an engineering education, and the value of an engineering education to engineers working successfully in nonengineering jobs.

While engineering is a rapidly evolving field that adapts to new knowledge, new technology, and the needs of society, it also draws on distinct roots that go back to the origins of civilization. Maintaining a linkage of the past with the future is fundamental to the rational and fact-based approaches that engineers use in identifying and confronting the most difficult issues.

We aspire to a public that will recognize the union of professionalism, technical knowledge, social and historical awareness, and traditions that serve to make engineers competent to address the world’s complex and changing challenges.

Engineering must be grounded in the fundamental principles of science and mathematics. This foundation supports the development of new knowledge and the creation of safe, reliable, and innovative technologies that advance society and the human condition. Solutions of societal problems require that these technologies be applied in innovative ways with consideration of cultural differences, historical perspectives, and legal and economic constraints, among other issues.

We aspire to engineers in 2020 who will remain well grounded in the basics of mathematics and science, and who will expand their vision of design through a solid grounding in the humanities, social sciences, and economics. Emphasis on the creative process will allow more effective leadership in the development and application of next-generation technologies to problems of the future.

Engineering Without Boundaries

Engineering has shown itself to be responsive to technological breakthroughs from within engineering and from other fields, although not always in the most timely fashion. From its first two subbranches, military and civil, it expanded early on in recognition of developments that led to mining, mechanical, chemical, electrical, and industrial engineering. This process has continued and is evidenced recently by the introduction of biomedical and computer engineering.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement