Why study Strategic Thinking in Engineering and Technology?
Innovation in tomorrow’s infrastructure, products, and services involves long-term thinking. Companies must be strategic about the technologies in which they invest, the markets in which they compete, and inevitable changes that will disrupt their businesses. Governments have to prepare to regulate new technologies to ensure they don’t represent a danger to the public, and to anticipate the needs of their citizens and the tools they will need to remain competitive. Universities and research councils have to decide what to study, and whether emerging fields are likely to have long-term significance or a brief period in fashion. Even individual engineers need to look into the future to ensure their skills don’t become obsolete.
Whether your interest is in becoming an a thought leader in your field, an industrial strategist, a management consultant, an investor, a government advisor, or a journalist, this course will give you the tools to both analyze and communicate the future of engineering.
What will you learn?
This minor will provide you with tools to analyse the trends in today’s science and engineering research and put them in the context of global changes in economics, demographics, and the environment. You will learn to compare new technologies with their appropriate competitors, think through the problems they might cause (and how to mitigate them), and identify the opportunities and threats that global changes will create for industry. You will also learn to be able to communicate your findings to a range of different audiences via broadcast media (print and electronic news, radio, and television), narrowcast media (blogs and podcasts) and reports.
Module 1 (Year 2, Term 2) – Tech Journalism: Analysis and Communication in Engineering and Technology
This module will focus on giving you two sets of skills: the ability to analyze trends in engineering and technology research and development; and to communicate these trends persuasively to a particular audience, whether general, technical, or expert. Specifically, you will learn how to put R&D projects into context, so determining their significance; identify emerging research trends by looking at journals and conference programmes and/or proceedings; think through the veracity of claims about technologies using step-by-step analysis of their potential; and consider the impact of people, policy, and economics on engineering and technology. As well as tuition, practice and detailed feedback on your writing and research, you will also have the opportunity to do interviews, attend conferences, and go on laboratory visits.
Module 2 (Year 3, Term 1) – Engineering, Technology and Innovation: The Long View
This course is intended to empower you to become an innovator by giving you the tools to understand the long-term future of the technologies you care about: both on a micro scale, looking at the technology itself; and the macro scale, examining the strategic environment in which the innovation will be launched. Specifically, through a rigorously-designed scenario-planning exercise, you will learn how to understand in the context which your technology is developing. This will enable you to ‘read ahead’ when producing an innovation: to understand the roll out and adoption of that innovation and the competitive landscape where it will appear.
Module 3 (Year 3, Term 2) – Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy
This course offers a practical introduction to policy processes and the way that they influence or are influenced by science, technology and engineering. You will begin building your own professional toolkit, which will enable you to critically engage with policy makers and the types of knowledge and evidence that they use. We aim to give you an understanding of modes of governance, the people, their roles, the institutions of policy and how they function together. This will familiarize you with the policy-technology-science interface and the career structures and roles that you may interest you in the future. You will have the opportunity to learn directly from government scientists and policy makers, to gather evidence from them, and to practice writing your own policy documents.
Dr Sunny Bains
Dept Biochemical Engineering
Choose your IEP Minor
Please select your preferred Minor via the IEP Minors Moodle Poll