Work in Progress: Post-Pandemic Opportunities to Re-Engineer Engineering Education: A Pragmatic-Futurist Framework

Shahrima Maharubin, Shamsul Arefeen, Ryan C. Campbell, Roman Taraban

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, education has stepped up some of its long-overdue transformations. Higher education (HE) and Engineering Education (E.E.), particularly, is facing a potential crisis. Engineering schools and professional societies are dealing with several pressing problems that potentially threaten their survival. Although E.E. leaders are bound to focus on short-term survival, sustainable growth and development in the long term must also feature in the agenda. In this work, the context of disruption in the education domain is revisited through a literature review, related threats and opportunities are identified, and a strategic way forward is investigated in those lights from Engineering Education's perspective to inform a pragmatic futurist's perspective. A needs-driven innovation model (why-what-how approach) is pursued to present the study where the shift in mindset, changes in infrastructure, and leveraging digital technologies emerged as the central concepts. Each of those broad implementation categories encompassed various subsequent initiatives such as a life-long learner's mindset, a focus on how-to-learn, a strong emphasis on professional skill development, industry-academia alliances, a reflective broadening of engineers' considerations, and extensive opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration. To this end, we propose a pragmatic futuristic framework for accessible access to affordable, relevant, and personalized education for learners, faculty, and institutions from all diverse backgrounds. The new framework encourages fresh relationships among the key actors in the context of new modalities for the transfer and co-creation of knowledge, requirements, and possibilities for change in operational models and tapping into the boundary-breaking opportunities fostered by digital ways of teaching and learning. This study aims to provide a future-proof pathway for the engineering education ecosystem to better equip it for solving real-world problems with a multi-disciplinary approach to create new value for society. In the process, the study also sheds light on relevant new research avenues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021


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