Bright lights and blind spots: this engineer's (mis) education

April 22, 2010
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Coolidge Room, Ballou Hall
Speaker: Chris Swan, Tufts University


What makes an engineer? What are the most desirable attributes in any engineer? Past engineers were educated first and foremost for technical competence and prowess. But calls for change in engineering education have stressed the need for developing and enhancing an engineer's professional skills to include communication, leadership, and ethical and social competencies. This presentation traces the virtues and trials (that is, bright lights and blind spots) of Professor Swan's own engineering education, and how service-based pedagogies provide a powerful pathway to achieving the attributes desired in today's engineer.

Chris Swan, Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Swan was the recipient of last year's Lerman-Neubauer Prize awarded annually to a faculty member judged by graduating seniors as having had a profound impact on them intellectually in and out of the classroom.