Monday's HOT MIC

Monday's HOT MIC

Engineering education is under assault by special snowflakes who are more interested in learning about useless concepts like "diversity" and "unequal outcomes" than about how to build, invent, design, maintain, and improve things that can actually benefit people.

Via Campus Reform, Mechanical Engineering professor Indrek Wichman wrote in an essay published last Wednesday:

“Instead of calculating engine horsepower or microchip power/size ratios or aerodynamic lift and drag, the engineering educationists focus on group representation, hurt feelings, and ‘microaggressions’ in the profession,” Wichman adds.

Citing the Purdue University School of Education Engineering as a case study, Wichman claims that “engineering education” schools increasingly focus on concepts that are incompatible with the actual discipline, such as “empowering” students and “reimagining” engineering as a more “socially connected” field of study.

“For the record, engineers ‘empower’ themselves and, most important, other people, by inventing things,” he points out. “Those things are our agents of change.”

Wichman, who has taught engineering for 30 years, pointed to the “ambitious agenda” of the new dean of Purdue’s engineering school, Dr. Donna Riley, as an example of social justice “infiltration” at the university level.

According to her faculty page, Riley aims to “revise engineering curricula to be relevant to a fuller range of student experiences and career destination” by incorporating “concerns related to...social responsibility,” focusing on “de-centering Western civilization,” and “uncovering contributions of women and other underrepresented groups.”

In addition, she has taught classes addressing topics like “racist and colonialist projects in science” and using “feminist and postcolonial science studies” to study engineering issues.”

How that helps people design and build technically successful products is anyone's guess, but Wichman says “Riley’s purpose seems not to be how best to train new engineers but to let everyone know how bad engineers have been.”

The professor told Campus Reform, “Engineers like me, at least, believe there is A Truth…and muddling that with someone’s vague notions about ‘social justice’ would ruin engineering (and the other sciences).”