Authors: M. Elisabeth Pate-Cornell
Addresses: Department of Management Science and Engineering, Terman Engineering Building, Room 348, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Abstract: Recent worldwide trends include the information revolution, the explosion of biotechnologies, the globalisation of markets, the acceleration of the transition from research to markets, increased awareness of ecological fragility and a growing aversion to technological risk. These create new needs, opportunities and constraints, both in the workplace and higher education. The definition of old disciplines has become increasingly ill-adapted and the need for interdisciplinary education more pressing. Yet students must be solidly anchored in specific domains to be able to address more complex problems and design new tools. Competition and globalisation demand that students be prepared to operate in the changing world with sound bases, flexibility, financial savvy and an appreciation of cultural, ethnic and gender diversity. This particularly affects departments of industrial engineering and operations research that focus on manufacturing, production, services, work organisation, public policy analysis, economics of technology, decision and risk analysis and engineering management. Within them, the lines between management science, social science and engineering are becoming increasingly blurred. They thus face challenges in constructing coherent and relevant academic programmes. They must develop centres of excellence around existing disciplines and specific problems. This requires that all synergies be exploited to remain at the cutting edge of academic research and industrial needs. This paper examines the trends shaping the needs for academic changes. It describes what they imply for universities, focusing on the specific needs of university departments that involve Industrial Engineering and Management, Management Science, Information Systems, Operations Research and Policy Analysis. It finally describes the model and innovations adopted by Stanford.
Keywords: engineering; education; engineering systems; technology management; technology policy.
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2001 Vol.1 No.2, pp.151-159
Published online: 18 Aug 2003 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article