Engineering Education Reform

Topics: Civil engineering, Engineering, Engineer Pages: 6 (4359 words) Published: December 3, 2014

The 21st-Century
Engineer: A Proposal
For Engineering
Education Reform
By Patricia D. Galloway, Ph.D.,
This month the asce Press will publish The
21st-Century Engineer: A Proposal
for Engineering Education Reform, by
Patricia D. Galloway, Ph.D., p.e., f.asce,
the chief executive officer and chief financial
officer of the Nielsen-Wurster Group, Inc.,
and a former president of asce. In her
book Galloway contends that the existing
system for educating engineers must change,
and she proposes a new master’s degree in
professional engineering management. In
this groundbreaking manifesto Galloway
explains the global changes that are leaving
many engineers unprepared and outlines
a proposed master’s program—a master of
professional management. Chapters 7 and
8 are excerpted here.


0885-7024-/07-0011-0046/$25.00 per article



n the 21st century, an ever-increasing need will
emerge for a holistic breed of engineer—one who
can work across borders, cultural boundaries, and
social contexts and who can work effectively with
nonengineers. As the trend toward a more global
and more knowledge-based society continues, the
practice of engineering must be changed, and this
change must be accomplished through engineering education reform. The engineering curriculum can no longer remain as it has for essentially the past 40 years. The subjects of globalization, diversity, world cultures and languages,

communication, leadership, and ethics must constitute a core component of the overall engineering education just as physics and mathematics do. For nearly 20 years, numerous journals, articles, reports,

and studies have been prepared by the American Society
for Engineering Education, the National Academies Press,
the National Science Board, the National Science Foundation, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (asce) that discuss the critical need for change in engineering education (Task Committee on the First Professional Degree, Engineering the Future of Civil Engineering, asce, Reston, Virginia, 2001). Yet despite this large library of literature on the subject of engineering education reform, the engineering curriculum of today still does not provide the foundation

necessary to ensure the engineer’s success in the 21st century. A report by the American Electronics Association in 2007 (We Are Still Losing the Competitive Advantage: Now Is the Time to Act, Washington, D.C.) notes that the 21st-century

global economy portends to be very different from that of the 20th century and that national public policy must be viewed
through the prism of education as a lifelong process. In the past, the skills workers acquired would serve them well for
decades. In the 21st century, however, the success of engineers and firms will be measured against how well they can adapt to new conditions and technologies. Thus to remain
competitive in this global and knowledge-based economy
and to ensure that the quality of life improves for everyone around the world, engineers must be educated differently.
The content of engineering education was diminished
across the globe over the course of the past century in an
Civil Engineering November 2007

effort to reduce the cost burden to students and to produce more engineers and to process more revenue through the
educational business faster. While this devolution resulted
in an emphasis on the technical aspects of engineering, it
eliminated other critical aspects of engineering education
and studies that are fundamental to the very essence of engineering, which is to improve the quality of life and to protect the public safety, health, and welfare. If an engineer is not trained in public policy, ethics, leadership, communication, and management, an engineer cannot adequately serve the public.

In Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century (National...
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