Adrienne R. Minerick, President, ASEE addressing the audience via Zoom
Last week, Dr. Adrienne R Minerick presented on the topic “Re-crafting Engineering Culture to Embrace Systems Thinking: A Necessity for Engineering for the Future,” at the Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation’s (IEEI) Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by Dr. Tracy Hammond, Director, IEEI.
Engineers design for society, for our built world, for technological improvements, and for our planet. However, the underlying function for which we are engineering has changed shape significantly – and continues to change. Unfortunately, our approaches have evolved slowly, but are perceived and treated as optima. These approaches need to be revisited. Because the underlying function for which we are engineering will continue to change, we also need to develop a process that enables approaches to evolve strategically and continuously so they truly are optima. Our engineering culture – what we say and how we go about doing it – determines whether the field of engineering can truly solve 2021 problems or just create even larger 2050 problems.
The American Society for Engineering Education has launched a task force endeavoring to restructure those portions of our engineering culture that make us more vulnerable and less able to meet the challenges of today and the future. This talk focused on the motivations and need to adopt inclusive systems-level analyses into engineering practice. Her discussions aimed to initiate conversations that define limitations of the present state and envision pathways and processes to a better future set of practices that embrace systems-level analyses.
Adrienne R. Minerick is the President, ASEE, Director of ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, and Professor of Chemical Engineering. She has served as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering, Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development, Dean of the School of Technology, founded the College of Computing and most recently served as Interim Dean of the Pavlis Honors College. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the distinction of Fellow of AAAS and ASEE, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Raymond W. Fahien Award from the Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE, and Michigan Tech’s Fredrick D. Williams Instructional Innovation Award.