The Lessons We Learn: Reflections on an NSF Engineering Education Coalition

1995 CAUT National Teaching Fellow and ALTC Honorary Fellow

Keywords: ,

Professor David Radcliffe

Fellowship years: 1995 - 1995

Abstract: Engineering education is at a crossroads. The present paradigm of engineering education that evolved with the rise of the engineering sciences from the 1950's is being questioned in the light of the rapid changes in technology and engineering practice, the increasingly complex demands placed on engineers by the society they serve, in a world of finite resources and environment imperatives. Over the past five years prototypes of new forms of engineering education have been developed under the Engineering Education Coalitions in the USA. An overview of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Coalition program and a profile of one of these, the SYNTHESIS Coalition are presented. The recurring themes are contextualisation, diversity, breadth, integration, new modes of delivery and cultural change. They point to the need for a new, inclusive paradigm of engineering education, one where the elegance of the engineering sciences is complemented by the richness of the art of engineering.

Fellowship discipline: Engineering