GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Engineering for a Changing World: A Roadmap to the Future of Engineering Practice, Research, and Education


Preface (excerpt)

The purpose of this study is to pull together the principal findings and recommendations of the various reports concerning the profession of engineering, the technology and innovation needs of the nation, and the role played by human and intellectual capital, into an analysis of the changing nature of engineering practice, research, and education. More specifically, it considers the implications for engineering from several perspectives: i) as a discipline (similar to physics or mathematics), possibly taking its place among the “liberal arts” characterizing a 21st-century technology-driven society; ii) as a profession, addressing both the urgent needs and grand challenges facing our society; iii) as a knowledge base supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, and value creation in a knowledge economy; and iv) as a diverse educational system characterized by the quality, rigor, and diversity necessary to produce the engineers and engineering research critical to prosperity, security, and social well being. More generally, it addresses the question of what our nation should seek as both the nature and objectives of engineering in the 21st century, recognizing that these must change significantly to address rapidly changing needs and priorities.