All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


'Cool' factor key to inspiring future tech and engineering stars

13 Mar 2013
Student on a computer

The president of Stanford University has said the study of technology and engineering needs to be considered "cool" to inspire the next generation of talented workers.

Professor John Hennessy said technology innovation is suffering because engineering fails to appeal to students by not doing enough to entice them into the subject.

"The grand challenge for engineering education is to attract the best and brightest young people into this field," said Hennessy, speaking at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in London.

"Engineering currently turns off too many people. It needs to be creative and collaborative and global in outlook to reflect how the world works, and it needs to be inspiring."

He added that advertisements to study engineering often fail to resonate with students. Hennessy point to an old IBM advertisement for engineering that showed a team of all white males in ties.

"The coolness factor is critical to getting young people into the engineering field. They need to see people who look like them."

He also said the problem is many students are not aware of what engineers actually do.

History books carry more information about hippy and drug culture than they do about the internet revolution, and children can just turn on the television to find out what politicians do but engineers are frequently hidden from society, suggested Hennessy

Hennessy said the study of engineering needs to become more people oriented, so that pupils can see how engineers change peoples' lives.

He pointed to a number of recent innovations that should be showcased to pupils, including the invention of mobile phones, the self-driving car, and the creation of the Channel Tunnel.

Students should be challenged to solve global problems, and Hennessy pointed to, as an example, the need to make solar cells easier and cheaper to install in homes.

"We need to get students involved in these kinds of problems earlier," added Hennessy.

Hennessy is a board member of both Google and Cisco and one of the founder members of MIPS Technologies.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
More on Skills
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

IT curriculum poll

With coding now compulsory in schools, how important are digital skills for the next generation of school leavers?
67%
8%
17%
8%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Security Summit

V3 Security Summit Day 2: Botnet, skills and BYOD intelligence incoming

Keep V3 bookmarked for news updates on all the key security concerns and topics facing businesses

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Android Developer / Software House / iOS / Degree / Sheffield

Android Developer / Software House / iOS / Degree / Eclipse...

.NET Developer / Junior - Digital Agency - Sheffield - £24k

.NET Developer - Junior Sheffield to £24,000 + Benefits...

Network Infrastructure Analyst - Extreme, MPLS, VOIP

Network Infrastructure Analyst – Extreme, MPLS, VOIP...

Systems Analyst / Engineer - Windows, MS Office

Systems Analyst / Engineer - Windows, MS Office Systems...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.