fragmented, seemingly unrelated

Experiential learning

Engineering is observation-based and hands-on

Departmental Era Dichotomy in the Academy Undergraduate education Disciplinary Book learning Graduate education Trans-disciplinary Experiential learning

Dichotomy in the Academy

Undergraduate education

Disciplinary

Book learning

Graduate education

Trans-disciplinary

Experiential learning

Post-Departmental Era “Unity” in the Academy Undergraduate education Trans-disciplinary, experiential learning Graduate education Trans-disciplinary, experiential learning

“Unity” in the Academy

Undergraduate education

Trans-disciplinary, experiential learning

Graduate education

Trans-disciplinary, experiential learning

Quo Vadis Engineering Education? Recognition of need to change Time for evolutionary changes has passed What will my children do for jobs? Revolutionary change needed

Recognition of need to change

Time for evolutionary changes has passed

What will my children do for jobs?

Revolutionary change needed

Quo Vadis Undergraduate Engineering Education? Liberal Engineering

Thank you for your attention Questions?

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