‘Educating Engineers For The 21st Century’

An Intelectual Discourse By Professor David a Nethercot

Skudai, 20th February: One of the challenges faced by UTM as Malaysia’s premier university in engineering and technology is to produce high quality Engineers. High quality also includes Engineers that are conscious regarding environmental issues.

Professor David A Nethercot, a visiting professor from the Imperial College London and Royal Academy of Engineering was invited to deliver a discourse entitled ‘Educating Engineers for The 21st Century’. The discourse was to create a greater awareness among future engineers produced by UTM.

In his discourse, Prof. Nethercot emphasized that amongst the greatest challenges we face in the world today are those of delivering growing, secure and affordable supplies of clean water and of energy, to meet the needs and expectations of an expending population, whilst reducing C02 emissions and the human contributions to climate change.

The implementation of innovative engineering solutions is fundamental to addressing these challenges, whilst also offering exceptional opportunities for economic growth to the nations which are able to deliver them.

A survey conducted by the Royal Academy to industry covering the following four main areas which is changes in the industry, current and future skills requirement, comparative quality of United Kingdom and other international engineering graduates and finally the consequential requirements for changes in engineering degree courses.

These four areas have led to a list of six key course requirements: practical application, theoretical understanding, creativity and innovation, team working, technical breath and business skills.

The top priority was essentially a combination of the first two: a sound understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to solve practical problems. Focusing on this was regarded as 25 times more important as inculcating graduates with business skills.

Through this intellectual discourse it is hoped that these key course requirements can be developed for the engineers of the 21st century.


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