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Understanding Engineers


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Lecture 1 of the course Understanding Engineers by David E. Goldberg in Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois

Lecture 1 of the course Understanding Engineers by David E. Goldberg in Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois

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  • 1. Understanding EngineersLER 590 UE - Week 1: Engineering, Technology, and All That
    David E. GoldbergIESE, iFoundry & School of Labor and Employment RelationsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, IL 61801
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 2. Understanding Engineers
    Engineering is a complex practice.
    Important to modern life.
    Not widely studied or understood by laypersons without technical training.
    Course attempts to get inside engineering mind through direct experiences as well as through historical, philosophical, and social science study.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 3. Roadmap
    Name badges.
    Introductions: Who are you & who am I?
    Review of syllabus (handout).
    Choose Industry Interest Groups (handout).
    What is engineering?
    Simulated engineering experience 1.
    Reflection on SEE 1.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 4. Who Am I? Who Are You?
    David E. Goldberg, Jerry S. Dobrovolny Distinguished Professor in Entrepreneurial Engineering, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering.
    Project engineering & marketing manager, Stoner Associates, Carlisle, PA, 1976-1980.
    Asst/Assoc Prof Engineering Mechanics, University of Alabama, 1984-1990.
    Came to UIUC in 1990 in General Engineering.
    Research in genetic algorithms & philosophy of engineering.
    Co-Founded ShareThis in 2004(Formerly Nextumi).
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 5. Who Are You?
    Undergraduate background?
    Work experience?
    Aspirations post degree? Job interviews/offers?
    Why did you sign up for this class?
    What do you hope to get out of it?
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 6. Another Job: iFoundry
    Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education:
    Curriculum change incubator. Permit change.
    Collaboration. Large, key ugrad programs work together. Easier approval if shared.
    Connections. Hook to depts, NAE, ABET (?), industry.
    Volunteers. Enthusiasm for change among participants.
    Existing authority. Use signatory authority for modification of curricula for immediate pilot.
    Respect faculty governance. Get pilot permission from the dept. and go back to faculty for vote after pilot change
    Assessment. Built-in assessment to overcome objections back home.
    Scalability. Past attempts at change like Olin fail to scale at UIUC and other big schools.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 7. Syllabus Review
    7 weeks:
    Engineering education, knowledge & knowhow.
    Engineered artifacts: history, ontology, representation.
    Institutional & professional setting.
    Normal versus visionary engineering.
    HR context: recruiting, transitions & development.
    IIG reports.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 8. 2 Interesting Elements
    Simulated engineering experiences (SEEs): do some engineering stuff to get you to see engineering work from the inside.
    Industry Interest Groups (Adopt-an-Industry): Form teams to use course concepts to examine a particular industry.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 9. What is Engineering?
    You’re sitting in class at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Has one of the bestengineering schools on the planet.
    What is engineering?
    How would you define it?
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
    Mechanical Building & Drill Hall 1871
  • 10. A Definition?
    Here: Engineering is the social practice of conceiving, designing, implementing, producing, & sustaining complex artifacts, processes, or systems appropriate to some recognized need.
    Artifacts primary object.
    Science & math are among tools used for artifact conception & support.
    Social practice Engineered by and for people.
    Social side as important as the physics.
    Some engineered objects are physical, but all engineered objects are social.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 11. Simulated Engineering Experience No. 1
    Simple resistive circuit.
    Familiarity with simple components, measurements, & calculations.
    Work in teams.
    Followed by reflection.
    Will divide teams by expertise. How many have background in math/science? None expected or needed.
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 12. Reflections
    Accuracy & error
    Modeling & prediction
    Components & standardization
    Notion of a “breadboard”  try & test
    Different representations
    What else?
    © David E. Goldberg 2009
  • 13. More Information
    TEE, the book.
    TEE, the blog.
    TEE, the course.
    MTV, the course.
    Engineering and Technology Studies at Illinois (ETSI)
    Workshop on Philosophy & Engineering (WPE)
    © David E. Goldberg 2009