Global Careers in Engineering Convene at Polytechnic U
Recently, the 5th global congress on Education Engineering convened at Polytechnic University, in Brooklyn, New York. The event, a collaboration between Polytechnic University and the UNESCO Center for International Engineering Education (UICEE), in Australia, gave professors, engineers and organizers from almost thirty countries, the opportunity to consider and debate the direction in which education engineering should go towards in the near future. The opening ceremonies began with welcoming speeches from the Chairmen of the Congress, Professor Zenon J. Pudlowski the UICEE director, Professor Harold P. Sjursen of Polytechnic University and Professor Colin U. Chisholm of Glasgow Caledonian University, in Glasgow, Scotland. President Jerry Hultin of Polytechnic University commented that modern day corporations want engineers “who can also understand the global market, who are entrepreneurs, and who have the ability to innovate and communicate with clarity.”
In order to match these objectives, Polytechnic University, an institution that has been in existence since the 1850s, recently changed their entire undergraduate curriculum in order to have a more global emphasis. The program now has forty international bilateral collaborative university agreements, international internships, programs and language studies. Sjursen made it clear that he felt that education engineering must be integrated with management and the liberal arts because engineers need a broader education that what had been necessary in the past. His paper, The Role of a Center for Liberal Arts in Engineering Education: The Engineer of 2020, stated, “Only when humanists become engineers and engineers become humanists, can we hope for a secure future.” The paper highlighted two conflicting cultures: the humanities oriented liberal arts culture, and the science oriented engineering culture which must be collaborative in order to help the world address global urgencies such as global warming.
The final presentation of the opening morning was unique. James Powell and Gordon Danby, inventors of “Maglev,” a smooth, safe, and economic electric mode of transportation that would address the global scarcity of oil, were introduced to the audience as “The Wright brothers of Maglev.” Maglev is especially attractive because it emits no pollutants, no carbon dioxide, and therefore does not contribute to global warming. Powell thanked Polytechnic University for now undertaking Maglev technology education and for building a test facility in Riverhead, Long Island to test Maglev as a public carrier.
In conclusion, Powell talked about training engineers for the future. He said the most important question young engineers should ask is “How do we go from innovation to reality?” The answer, he said, was to cross barriers and to “convince society and corporations to change paths.”#