Campus News

Purdue professor to discuss ‘renaissance engineers’

Purdue professor to discuss ‘renaissance engineers’

David F. Radcliffe, a faculty member at Purdue University, will visit UGA on March 16 to discuss the development of what he calls “renaissance engineers.” 

“Significant opportunities for innovations in teaching and learning can be realized at the boundaries between traditional disciplines,” said Radcliffe, who is Epistemology Professor of Engineering Education and associate head of Purdue’s School of Engineering Education. “This is especially true when disciplines—e.g., engineering and anthropology—have different epistemological traditions. On this frontier, the opportunity exists to develop ‘renaissance engineers’ or change agents who work at the boundaries between disparate knowledge domains.”

Part of the Innovations at the Interface seminar series sponsored by the Faculty of Engineering, Radcliffe’s talk will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 148 of the Miller Learning Center. Open to the public, it will be followed by a reception.

A mechanical engineer with a Ph.D. in bioengineering, Radcliffe has led research and instruction efforts in engineering design, sustainable systems, innovation and knowledge management over a 25-year career in Australia and the U.S. For seven years, he led the Thiess–University of Queensland Strategic Learning Partnership, a large-scale, hands-on industry-academy collaboration.

In his pioneering work with the Catalyst Research Centre for Society and Technology at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), he developed the concept of “contingent immersion,” a naturalistic, interdisciplinary research methodology for discovering the socio-technical realities of engineering practice.

Radcliffe has mentored many young faculty pursuing leading-edge research and instruction techniques for educating engineers, including Joachim Walther in UGA’s Faculty of Engineering.