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Educating Engineers to Do Engineering

Summary: Most practitioners need to build a bridge between what they learn in college and what they have to do as engineers in the corporate world. However, the separation between academia and practice does not need to be so large. While traditional responses to this situation focus on internships and dedicated projects, universities may be losing existing learning opportunities that can help in shortening the gap. This seminar will present some current and future ideas of how to embed real-life elements into existing engineering education curricula that can smoothen the transition between academia and practice, while maintain the necessary academic rigor of the profession.

Biography: Dr. Alejandro Salado is an assistant professor of systems engineering with the Grado Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on unveiling the scientific foundations of systems engineering and using them to improve systems engineering practice. Before joining academia, Alejandro spent over ten years as a systems engineer in the space industry, developing and leading space systems of up to $1b. He is a recipient of the Fabrycky-Blanchard Award for Systems Engineering Research and the Fulbright International Science and Technology Award. Dr. Salado holds a BSc/MSc in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University of Valencia, an MSc in project management and a MSc in electronics engineering from Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the SpaceTech MEng in space systems engineering from Delft University of Technology, and a PhD in systems engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a member of INCOSE and a senior member of IEEE and IISE.