What Separates Good Engineers From Great Engineers

Experience Level: Any level of experience

The question of what constitutes a great engineer as opposed to a good engineer was recently posed by an undergraduate engineering student at Temple University.  I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this excellent question. It is obvious to include the fundamentals of their specific engineering field and the tools and processes of that specific engineering field. Perhaps it is also obvious to include common engineering experiences such as design reviews, project management (both traditional and agile), and financial analysis.

But what about the details of leading these engineering processes? Most of us what agree that how we execute a process is as important as using the correct process. What do we do when we need to lead these processes creatively? How do we find problems worth solving and how do we build a coalition to solve the problem. Do great engineers think in overall systems or in deep details? What exactly do we mean when we want engineers to think critically? 

This webinar is my reflections on how to develop an answer to the question of what should a great engineer know, do, and be.

Learning Objective:

Break down exactly what is meant by critical thinking and apply it to the solution of engineering problems. 



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Dr. Thomas V Edwards, Jr, DPS

Chair, Department of Engineering, Technology, and Management

Temple University

Tom Edwards pursues organizational excellence from the three perspectives of research, practical application, and teaching.  His many years of practical experience include driving innovation from the top management team of a NYSE-listed company and as an independent consultant.  This practical experience is augmented by doctoral research into what makes organizations innovative.   Tom has served as an executive with profit and loss responsibility for a strategic business unit of a NYSE listed manufacturing firm focused on water and air pollution control products.  Tom then accepted the challenge of building a culture of innovation at the company, an effort that resulted in significant new products that made significant contributions to the performance of the businesses. Tom’s current challenge is building a graduate program in leadership for the college of engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Tom’s doctoral research is focused on improving the effectiveness of corporate venture capital investment as a method of innovation.  Tom has served on National Science Foundation committees to award innovation grants to university faculty and technology-based entrepreneurs. 

Tom has worked to apply his business skills to support Non-Profit Organizations. This has included work as a strategy consultant for the LaSalle University Non-Profit Center and service on the boards of diverse nonprofit organizations including The Chamber Arts Guild, the Hedwig House, and the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI).


Live event: 09/28/2022 at 2:00 PM (EDT) You must register to access.