GBA supports Engineering Change Lab

Engineering Change Lab – USA Update

Original conversations about the possibility of launching a Lab to help unlock the higher potential of the engineering profession began in Canada between Engineers Canada and Engineers Without Borders Canada in the summer of 2014.  This led to the formation of a non-profit organization Engineering Change Lab – Canada, that provides a platform for collaboration to allow individuals and organizations from across the profession to take action to address the systemic challenges (i.e. ethics failures, lack of diversity, and low levels of innovation) that have been holding back the profession’s full potential. Engineering Change Lab – Canada coordinates and oversees 3 workshops a year.

As reported in an August 16 2017  edition of NEWSlog, efforts are underway to launch Engineering Change Lab – USA (ECL – USA).  Summit No. 2 was held in Omaha on February 5 and 6, 2018.  The summit was attended by 45 leaders from across the engineering community and built on the results of the first summit held last summer.  Two key assumptions continued to guide the work of the participants.

  • Traditional engineering practices are being disrupted by scientists, engineers, and businesses operating in new models of delivery.
  • The role of the engineering profession is to guide the application of technology with an understanding of human and social impacts.

Progress was made on all of the specific objectives for the second summit.

  • Explore the prospect of, and process for, moving the engineering profession toward fulfilling its highest potential in the emerging future.
  • Crystallize the intent of the ECL – USA.
  • Recognize and make progress on initiatives begun at the first summit.
  • Organize ECL – USA, including structure, participation, commitments, communication and process for 2018.
  • Identify next steps, including outreach to other stakeholders in the larger engineering eco-system.

A key outcome of the summit was strong consensus from the attendees that work should continue, and the next summit should be scheduled.  Key points regarding the next summit are summarized below.

  • Summit 3 will again be held in Omaha on June 12 and 13, 2018. 
  • The summit schedule will include a full day on Tuesday, June 12, and a half day on Wednesday, June 13.
  • The schedule will also include a supplemental window for initiative groups to spend a couple of hours after lunch on Wednesday, June 13, working on their specific efforts.

One of the objectives of Summit 2 was to address the organization of ECL – USA.  Summit participants brain-stormed key organizational principles and key elements of the vision / mission of the organization.  A task force of summit participants is working on the vision / mission and will propose specific language for consideration at Summit 3.  Another outcome was agreement on the continuing need to broaden participation to include more sectors of the engineering community.  Suggestions are welcome.

If you are interested in participating in Summit 3 please contact Michael P. McMeekin, PE, ENV SP, (Lampe Rynearson & Associates)