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Educating the 21st Century Civil Engineer

  • 1.  Educating the 21st Century Civil Engineer

    Posted 10-18-2020 10:59 AM

    I'd like to call everyone's attention to the interview with Kevin Hall, professor of infrastructure engineering at the University of Arkansas and the chair of the 2019 Civil Engineering Education Summit program committee, on the future of civil engineering education.


    ASCE Interchange


    I really like his message of bringing innovation into the classroom to teach these and practice these skills to do more with the same block of time.  I think part and parcel of increasing the emphasis on soft skills is striking the right balance between assessment of technical and soft skills. Having the ability to give a great PowerPoint presentation is not necessarily the hallmark of a good engineer. I'd be curious to hear from others who are closer to the coal face than I am on this topic.

    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX

  • 2.  RE: Educating the 21st Century Civil Engineer

    Posted 10-21-2020 03:48 PM
    Re: The Future of Civil Engineering Education, & the  "Missing Link."

    The current challenge in our world of various organizations, profit and non-profit, is to develop sustainable competitive success within their markets. This is only possible after the executive level successfully and continuously engages their people's trust. To convert the workforce from bottom to top, top to bottom, and 'sideways,' the cover-ups and masking behaviors of executives must move to openness, reality, and truth. The major constraint to achieving this is the existing "Culture of Silent Fear" within the workforce. This naturally sustained reaction is mainly due to real and imagined workplace experiences defined mainly by the behaviors of executive management.

    In those fields that have significant numbers of technical people, this "Culture of Silent Fear"

    tends to be more frequent than in others.

    One subject to consider academically for such proposed research is to aim at the root-cause of such matters. Otherwise, it would be like giving someone a gun without first teaching them the why, what, when, who, where, and how to use it alone, and with others.

    Let's provide the leadership of organizations the "Roadmap & Directions"  to end the masquerade.

    p.s. By the way, "Evidence" of this fear is clear in the design & construction field. Companies budget profit into their contract price between 15 % to 30%. After the project is closed, if they realize 2% to 5% profit, they "Celebrate!"

    Stay Healthy!



    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880