2017 Kurtz lecture—Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Education: Lessons Learned from Experimentation at Olin College of Engineering

Thursday, November 10 at 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Pomerantz Center, C20
213 North Clinton Street, Iowa City, Iowa

Richard K. Miller was appointed president and first employee of Olin College of Engineering in 1999. He served as dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa from 1992–99.  Olin College of Engineering was established in 1997 with a nearly $500 million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation to start over in engineering education. The fundamental mission was to rethink what it means to be educated in the 21st century and also rethink what it means to be an engineer. The school was created to become an important and constant contributor to the advancement of engineering education in America and throughout the world. Olin does not offer tenure, there are no academic departments, and everything at Olin has an expiration date. The first courses were offered in 2002, and the eleventh class graduated in May 2016. Olin College won the NAE’s 2013 Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. Since 2010, more than 650 universities have visited, many institutions have partnered with Olin to redesign their undergraduate programs, and several entirely new institutions are being established around the world in partnership at Olin. This talk will present an overview of the Olin learning culture and the major lessons learned, which are widely applicable throughout all of higher education. With a background in applied mechanics and current interests in innovation in higher education, Miller is the author of more than 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications.  Together with two Olin colleagues, he received the 2013 Bernard M. Gordon Prize from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. A member of both the NAE and the National Academy of Inventors, he received the Marlowe Award for creative and distinguished administrative leadership from the American Society for Engineering Education in 2011.  Miller served as chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Science Foundation and has served on advisory boards and committees for Harvard University, Stanford University, the NAE and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in addition to others.  Furthermore, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank in the establishment of new universities. A frequent speaker on engineering education, he received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from the University of California at Davis, where he earned his BS. He earned his MS from MIT and his PhD from the California Institute of Technology, where he received the 2014 Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Dina Blanc in advance at dina-blanc@uiowa.edu or 319-335-5198.

Contact Info: Dina Blanc, dina-blanc@uiowa.edu, 319-335-5198