Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Join the College of Engineering as we welcome our inaugural Iowa Engineering Distinguished Speaker, Richard K. Miller, for a day of roundtable discussions and a seminar focused on the current challenges facing engineering education. 

Richard K. Miller was appointed President and first employee of Olin College of Engineering in 1999 where he served as the college's founding president until June 2020. Beginning September 2020 he joined MIT as the Jerome C. Hunsaker Visiting Professor of Aerospace Systems.

Prior to joining Olin, he served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Iowa, Associate Dean of Engineering at USC in Los Angeles, and assistant professor of engineering at UCSB in Santa Barbara. With a background in applied mechanics and current interests in innovation in higher education, Miller is the author of more than 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications.

He received the 2017 Brock International Prize in Education for his many contributions to the reinvention of engineering education in the 21st century. Together with two Olin colleagues, he received the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. Recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a member of both the NAE and the National Academy of Inventors. In 2011, he received the Marlowe Award for creative and distinguished administrative leadership from the American Society for Engineering Education. Miller served as Chair of the National Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), and Chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

He has also served on advisory boards and committees for Harvard University, Stanford University, the NAE, NAS, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in addition to others. Furthermore, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank in the establishment of new universities in developing countries. A frequent speaker on engineering education, he received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from the University of California at Davis, where he earned his B.S. He earned his M.S. from MIT and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, where he received the 2014 Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award. 

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Event Schedule

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Roundtable Discussion: Engineering Ethics and Social Justice
  We will examine pressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion facing our world through our professional ethical framework.
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Roundtable Discussion: Post-COVID Research and Curriculum Design
  We will explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted engineering research and education, and how it could continue to shape the future of these endeavors after a vaccine is developed.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. SEMINAR: Thoughts on the Future of Higher Education: Lessons from 20 Years of Experimentation at Olin College

In an effort to remake engineering education, starting in 1999, Olin College, with $460 million of support from the F.W. Olin Foundation, began an effort to start over in engineering education. What does it mean to be an engineer in the 21st Century? What does it mean to be "educated" today? With the mission to become an important and constant contributor to engineering education in America and throughout the world, Olin has now influenced more than 800 universities from more than 50 nations in the last 10 years. This was achieved through a culture of bold experimentation and collaboration: no academic departments or tenure, everything has an "expiration date." The average Olin graduate today has completed more than 20 design-build team projects, and explored starting a business.

Reflecting back after 20+ years, we now realize that the observations and insights obtained are not at all limited to engineering. They apply to all forms of education.  At this moment when higher education has never been more important, and public confidence in science and education is at a historic low point, this talk will reflect on lessons learned that point the way for the future of undergraduate education in every discipline.

  All Zoom events will be recorded.