Marquette University College of Engineering and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design are pursuing a collaborative curriculum model that will excel in educating design and engineering students to meet the multidisciplinary challenges of the global marketplace. The collaboration across the two independent institutions may be the first of its kind in the nation.
“No matter if I’m meeting with an engineering dean from South America or a CEO of a multinational engineering firm, it’s clear the world faces complicated global challenges,” said Dr. Robert H. Bishop, P.E., Opus Dean of Engineering at Marquette. “The partnership between Marquette and MIAD will help produce more creative and collaborative graduates with the skills needed to develop solutions for these pressing issues.”
“Hundreds of the most competitive and renowned international companies based in the United States already recognize that the multidisciplinary traits of the modern world require cross-disciplinary solutions; especially creative, sophisticated design solutions and a strategic interface between designers and engineers,” said Neil Hoffman, MIAD president.
The new program will build on the success of the annual, semester-long collaboration between Marquette’s biomedical engineering students and MIAD’s industrial design students, along with the two institutions’ longstanding partnerships with leading industries.
“In developing this unique program of study, we will reach out to our graduates’ employers, many of whom are our curricular partners, to create a plan of study that meets or exceeds national accreditation norms and industry needs for creative, innovative problem solvers,” the two leaders said.
The curriculum proposal for the new collaborative design environment will be completed in two years. The first year is funded by $75,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and $125,000 from an anonymous donor. MIAD and Marquette will raise an additional $200,000 in matching funds to support the second year of study, which includes sharing the finished proposal with the governing boards at each institution for consideration and working toward its strategic implementation. Enrollment could begin the 2015-2016 academic year.
“Dean Bishop and I are deeply grateful to our funders for sharing our vision to elevate our graduates’ and our region’s global competitiveness,” said Hoffman.
“It’s clear that both MIAD and Marquette students have benefited from working together. Finding a way to formalize and expand that opportunity fits with Marquette’s strategic plan to offer a personally transformative education and to collaborate across disciplines,” said Bishop. “To our knowledge, this kind of cross-institutional collaboration has never been done before.”
MIAD Trustee Robert T. Schwartz (FIDSA), head of global design & user experience at GE Healthcare – a company that partners academically with both MIAD and Marquette – said, “At GE, we begin every design process with a complete team of stakeholders, from industrial designers to engineers, marketers and more. Being able to hire industrial designers and engineers who have been educated through an integrated curriculum would increase a company’s global advantage by allowing access to a talent force even more adept at bringing innovative solutions to market. I look forward to working with MIAD and Marquette on creation of this strategic curriculum, and foresee steep competition for its graduates.”
About MIAD and its Industrial Design program
MIAD is Wisconsin’s only independent, non-profit college of art and design offering the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree – the most highly regarded undergraduate degree in the visual arts that is accredited at the national, regional and state levels. As creative, multidisciplinary thinkers who have long fueled the growth of southeastern Wisconsin’s design community, MIAD graduates share a lifelong passion to inspire, problem solve and innovate for our economy and society.
The college’s Industrial Design program – ranked among the top 10 in the nation (DesignIntelligence journal) – has a storied history, with such former influential faculty as Brooks Stevens, a founding father of industrial design, and current leaders Pascal Malassigné (FIDSA) and John Caruso (IDSA). The groundbreaking Brooks Stevens Gallery of Industrial Design celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013 with The Brooks@20 exhibition October 8, 2013 – February 8, 2014.
About Marquette University College of Engineering
Marquette University College of Engineering is committed to preparing engineers for ethical leadership in a global environment that meets the demands of industry and society. Through student-centered active learning, the college emphasizes problem solving, innovation and service that improves the quality of life. The college also partners with more than 100 leading international and local engineering and technology firms to support its co-op program, whose proud tradition extends back to its founding in 1919 as one of the first such programs in the country. Every year, more than 250 students gain valuable experience and mentorship while working alongside seasoned engineers.
The college offers nine degree programs through six departments – biomedical, civil, computer, construction, electrical and mechanical. In 2011, Marquette opened the first phase of Engineering Hall, a 115,000-square-foot facility that provides state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities. The project received LEED – Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.