February 6, 2009

Cool engineering conferences

A couple of conference announcements have crossed my real and virtual desks lately and I think that they are both more than interesting enough to warrant a mention.

First of all, thanks to Sharon Murphy of Queens for bringing The Sixth International Conference on Innovation and Practices in Engineering Design and Engineering Education to my attention at OLA this past week. The conference is July 27 - 29, 2009 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

From the general call for papers:

The sixth CDEN International Design Engineering Conference will focus on design innovation and engineering education that are such essential ingredients of creating a new future for the people of Canada and the world. Submissions can include, but are not limited to, the philosophy of design; tools and techniques for effective and successful design; methods and tools for designing to meet needs; methods for and research into the assessment of design; teaching and promoting design; humanitarian design; design successes and failures; tear-downs of designs and design-processes; the infrastructure required for design; lessons and methods used in non-engineering design fields; design for commercialization; and related topics.

The goal of the conference is to explore design practice and teaching that leads to better lives for Canadians.

Sharon's coordinating the technical session on "Information Research and Knowledge Management" and would love to see proposals from librarians. You can contact her at murphys at queensu dot ca.

The other cool conference is Engineer of the Future 2.0: Summit on Transforming Engineering Education, on March 31 & April 1, 2009.
Although curriculum reform has been on engineering minds for some time, it is clear that reforms are difficult to sustain and diffuse, and often even when innovations are won, it is difficult to maintain the organizational will to continually improve and adapt. Indeed, the problem of effective educational transformation is as much organizational and political as it is pedagogical and curricular; and it may be the case that effective engineering education transformation requires not a top-down approach, but rather an open-source approach in which diverse voices gather at the grassroots with a variety of views and methodological approaches and openly and actively share best practices.

To explore this possibility, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and the University of Illinois have joined forces to put on the Summit on the Engineer of the Future 2.0. The event will be held on April 1, 2009 (Wednesday, with opening reception the night before) at Olin College in Needham, MA and will feature a keynote talk by Dean Karan Watson, Texas A&M, a panel discussion of successful engineers of the future (recent grads 5-10 years out with a track record of entrepreneurial, corporate, organizational, or societal success), and brainstorming and involvement sessions in the afternoon. The event will be followed on Thursday with the opportunity to visit Olin College.

Submissions here.

Both conferences look fabulous and unfortunately I won't be at either. It's doubly disappointing because Hamilton is in my back yard but the time is right in the middle of my summer vacation this year.

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