Perspectives on Engineering
James A. Champy, '63, SM '65, Chairman of Consulting Perot Systems Corporation; Life Member, MIT Corporation; Charles Vest, President, MIT; Thomas Hughes, Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, University of Pennsylvania; Distinguished Visiting Professor, MIT; David A. Mindell, PhD '96, Frances and David Dibner Associate Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing; ; Daniel Roos, '61, SM '63, PhD '66, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems
Description: This panel provides a sense of the critical role engineering systems have played historically, and continue to play, as advanced technologies take root around the world. Charles Vest urges a broad intellectual framework for studying and developing large engineered systems, whose "complexities are so great we can't know all the possible end states." A new framework becomes urgent as we face "the mother of all systems problems" _ defending ourselves against terrorism-- and the ultimate challenge of sustainable development.
Thomas Hughes invokes the past to encourage the inclusion of "a real and messy world" in engineering approaches. For instance, the 19th century road-building projects of Thomas Telford also functioned to improve literacy and reduce poverty. David Mindell describes the evolution of engineering science from the Manhattan Project through the Apollo missions to the end of the Cold War. He welcomes a shift in engineering studies from an exclusive focus on the technology itself to technologies' impact. Engineers must be trained as "inventors, communicators, policy makers, and leaders." Daniel Roos notes that the emergence of a powerful technology such as the automobile, which influenced urban design and economic growth, led to a vast increase in engineering systems scale and complexity. The widening scope of contemporary engineering projects means that engineers must "find the best solution that satisfies all stakeholders." Today, "just understanding technology is not sufficient '.it requires a broader understanding of organizational and contextual implications." Finally, James Champy chides industry for its "hesitancy and cynicism about new ideas and instead, its obsession with costs."
Host(s): School of Engineering, Engineering Systems Division
It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!
You need to log in, in order to post comments.
More from MIT World — special events and lectures
Added over 5 years ago | 01:21:00 | 7163 views
Added over 5 years ago | 01:24:00 | 3369 views
Added over 5 years ago | 00:55:12 | 5629 views
Added over 5 years ago | 01:52:00 | 43029 views
Added over 5 years ago | 01:03:00 | 5403 views
Added over 5 years ago | 00:56:53 | 4685 views