Traditional engineering education in the UK, as established in the nineteenth century, is based on the principle that a degree in engineering should be focused on engineering science and not on the practice of engineering. This has proved to be seriously negative to the development of engineering ability in general and innovative engineering in particular. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the reasons for this situation.
Features of innovative engineering are outlined and a structure for learning which has potential to promote innovation is proposed.
Because of principles based on misplaced academic elitism established in the nineteenth century, traditional engineering curricula tend to develop an academic mindset rather than an engineering mindset in students. They do little to support innovative engineering. As a result, the large amount of money spent on engineering education in the UK does not represent a good investment. The academic mindset does not well support any professional context.
The paper provides a challenge to universities and professional engineering institutions which should be addressed.
MacLeod, I. (2010), "The education of innovative engineers", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 21-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/09699981011011294Download as .RIS
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