Georgia Tech President and Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering faculty member G.P. “Bud” Peterson has posed the question: “when the competitive landscape is flattened, mobile, and diverse, what will be the characteristics that distinguish our nation’s students from those at institutions around the globe?” According to Dr. Peterson, “None of us has a crystal ball, but what is clear is that our nation’s position as a leader in research and innovation will erode unless we make choices and investments that adequately prepare our students with the educational background, problem—solving and leadership skills necessary for a future we can only begin to grasp.” He then relates the oft-made point “…we are currently preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist using technologies that have not been invented in order to solve problems we have not yet identified.”
As part of Georgia Tech’s quest to become the “Technological University of the 21st Century,” the Woodruff School has conducted a strategic planning process to examine our strengths, consider the future needs of engineering education and research, and solidify us for a pre-eminent role as a national and international leader in mechanical engineering.
Strategic Objectives of the Woodruff School
- ELST Initiative
Lead an initiative for Engineering Life-Sustaining Transformations (ELST) as a campus-wide collaborative effort led by the Woodruff School, incubating and spawning scholarly communities and research teams composed of our faculty and students, as well as high profile visiting researchers and policymakers, to define and explore grand challenge problems through basic and applied research.
- Renaissance in Engineering Education
Develop pathways for a renaissance in engineering education by pioneering technology and concepts of mass customization, promoting self-paced discovery in flexible degree programs, and emphasizing ELST themes that address grand challenges in the curriculum, entrepreneurial experiences, and capstone design projects.