Lecture Series on Complex Systems
From the Ground Up: A Comprehensive Systems Approach to the Redesign of Engineering Education
President, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Olin College was established with a very large gift from the F.W. Olin Foundation in 1997 for the specific purpose of creating a new paradigm for engineering education. It is one answer to the question: how could you address the educational imperatives of the 21st century within a four-year undergraduate engineering program if you could start over—from the ground up? This talk will outline the motivations, inquiries and research, methods used, and results of building an independent college tuned to this particular task. In addition, some of the challenges involved in managing a project of this magnitude will also be shared.
Richard K. Miller was appointed President and first employee of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 1999, where he also holds an appointment as professor of mechanical engineering. He served as Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa from 1992-1999, and spent the previous 17 years on the engineering faculties at the University of Southern California (where he held the position of associate dean for Academic Affairs) and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Miller's research interests are in applied mechanics. He is the author or co-author of about 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications and has been a consultant to several aerospace companies. Dr. Miller has won five teaching awards at two universities, received the Legacy award from the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa, and the 2011 Donald E. Marlowe Award of the ASEE. He served as chair of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Advisory Committee and served on several advisory committees for the National Academy of Engineering, Harvard University, Khalifa University, and other institutions. In addition, he has served as a short term consultant to the World Bank in the establishment of new academic institutions. He is a member of AIAA, ASME, ASCE, ASEE, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi. A native Californian, Dr. Miller earned his B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in 1971 from the University of California, Davis, where he received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award. In 1972, he earned his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1976 he earned his Ph.D. in applied mechanics from the California Institute of Technology.
The Brunel Lecture Series on Complex Systems is sponsored by MIT Engineering Systems Division. Information about the series and past lectures is available here.