Preparing (for) the New Engineer

Like all professions, engineering has evolved. We have acquired new knowledge, we have better tools at our disposal, and this has enabled more creative and sophisticated solutions to increasingly challenging and complex problems. We’ve been evolving in this way since the first stone tools were crafted two million years ago.

The rate of knowledge creation (and its digital incarnation, information creation) is increasing exponentially. But the stakes of this evolution also are higher. As we push through technological boundaries, we create materials, mechanisms, systems and policies that challenge our environment – not just our air and water, but our societies, our economies, and our ability to sustain ourselves. We have entered a period in our history where we are permanently depleting natural resources and negatively impacting the ability of our planet to sustain us.

Seeking Global Impact and Raising Social Awareness: the New Engineering Graduate

Our students want to save the planet. They join Renssalaer with a nascent perspective on the global challenges before us, the global risks we were exposed to as a people and a planet, and the power of our global connectivity. Our goal at the university is to develop those perspectives more fully and with benefit of a broad academic community. Following this generation defining passion, however, is not at the exclusion of a student’s goals of finding a job and becoming successful. Once disparate, these goals are increasingly aligned and intertwined.