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Remaking Engineering Education for the Innovation Economy
Prof. Richard MILLER, President and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Olin College of Engineering
Date : 12 Dec 2018 (Wednesday)
Time : 4:15 - 5:30 pm
Venue : IAS Lecture Theater, Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST


In this digital age of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and accelerating technological convergence across disciplines, the value of a traditional applied science education for engineers is rapidly declining. Instead, we must rethink the purpose of education and embrace autonomous and experiential learning, the process of discovery—and especially an entrepreneurial mindset. Further, as the shelf-life of technical knowledge grows ever shorter, the need for proficiency at building shared expertise—with minimal formal instruction—within a diverse and multidisciplinary team, focused on a complex societal problem taken in context, is overshadowing the demand for technical specialization. Olin College of Engineering was established for the purpose of creating a new paradigm for engineering education. The average Olin student today completes 20-30 design-build team projects, delivers many oral presentations, starts an entrepreneurial venture, and works for two semesters on a capstone design project sponsored by a corporation that is paying US$55,000 for their small team’s work. Half of Olin’s students are women. Olin College is designed to serve as an educational laboratory, and has hosted more than 800 universities from more than 50 nations since 2010. This presentation will provide more explanation of the origin and operation of Olin College, and several key lessons learned from the last 17 years of experimentation.


About the speaker

Prof. Richard K. Miller earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972 and PhD in Applied Mechanics from the California Institute of Technology in 1976. He has been the founding President and Professor of Mechanical Engineering of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering since 1999. Previously, he served on the engineering faculty at the University of Iowa (where he served as Dean of Engineering), at the University of Southern California (where he served as Associate Dean of Engineering), and University of California, Santa Barbara.

With a background in applied mechanics and current interests in innovation in higher education, Prof. Miller is the author of more than 100 reviewed journal articles and is a frequent speaker on educational innovation. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2017), the US National Academy of Inventors (2014) and the US National Academy of Engineering (2012). 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 US National Academy of Engineering for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. Prof. Miller served as Chair of the National Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce and Chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the US National Science Foundation. He has also served on advisory boards and committees for Harvard University, Stanford University, the US National Academy of Engineering, the US National Academy of Sciences and the US 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.


For attendees’ attention


  The lecture is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
  Light refreshments will be served from 3:45 to 4:15 pm.



HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
Enquiries: ias@ust.hk / 2358 5912