An Innovative Approach To Engineering Education
Part of an occasional series of conversations with the leaders from colleges around New England
The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham is just 10 years old. It was created to address two related crises: that America is not graduating enough talented engineers, and it may be the very nature of engineering education that’s driving the most talented minds away from the field.
The Olin Foundation is an educational foundation that had spent the previous 60 years giving away money for established campuses to build new buildings.
But in 1993, they decided to build an entirely new school and educational model, from the ground up. And in 2002, Olin College welcomed its first class.
The school is interdisciplinary to its core — there are no academic departments and no tenure for faculty. Students dive into projects, not abstract theory, from day one. As Olin President Richard Miller said, “the college is creating engineers who are ‘comfortable as citizens and not just calculating machines.’”
- Richard K. Miller, Ph.D., president of Olin College
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