s with ingenuity skill in planning
s with ingenuity skill in planning, combining, and adapting. Using science and practical ingenuity, engineers identify problems and find solutions. This will continue to be a mainstay of engineering. But as technology continues to increase in complexity and the world becomes ever more dependent on technology, the magnitude, scope, and impact of the challenges society will face in the future are likely to change. For example, issues related to climate change, the environment, and the intersections between technology and social/public policies are becoming increasingly important. By coming the need for practical solutions will be at or near a critical stage, and engineers and their ingenuity will become ever more important. Creativity (invention, innovation, thinking outside the box, art) is an indispensable quality for engineering, and given the growing scope of the challenges ahead and the complexity and diversity of the technologies of the 21st century, creativity will grow in importance. The creativity requisite for engineering will change only in the sense that the problems to be solved
may require synthesis of a broader range of interdisciplinary knowledge and a greater focus on systemic constructs and outcomes. As always, good engineering will require good communication. Engineering has always engaged multiple stakeholders’ government, private industry, and the public. In the new century, the parties that engineering ties together will increasingly involve interdisciplinary teams, globally diverse team members, public officials, and a global customer base. We envision a world where communication is enabled by an ability to listen effectively as well as to communicate through oral, visual, and written mechanisms. Modern advances in technology will necessitate the effective use of virtual communication tools. The increasing imperative for accountability will necessitate an ability to communicate convincingly and to shape the opinions and attitudes of other engineers and the public. In the past, those engineers who mastered the principles of business and management were rewarded with leadership roles. This will be no different in the future. However, with the growing interdependence between technology and the economic and social foundations of modern society, there will be an increasing number of opportunities for engineers to exercise their potential as leaders, not only in business but also in the non-profit and government sectors. Policy decisions in technological societies will demand the attention of leaders who understand the strengths and limitations of science and technology. New levels of sophistication will be needed as choices that affect physical, human, and political infrastructures and decisions that define priorities and objectives for a community, region, or nation are made. Given the uncertain and changing character of the world in which tomorrow engineers will work, engineers will need something that cannot be described in a single word. It involves dynamism, agility, resilience, and flexibility. Not only will technology change quickly, the social-political-economic world in which engineers work will change continuously. In this context, it will not be this or that particular knowledge that engineers will need but rather the ability to learn new things quickly and the ability to apply knowledge to new problems and new contexts. Encompassed in this theme is imperative for engineers to be lifelong learners. They will need this not only because technology will change quickly but also because the career trajectories of engineers will take on many more directions that include different parts of the world and different types of challenges and that engage different types of people and objectives. Hence, to be individually/personally successful, tomorrow’s engineer will learn continuously throughout his or her career, not just about engineering but also about history, politics, business, and so forth. Other attributes are also necessary like: leadership, high ethical standards and strong sense of professionalism. What attributes will the engineer of tomorrow have? He or she will aspire to have the ingenuity of Lillian Gilbreth (known as the Mother of Ergonomics), the problem-solving capabilities of Gordon Moore, the scientific insight of Albert Einstein, the creativity of Pablo Picasso, the determination of the Wright brothers, the leadership abilities of Bill Gates, the conscience of Eleanor Roosevelt, the vision of Martin Luther King, and the curiosity and wonder of our grandchildren.