How the future of engineering education can be influenced by design — ITM Lucknow
Channel Local, regional and national opportunities
Colleges and universities should conduct a thorough analysis of engineering-related fields and align their curricula with the strategic goals of their engineering programs. Tremendous opportunities exist at all levels of higher education-from community colleges to large institutions.
At the community college level, there are hyperlocal opportunities to meet immediate workforce needs with high-quality training and problem-solving. The design of these spaces should focus on student-centered learning with high-specification technologies and simulation spaces that can best prepare students for real-world training. Engagement and partnership with local industry is an excellent way to shape the future workforce.
How design can shape the future of engineering education
Tomorrow’s engineers have an incredible opportunity to address the complex societal challenges of the 21st century by creating new, multidisciplinary solutions through the innovative use of machines, materials and systems. Universities across the country are currently rethinking how best to educate and prepare these future engineers. As the learning paradigm for engineers evolves, so must the learning environments.
Envision Engineering as a campus aggregator
After World War II, the United States experienced a “science building boom” of new buildings. These mid-century buildings -which are still the predominant science buildings on many campuses — are often designed as sealed-off laboratories with little to no open space or natural light. These “above-ground basements” are demotivating and can impact student and faculty recruitment and retention, ultimately affecting the bottom line. Sometimes these buildings can be renovated to breathe new life into them; in other cases, universities opt for something completely new.
Create “hackable garages” to foster entrepreneurship
Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Amazon, Google. How did they get their start? All in garages! These spaces worked so well because they offered unlimited opportunities to house exactly what creative minds needed at the time. Entrepreneurs can add, remove, hack and experiment in a garage without fear of destroying the original space.
Addressing equality and diversity directly
The future of STEM depends on a robust workforce, and the number of women and underrepresented minorities studying engineering and other science subjects is drastically low in the United States, as in many other countries. While this has been a decades-long struggle, there is an acute need for action to finally address this problem. Design can be part of the solution.
Bring the industry indoors to increase opportunities in the real world
Private industry, which is gaining prominence on college and college campuses, can help increase funding for engineering and other programs STEM that meet the need for a skilled workforce in a particular field of work.
Looking to the future
Engineering schools have tremendous potential to educate a better, more diverse, and better equipped workforce and entrepreneurs to meet global challenges in the coming decades. Providing the best teaching and learning environments should not be overlooked in finding new ways to deliver quality education to the next generation.