Big Change Coming to Engineering Education Is Topic of STS Colloquium Wed. Oct 12

Big Change Coming to Engineering Education Is Topic of STS Colloquium Wed. Oct 12

Sage 5711

October 12, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Engineering education is about to undergo a radical change, according to Donna Riley, Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and the featured speaker at this week's STS ColloquiumWednesday Oct. 12 at 1:00 pm in Sage 5711.

Dr. Riley's talk,"Losing ABET: High-Stakes Gambling with the Engineering Profession," will examine how upcoming changes by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) will effectively turn back the clock on engineering education, shrinking the engineer's purview toward increasingly narrow technical skills and credentialing.  Despite protests from the American Society of Engineering Education and the American Society of Civil Engineers, ABET is on track to implement the sweeping new restrictions.

What explains ABET's sudden regress from the vision of a liberally educated engineer, and what do the proposed changes mean for engineering education, engineering practice, and our sociotechnical future? 

Donna Riley is professor of Engineering Education with affiliate appointments in the Department of Science and Technology in Society and the Women's and Gender Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.  She has served as program director for Engineering Education at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Riley was a founding faculty member of the first engineering program at a U.S. women’s college, the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, a program that combined the study of engineering with humanities, arts, and sciences.  She was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award in 2005, and the Sterling Olmsted Award from the American Society of Engineering Education “for distinguished contributions in the development and teaching of liberal arts in engineering education" in 2012. 

Co-sponsored by The Thomas Phelan Endowed Chair for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the Department of Science and Technology Studies, the STS Colloquium Series is free and open to the RPI community.

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