Engineering Cultures

Engineering Cultures is designed to assist engineering (and non-engineering) students gain a better understanding of people who define problems differently than they do. This course leads you around the world to understand the formations of engineers in different places and learn how definitions of engineers and engineering knowledge have varied over time and across place. We examine how engineers in different countries have faced, embraced, and been challenged by various forms of knowledge, expertise, images of progress and their stature in the workplace and society.

This course is not a conventional history course that requires you to study specific historical events in depth. Course modules traverse Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States focusing on the emergence of engineering formations and projects with an episode-based approach. While memorizing historical details is not required, you will become familiar with the historical flows of engineering in these five countries.

From this global and historical perspective, we can understand how different cultural and societal norms are manifested in technological projects and designs across the globe. Learning the contrasting roles of engineers in different social and cultural contexts will allow you to assess the formation of your own expertise, identities and commitments while studying engineering at this institution. This reflexive thinking will enable you to evaluate your past trajectory and make better-informed career decisions in the future. Ultimately, this course will help you develop global leadership skills, a multicultural perspective, and a heightened awareness of global engineering projects and the engineers who make them a reality.