The challenge of engineering
The upcoming Body of Knowledge (BOK) being developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is rapidly nearing completion. Many of you may be familiar with the content of the first BOK report, which contained 15 desired attributes of the graduate engineer, and which provided a basis for students and practitioners of engineering to reach those goals. The latest incarnation has 28 outcomes, which range from the strictly technical (math, physics, and mechanics) to the more abstract (engineering heritage, professional attitude, and uncertainty). There is no doubt that each of these outcomes is important at various stages of the engineer’s career. Less well-defined, however, is what inspires a particular student to accept that challenge and responsibility for the public’s health and welfare, and the advancement of science and technology.