Olin College, University of Illinois Co-sponsor "Engineer of the Future 2.0" Summit

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A Summit on the Engineer of the Future 2.0 is being co-sponsored by Olin College and the University of Illinois. The event will be held Wednesday, April 1, 2009, on the campus of Olin College in Needham, Mass., a suburb of Boston.

The Engineer of the Future 2.0

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is teaming up this spring with the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to host a summit on "The Engineer of the Future 2.0" (EOTF2.0). The summit will be held Wednesday, April 1, on the campus of Olin College in Needham, Mass., a suburb of Boston.

The summit will feature a keynote talk by Dr. Karan Watson, Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost at Texas A&M, a leader in engineering education reform. There will also be a panel discussion of successful "engineers of the future," recent engineering graduates with track records of success in corporate or entrepreneurial settings, as well as an interactive brainstorming session in the afternoon. The event will be followed on Thursday, April 2, with an opportunity to visit and tour classrooms at Olin College, a new engineering institution that is implementing many curricular innovations.

Organizers hope the summit will spark discussions and collaborations that will take the effort to reform engineering education to a new level.

"Although curriculum reform has been on engineering minds for some time, it is clear that reforms are difficult to sustain and diffuse," said Dr. Sherra Kerns, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Olin. "What's more, when innovations are won, it is difficult to maintain the organizational will to continually improve and adapt."

One of the expected outcomes of the summit will be the formation of a larger "Alliance on Promoting Innovation in Engineering Education (APIE2)," a national and international open-source coalition of schools interested in curriculum transformation.

"The approach of this summit is that effective engineering education transformation requires diverse voices with a variety of views and methodologies to gather at the grassroots level and openly and actively share best practices, said Dr. David Goldberg, the Jerry S. Dobrovolny Distinguished Professor in Entrepreneurial Engineering and Co-Director of the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (iFoundry). "We believe this approach can be the beginning of a sustained effort to form collaborations across the spectrum of engineering institutions to advance engineering education reform."

The summit is part of a partnership between Olin College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, created last September to support the transformation of engineering education. The Olin/Illinois Partnership (OIP) brings together a highly ranked research powerhouse and one of the nation's newest and most innovative engineering institutions to explore and disseminate best practices in engineering education.


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Sherra Kerns
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