Our nation’s future prosperity depends heavily on the engineering talent our universities produce. For at least a decade, reports form the National Academy of Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education have called for the transformation of engineering education. Yet, changing how we teach engineers is easier to say than to do. The reason: a complex system of incentives and barriers within the current structure of engineering departments resists change. Together, these forces act like an immune system that attacks change.
The National Science Foundation, recognizing this challenge of transformation, has launched a new initiative, called Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED). The NSF selected Purdue as one of six pilot universities.
What does this have to do with the Purdue Center for Regional Development? For the past decade, PCRD has been incubating a new strategy process take on complex, messy challenges. Called Strategic Doing, this methodology guides leaders as they learn to transform complex systems through collaboration. In the past two years, PCRD has developed a reputation for taking on these hard challenges. Partnering with Stanford and VentureWell, PCRD is now guiding the transformation of undergraduate engineering at 37 universities.
With the RED initiatives, PCRD is partnering with Purdue’s Mechanical Engineering Department to explore how we can transform engineering education at Purdue.