How Engineering Education Contributes to Innovation
Innovation is critical in the advancement of improving solutions to many areas of our lives, such as sustainability. Since there has been a rise in sustainable solutions such as alternative energy sources, engineers are not only working to improve society or communities, but also the planet. For engineers to develop and implement innovative technologies, each generation of engineers must train in innovation.
The quality of engineering education plays a direct role in the challenges and opportunities for economic growth, global competition, and sustainability. The engineer needs to be able to keep up with the rapid advancements of technology, complex problems with multidisciplinary approaches, effective use of natural and human resources, systematic thinking, and an interconnected world. Engineers learn to combine scientific and engineering principles to develop processes and products which contribute to innovative solutions for all areas of our lives. The diversity of engineering knowledge and education contributes to the advancement of innovation, effectiveness, and productivity.
Advancements in engineering education in recent years have been dramatic. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Engineering Criteria 2000, created new approaches to engineering accreditation. Programs are required to include critical professional skills and content in the curriculum, while engineering educators have revised the effectiveness of their programs compared to universal programs and continuing self-improvement of practices.
K-12 education also plays a key role in increasing the quality of future engineering education by exposing younger children to engineering concepts and applications. Students will then be able to better understand how careers in science and engineering impact our society.
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