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Developing holistic problem solvers through student-driven capstone design

March 22, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Capstone programs offer the opportunity for students to develop creative, realistic, multidisciplinary, and sustainable engineering designs while simultaneously developing design competency and practical skills. Client-driven processes in particular have excellent potential to generate co-curricular benefits such as networking and job placements.

The future of design education centers around preparing the next generation of holistic problem solvers and systems thinkers. This means gaining proficiency in an iterative process to identify physical, historical, socio-political, cultural, material, and environmental drivers associated with the unique context that comes with each project. By emphasizing an authentic and student-driven approach, we can help prepare graduates to face both modern issues and those we can’t anticipate.

Andrew Gillen is currently a Lecturer in Civil Engineering Design in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering at University College London (UCL) with an appointment as the Departmental Inclusion Lead. At UCL, he primarily coordinates the Integrated Design Capstone Project and conducts discipline-based education research. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech and B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University. Recently, he was awarded Fellowship of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA), recognizing excellence in teaching and learning in higher education.

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