We look forward to another successful year of intellectual engagement, practical action and continuing innovation as we work toward a transformation of engineering education.
Needham, MA and Urbana, IL (PRWEB) October 16, 2009
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and the College of Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have renewed for two years their pioneering collaboration to promote innovation in engineering education. In a signing ceremony conducted today via videoconference linking the two campuses, the institutions agreed to continue their joint exploration of curricular, pedagogical and programmatic innovation.
The goal of the partnership, launched in September 2008, is to link two very different institutions in a collaboration that explores whether innovations pioneered at Olin, a small private engineering college, can be scaled up to a large public institution like Illinois. At the same time, Olin and Illinois agreed to undertake a mutual effort to disseminate innovative pedagogical approaches and create a broad-based movement for change within engineering education.
Over the past year, the two institutions have pursued these aims through frequent teleconferences, visits and other activities. A major focal point for the first year was the Engineer of the Future 2.0 Summit, held in spring 2009 at Olin. During the summit, which attracted more than 200 attendees from over 50 institutions of higher education, participants signed a "Transformation Proclamation" committing themselves to working for fundamental reform in engineering education. In addition, the Alliance for Promoting Innovation in Engineering Education (aPIE2), a coalition of institutions pursing change, was launched.
"A year ago we challenged ourselves by partnering with an institution that was very different from Illinois, and very innovative in education," stated Charles Tucker, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the University of Illinois College of Engineering. "That challenge has paid off for us by energizing faculty and students in our own curriculum innovation programs, by stimulating fresh thinking about what it means to educate an engineer, and by helping us articulate what Illinois can contribute to the transformation of engineering education. Olin/Illinois is a great partnership precisely because the two schools are so different, and I am excited to be continuing our work together."
"It's been an exciting year, in which we've accomplished a great deal, and more importantly, learned enormously from each other," said Mark Somerville, associate dean of academic programs and curricular innovation at Olin. "We look forward to another successful year of intellectual engagement, practical action and continuing innovation as we work toward a transformation of engineering education."
In the coming year, Olin and Illinois will continue their exchange of ideas and innovations. Versions of two signature Olin courses, User Oriented Collaborative Design and Foundations of Business and Entrepreneurship, will be piloted in 2010 in Illinois' iFoundry, a small, entrepreneurial student cohort within the larger engineering college. Olin staff and faculty will visit Illinois to collaborate, deliver talks and observe the activities of the iCommunity, a teamwork initiative modeled on Olin's community-centered learning environment. A key activity will again be a major conference, the Engineer of the Future 3.0, which will explore the role of students in engineering education transformation.
Located in Needham, Mass., Olin College is an undergraduate engineering institution with an enrollment of 300. Increasingly recognized for its innovative curriculum, Olin has no traditional academic departments and does not offer tenure to its faculty. The curriculum is built around the "Olin Triangle," a combination of rigorous science and engineering fundamentals, entrepreneurship and the liberal arts.
The College of Engineering at Illinois is one of the top-ranked engineering programs in the nation. Its 12 departments and 15 degree programs cover the full range of engineering disciplines. Established in 1870, Engineering at Illinois provides its 5,500-plus undergraduates with a broad base of science and fundamentals as well as specialized training and research within the various disciplines.
For additional information, visit:
- Engineering at Illinois, http://engineering.illinois.edu
- iFoundry, http://ifoundry.illinois
- Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, http://www.olin.edu
Contact: Karen Hyman, associate director, iFoundry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 217/244-3821, kkhyman (at) illinois (dot) edu.