Engineering Education for the 21st Century



Charles M. VestCharles M. Vest
President, National Academy of Engineering
President Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

NJIT Campus Center Ballroom
April 30, 3:00 – 4:30 P.M.

Download the flyer (PDF, 9.7 MB)

The challenges for U.S. higher education in the 21st century are many, and they include educating engineers for a multi-faceted role in the global economy. Engineering education must both drive and respond to innovation and change. Engineers must be adept at addressing the complexities of global competition as well as knowledgeable about how the potential of global cooperation can be realized for the benefit of every nation.

On April 30, Charles M. Vest will share his insights into the direction that engineering education must take in the opening decades of the century. Vest is uniquely qualified to speak with authority on this topic, whose exploration concludes the Spring 2008 Series of NJIT’s Technology and Society Forum. A distinguished engineer and educator, Vest is currently president of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

After completing his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, Vest joined the university’s faculty as an assistant professor, focusing on thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, and conducting research in heat transfer and engineering applications related to laser optics and holography.

In 1981, at the time a full professor, Vest was named associate dean of engineering at Michigan and subsequently served as dean of engineering, provost and vice president for academic affairs. He became president of MIT in 1990 and president emeritus in 2004.

Vest has been a director of DuPont and IBM, and vice chair of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. He has served on federal committees and commissions that include the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy and the Rice-Chertoff Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee.Vest was awarded the 2006 National Medal of Technology by President Bush and in 2007 was elected president of the NAE for a six-year term.

Co-sponsored by the NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College and Sigma Xi.

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(58 minutes, 274 MB)