Engineering leadership education is emerging as a hot topic in engineering institutions worldwide. But according to a review of international “best practices” in engineering leadership education commissioned by the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, a lack of resources, expertise, and formal networks in the nascent field is causing concern in a profession threatened by a diminishing focus on the notion of the “engineer-as-doer."
The new white paper reveals that the vast majority of engineering leadership education programs are based within the U.S. and most are relatively new (developed in the last five years). The white paper highlights the distinct divide between the U.S. and the rest of the world in both attitude and approach to engineering leadership education.
"As a sub-discipline, engineering leadership education is not yet on the radar of most engineering education experts outside the U.S.," said Dr. Edward Crawley, Director of the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. "Certainly for many of the programs outside the U.S., there's some discomfort with the notion of 'leadership education', as they feel this concept runs counter to their educational culture of inclusiveness and equality."
The report was conducted by Dr. Ruth Graham in a series of interviews between September 2008 and March 2009. Dr. Graham investigated more than 40 programs, seeking to provide an insight into current practice, highlight international variations in approach, and identify examples of good practice. For a copy of the report, please visit http://web.mit.edu/gordonelp.
Launched through a $20 million gift by The Bernard M. Gordon Foundation, the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program is a new educational initiative at MIT whose goal is to help MIT's undergraduate engineering students develop the skills, tools, and character they will need as future leaders in the world of engineering practice. For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/gordonelp.