Society is complex and technology omnipresent, intertwined with our daily lives. Engineers will increasingly occupy different roles in the future society as economy, leadership, and care demand for new specialised skillsets to deal with the fast-paced global marketplace. Delft University of Technology accounts for approximately 130 Biomedical Engineering MSc graduates each year. Biomedical Engineering sits at the front row of innovation, preparing students primarily as individuals able to cope with ambiguity and social responsibility, as well as training them on deep specialised engineering skills.
Matthijs van Dijk
What happens to society when technological and ecological developments radically alter our societies, making the world highly complex to navigate? We turn to experts and engineers so that their can take on new prominent roles to help transform our societies for the better. These new roles ask the future generation of engineers to change their understanding of what the engineering profession entails and which skills and knowledge they should develop to navigate through complex societal issues. Reframing Studio developed a vision together with the 4TU Centre for Engineering Education, a collaboration of the four technical universities of the Netherlands, that describes eight future roles of engineers in society.
The project development started off with asking some key questions. How can student develop agency over their learning path? What will be the relationship between universities and the professional organisations? How can the faculty staff support the transitions that students go through in and out university? the answers to these questions made it possible to determine new educational principles that enable for lifelong learning and for taking responsibility in deliberately shaping the future practice. TU Delft has enthusiastically embraced this vision, and the faculty of Biomedical engineering has implemented the first steps to transforming their master portfolio.
To implement the vision at the faculty of Biomedical Engineering, we worked on a pilot course to experiment with new ways of teaching and new learnings. From there, we formed a project group of core courses’ staff, and together we adapted the vision to the master portfolio and BmE identity. We started concepting on adaptations to work out the vision’s core and principles, through activities in courses and within the overall master’s structure. At the moment of writing, we are busy developing a strategic roadmap to support the full transformation to the new master program in 2035.