26 April 2012
Prof David Goldberg (standing) with NUS Engineering Dean Prof Chan Eng Soon (seated) conducting the workshop at NUS. Prof Mark Somerville from Franklin W Olin College of Engineering (screen) joins in through Skype.
Participants break into groups to discuss the characteristics and skills an engineering of the future require.
THE BIG BEACON manifesto was publicly released for the first time today at NUS.
Some 50 educators from various institutions, polytechnics and industry, gathered at the NUS University Town for the Big Beacon Preview and Co-Design Workshop to discuss what's needed to steer Engineering education towards the right direction in nurturing engineers of the future.
The Workshop, organised by the Engineering Design & Innovation Centre (EDIC) at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, was facilitated by Professor David Goldberg who had earlier given a talk, Emotional Rescue of Engineering Education at the University. Professor Goldberg advocated collaborative transformation among institutes of learning in Singapore through incubators to pilot change, creating networks of innovations. The Design-Centric Curriculum (DCC) launched in 2009 at NUS Engineering is an example of a paradigm shift in this direction.
The Big Beacon is a new movement co-founded by Professors Goldberg and Mark Somerville, Associate Dean at Franklin W Olin College of Engineering (who also joined the Workshop through video conferencing). Professor Goldberg, Co-Director of the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education, is currently with ThreeJoy Associates, Inc. The two have been working with collaborators around the world over the last year to launch the Big Beacon and they have chosen Singapore as the first stop on a world tour to preview the Big Beacon and co-design it with important leaders of the institutions that may soon join it.
The manifesto defines the "whole new engineer", "a whole new engineering education", "Educational rewire" and "Big Beacon". The "whole new engineer" is someone who finds joy in engineering and in life, a team player, a collaborator, and a community builder, a designer, a creator and a sustainer, as well as someone who is "emotionally and socially aware and competent" - among other characteristics.
"A whole new engineering education" comprises, among other features, the depth to accommodate diverse learning style, foster concern for human values and ethics, and celebrate action in the world and value failure that results in learning.
The session is designed as an interactive session to both explore the ideas and plans of the Big Beacon and to get crucial feedback and co-design information on them.
David Goldberg's talk, Emotional Rescue of Engineering Education: http://www.eng.nus.edu.sg/ero/news/index.php?id=1125
Design-Centric Curriculum - Learning Engineering Differently: http://www.eng.nus.edu.sg/ugrad/dcc/index.html