Grant will help integrate liberal arts into engineering at LTU

Release Date: June 22, 2015

Lawrence Technological University and four other members of the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU) have been awarded a three-year, $398,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation in New York City to integrate liberal arts into engineering curricula.

As an outgrowth of a previous planning project, the AITU members will be the first to embark on an implementation strategy under the Teagle Foundation’s “Liberal Arts in the Professions” initiative.
The grant will be administered by the Rochester Institute of Technology. The other participating AITU members are Harvey Mudd College, the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and the Worchester Polytechnic Institute.

The three-year grant project will develop and implement curricula for a “liberal-arts focused” Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP), which is sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering. The program attempts to focus undergraduate engineer training on 14 of the most important engineering challenges facing contemporary society, such as carbon sequestration, modernizing urban infrastructure, and engineering brain functions. The GCSP was featured by President Barack Obama during the 2015 White House Science Fair in March.

“It is a privilege to work with other leading engineering schools around the country to develop new approaches to engineering education that will better prepare our graduates to take leadership roles in their careers,” said LTU Provost Maria Vaz.

Associate Professor Jason Barrett, chair of LTU’s Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication, will serve as LTU’s principal investigator on the project. Jerry LeCarpentier, director of Lawrence Tech’s biomedical engineering program, will coordinate the program for LTU’s College of Engineering. Dean of Arts and Sciences Hsiao-Ping Moore also worked with Dean of Engineering Nabil Grace and his department chairs in setting up parameters for the program.

One goal of the GCSP is to produce engineering graduates who are prepared and motivated to address the most challenging problems facing the world and the nation. The National Academy of Engineering also seeks to introduce innovative educational approaches that will eventually become the mainstream educational paradigm for all engineering students.

The New York City-based Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen higher education, acting as a catalyst for improvements in teaching and learning in the arts and sciences. It was established in 1944 by Walter C. Teagle, longtime president and later chairman of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), now Exxon Mobil.

For more information about the GCSP program, go to:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/03/24/empowering-next-generation-engineers-address-grand-challenges-21st-century

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