Science of Learning Speaker Series: Rethinking Engineering Education


Thursday, September 14, 2017, 4:00pm to 5:30pm



Edward Crawley, PhD
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics & Ford Professor of Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) is an undertaking of the School of Engineering of MIT whose aim is to rethink engineering education focusing specifically what students learn and how students learn. NEET begins with the premise that engineering education can no longer focus on the accumulation of information.      The current need to increase the features, capability and performance of products and to increase system networks has created a need to be able to reason around complex systems. Engineering education has evolved to a great extent around teaching students how to think; not in a general way but in very specific ways. Students need to evolve into individuals who can think about analytics, computation and experimentation. They need to be able to think both creatively and critically about systems, humanism, values and their interactions with others. Engineering education must prepare students for future roles they might fill and the “new machines” they may create in the years to come. The “new machines” will be increasingly complex. They will integrate interdisciplinary technologies and they will need to use sustainable energy sources and materials. The NEET initiative seeks to redesign engineer education so as to meet the challenges posed by the increase need to reason within complex systems. Dr. Crawley will explore the concept of NEET and its proposed interdepartmental project centric curriculum which focuses on the development of 4-5 “new machine” projects. He will explore NEET’s goals for student learning; the programmatic characteristics; the resulting organizational and cultural change implications; and programmatic assessment and evaluation. We invite you to join us as we examine together MIT’s approach to the re-thinking of engineering education.