A Liberal Undergraduate Education for Engineers


The complex dimensions of many issues faced by engineers require that they understand social and humanistic matters along with the technical, and communicate effectively and synergistically with persons having all sorts of backgrounds. This is especially true for matters of sustainability and energy supply. Engineering should therefore be built upon the foundation of a broad and liberal undergraduate education, with the professional degree being moved to the graduate level, as is the case for the other major professions. Another benefit of moving the degree level can be to delay the point of commitment to an engineering major from before college to the latter part of the undergraduate program, a move which can bring in new enrollees and increase diversity. The move of the professional engineering degree to the graduate level has already happened for a number of European countries as an outgrowth of the Bologna Process. There are incremental changes that can be made so that this transition can be undertaken by evolution as opposed to revolution.

Publication date: 
August 12, 2020
Publication type: 
Journal Articles