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Engineering as a generalist profession: implications for engineering education

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1 Author(s)
Whelchel, R.J. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Tri-State Univ., Angola, IN, USA

It is argued that today's engineer is metamorphosing from a technical specialist to a technical generalist. A compelling argument for this thesis is provided by the power and near-ubiquity of CAD/CAE (computer-aided design and engineering) software. One consequence of this paradigm shift is that engineering will asymptotically approach a practice devoid of technical content. Some implications of this perspective for engineering education are explored. It is noted that today's typical curriculum seems narrowly specialist within such a generalist framework. It is argued that there is a need to reevaluate priorities and eliminate the teaching of much of this specialist know-how; such action will better prepare engineering students for their future and it will relieve the curriculum from the current crunch of the know-how information explosion

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1991. Twenty-First Annual Conference. 'Engineering Education in a New World Order.' Proceedings.

Date of Conference:

21-24 Sep 1991