Engineering at the crossroads: Lessons from History and a 21st-Century Vision from Across the Channel

Where is engineering going? Revolutions in knowledge, new challenges such as those raised by the digital revolution and the environmental crisis call for innovation in engineering education and professional practice. This is not the first time that engineering has had to adapt. Given jointly by Sophie Mougard and Antoine Picon, the lecture will begin by placing the current turning point within the broader history of the evolution of engineering. Following this generic introduction, the presenters will focus on the École nationale des ponts et chaussées, the oldest civil engineering school in the world, and on its initiatives to address present-day issues. How do we train future engineers in a world in which their role, responsibilities and status are rapidly evolving? No definitive answers can be given to such questions, but the case of the École des Ponts et Chaussées may have some pointers which are valid for engineering education everywhere.