Campus News

“Re-engineering” engineering education

Fifty years after Sputnik, the basic premises of engineering education are under critical review.

One of the foremost national proponents for “re-engineering” engineering education, William A. Wulf, will visit UGA to give the 2007 Distinguished Lecture in Engineering on Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. in the Chapel.

Wulf’s lecture, entitled “Some Observations on the Future of Engineering and Engineering Education,” is open to the public.

Wulf is the immediate past president of the National Academy of Engineering, where over an 11-year tenure he advocated for a greater diversity of disciplines, experience and gender to strengthen overall engineering creativity.

“Every person with a ‘liberal education’ needs also to be technologically literate,” Wulf said. “Whether the issue is storage of nuclear waste, environmental remediation or privacy of information on the Internet, an informed discussion requires a level of technological literacy that is absent today.”

Integrating technological competency with a liberal arts education is the key to this effort and the connection that brings Wulf to UGA. An expert on national science policy, Wulf sees the two as necessary components to the creative solutions for today’s most pressing issues.

“William Wulf represents some of the fundamental ideas behind what we are building at UGA,” said Dale Threadgill, director of the Faculty of Engineering. “The shift in engineering education toward lifelong learning, the influence of the full spectrum of disciplines on engineering, and the holistic, business context in which design decisions are increasingly made—these are all factors shaping our program that I connect to the original thinking and advocacy of William Wulf.”