September 30, 2016
An engineering student’s foundational educational experience affects not only her or his learning outcomes and career but also whether or not that student decides to continue engineering education at all. While passive knowledge acquisition and assimilation can be effective for some learners, exclusive utilization of such approaches is self-limiting. Students need to practice at being engineers; process needs to takes precedence over content especially in this age of information being an inexpensively acquired commodity. Foundational engineering education should include experiences that prepare students to synthesize and utilize knowledge so that they can conceive creative design solutions that address more than feasibility. Change will not be easy given the current educational ecosystem of discipline-centric structures and the dominance of theory over practice. The goal of the talk is to stimulate discussion about how to approach these challenges including a few examples and lessons learned from the Olin College of Engineering.
VINCENT P. MANNO is Provost and Dean of Faculty, as well as Professor of Engineering, at the Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA. He received a BS from Columbia University and MS and Sc.D. degrees from M.I.T. His fields of interest are engineering education, power generation, electronics thermal management and manufacturing processes. He has authored or co-authored over 160 journal articles, conference proceedings and technical reports and is a frequent keynote speaker. Prior to joining Olin, Dr. Manno was Associate Provost and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University, where he held other leadership positions including Department Chair, Associate Dean of Engineering and Dean of Engineering ad interim. He has worked in the private sector, has served as a U.S. Navy Senior Summer Faculty Fellow at NUWC (Newport, RI) and holds a US patent. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the recipient of SAE’s Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, the Harvey Rosten Award for Excellence in the Thermal Analysis of Electronic Equipment, the ASME Curriculum Innovation Award, Tufts Engineering Teacher of the Year and the Tufts University Seymour Simches Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising. He serves on the several advisory boards including Ashesi University (Ghana), the University of Delaware College of Engineering and the Tufts University Center for Engineering Education Outreach.