Re-Imagining Engineering As an Engine for Transformational Innovation
Avram Bar-Cohen, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Microsystems Technology Office, DARPA
Lecture: 100 Nedderman Hall; Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, 6:00 pm
Reception: 601 Nedderman Hall (Rady Room); Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, 5:00 pm
To better serve the needs of this country and its citizens, engineering education must help America’s youth learn to use technology in the solution of societal problems, the skills and knowledge of entry-level engineering practitioners must be raised, and PhD’s in engineering, to replenish the pool of researchers and academicians, must be made far more attractive than today. To sustain the standard of living we enjoy, in the midst of rapid “globalization” of the workforce, it is essential that US engineering organizations be weaned from their excessive reliance on COTS technology and be supported in their aggressive pursuit of new manufacturing modalities and transformative commercial and military technologies. The challenges facing the US and the opportunities for transformational innovation will be illustrated by examples from the speaker’s extensive experience in engineering education and the US electronic industry. The confluence of a world-wide recession, rising global competition in the high-tech industry, and inadequate engineering enrollments is sounding a clarion call for a fundamental revision in the “enterprise” of engineering in the United States.