What Makes Technology Special?
The College of Technology at Purdue University is nearly 50 years old. By academic standards, that is pretty young. But by technological standards, 50 years comprises generations of innovations. What was taught 50, 25, or even 10 years ago is not what we teach today. To be sure, the foundations of our disciplines are still in tact. Yet, each academic area within the College of Technology enjoys the opportunity to interact with the needs of society and adapt to meet those needs.
That is what makes Technology special. We can’t stand still if we want to lead. As the new dean of the College of Technology, my primary goals are to situate the college as a global leader in the definition and preparation of technologists who play a unique role in business, industry and society and to move the college from good to great.
By clearly defining the unique qualities of a technology education and how they fit into the broader world, we can help others more fully understand the tremendous impact our students, alumni and faculty can have.
In my vision for the College of Technology, I devised a four-point philosophy that will help us create a shared vision:
- Technology studies the human-made world
- Technologists use the technological method (problem solving, innovation and commercialization cycle) to develop new and improved artifacts and systems
- Technology helps people meet their communication, product, and transportation needs
- Technology impacts and is impacted by people, society and the environment
In the College of Technology, we have a deep understanding of the human-made world and of the technologies we study. In business and industry, we serve as integrators, occupying the “sweet spot” between the engineer and the technician and skilled craftsmen.
These ideas are not new. Ask any of our faculty members or students why they enjoy Technology so much, and you’ll hear very similar answers from them all. My goal is to take all of those answers and turn them in to one, larger voice that influences the way technology is approached in higher education and in business and industry.
I look forward to working with a great team of faculty and staff to continue the evolution of the College of Technology as we move from good to great. And we all are excited to serve the educational needs of our students, foster their creativity in the classrooms and laboratories and prepare them to be the next leaders of our technological age.