We prompt doctoral students to take deep dives into very narrow questions, implicitly encouraging them to think small. The narrowness of their research topics focuses them laser-like into silos that lie far from the interdisciplinary thinking that is required solve today’s wicked problems. Despite exhortations over decades to break down the silos and stovepipes that narrow engineering disciplines, the… More Rethinking the Engineering PhD
Innovation matters more and more. Educators should train themselves and educate their students to answer a critical question before ideas are explored. “Who cares?”… More “Who cares?” Basis of innovation
Here’s a shoutout to the McMaster Engineering EcoCAR 3 Team. This is a group of engaged students who are innovators in approaching and solving problems.… More Teaching innovation
Rule of Three: Pick three things to do well: #family, #engagement, #innovation… More The Rule of Three: Optimism, Satisfaction and Joy
My advice to incoming students this fall semester? Seek a university that is multicultural, where teaching is not just text based, which facilitates self directed learning, and keeps improving its community spaces and information technology infrastructure to allow students to collaborate.… More Students Today and Jobs Tomorrow
There’s a difference between information and knowledge, and also between knowledge and understanding.… More Information ≠ Knowledge ≠ Understanding
The more transparent leaders are the more effective they become. Their actions encourage much higher engagement of the talent in their organizations than would otherwise have been possible.… More How (Un)Common is Transparent Leadership?
Whether or not you wish to pursue a doctoral degree can ultimately be a lifestyle choice. Either choice can lead to a meaningful and rewarding career. If you want a Ph.D. credential then pursue it for the right reasons. … More So you (don’t?) want a Ph.D. degree?
We face a crisis. To reflect the diversity of our world, our profession requires more women engineers, as engineering faculty members or in engineering jobs. It is simply the right thing to do. Broadly, there is only a single woman engineer practising for every four men. Therefore, the case for more women engineers can be… More Why we need more women in engineering
Wicked problems confronting us include climate change, international drug trafficking, refugee resettlement, the emerging Zika virus pandemic, terrorism and war, food security, better healthcare, assisted dying and social equity. The solution to any one of these problems, say refugee resettlement, requires the solution of a host of other interconnected problems.… More Let’s solve wicked problems