Engineers: Get Back to School!
February featured Engineers Week, which is educational programming to interest young students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. There is an important aspect that isn’t the core focus of that week, but something that all of us are aware of: the necessity to keep our own knowledge current.
Publications like Control Engineering do a wonderful job in keeping us engineers up to date, from articles covering highly technical areas to videos which explain current technologies in bite-sized portions. But what if you are looking for an intense, almost “back to school”- like course on a certain subject? …like Underactuated Robots? …Or Object Oriented Programming? What if you could watch actual lectures regarding underactuated robots and follow along with handouts and homework?
Universities and Colleges across the U.S. have been steadily making moves towards liberating content, in terms of offering it up for those seeking the information and in uploading notes, lectures, videos, and other media online to not only interest future engineers but to assist in keeping those out in the field up to date. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been adding course content to MIT OpenCourseWare for almost a decade, across a multitude of subjects. Another example from the opposite side of the country are courses offered by the University of California, Berkeley.
I highly recommend doing a bit of digging if you are looking to freshen up your knowledge about your field and even others. (I find myself drawn to courses about Technical Writing, since I’ve always found that to be challenging.) Share this information with colleagues and young minds – there are some wonderful resources out there, you just have to keep an eye out for them.