This week, I again breathed in the innovation ecosystem in Silicon Valley when I visited with alumni individually and gave a talk on how we can – and should – engineer our future. I believe that engineering learning and discovery should focus on how we engage with the world around us to solve its challenges.
We should focus on developing Pi-shaped graduates who have depth in their discipline, have learned how to innovate and are also inclined towards interdisciplinary thinking. Our effort at McMaster is to do so with so many of our “and” programs.
Back to Silicon Valley. It is the utter audacity and chutzpah of our alumni who are innovators and entrepreneurs that thoroughly amazes and impresses me. I am convinced that while we should educate engaged citizen scholars, a personal passion of mine, we should also impart them with a swagger. This is not an arrogant and uncaring swagger, rather it is infused with humility and confidence that enables a Mac Eng graduate to change the world.
Many of our alumni are doing just that, but we need many more of them.