Engineering the future at ASU – Q&A with Dr. Michael M. Crow

Why is diversity important for U.S. engineering competitiveness?

ASU is deeply committed to inclusion because we will need to draw on as many talented people as possible to meet the challenges society faces in areas such as sustainability, cyber security, energy and healthcare. In addition to reaching out to people from all walks of life, we need to engage young people earlier in their lives, to show them they can make a difference in the world and engineering is one way to do it.

What engineering disciplines do you see being in demand in the near future?

The greatest areas for advancement will be those that fall between traditional disciplines. That is where our greatest challenges lie and where we will need engineers and scientists who can work seamlessly across disciplines. It is why we have developed several new interdisciplinary schools that take on contemporary, complex challenges in biological and health systems engineering, engineering of matter, transport and energy, and sustainable engineering and the built environment, as well as a host of other areas.

What can universities do to make engineering careers more attractive to students? 

Universities can get students involved in exploring, participating in and shaping their chosen fields. Inspire them to think entrepreneurially, to pursue their ideas and make them work. We live in a big world, with a lot of opportunities, a lot of issues and a lot of complexity. We need to show students they can make a difference by becoming master learners who are capable of tackling any challenge.