and of developing scenarios of the possible contexts in which the engineer of 2020 will pursue his or her profession;
a vision that an engineering degree has the potential to become a liberal arts degree for the twenty-first century;
a realization that the present advocates are perhaps the first generation of reformers to take seriously the opportunity for fashioning a wider portal for engineering, viewing engineering education as concerned with more than the graduation of practicing engineers;
an undercurrent of awareness that current complexities are so daunting that tinkering at the edges—reforming one course, one program, one department at a time, developing isolated instances of success here and there—is no longer a viable response if we are to build the kind of robust programs in research and education now needed to strengthen the U.S. engineering community by 2020; and
a recognition that today’s concerns extend beyond undergraduate engineering per se, to the interplay of the engineering profession, the practice of engineering, and engineering education as a system.
It is our belief that many, if not all, of these factors are presently in play, which yields a sense of optimism that meaningful reengineering of engineering education can occur in the near future to allow effective preparation of engineering graduates who will be in the most productive phase of their careers in 2020.