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The work of engineers touches every aspect of our lives.

From the buildings we live in and the cars we drive, to the energy we use and the information technology we rely on to communicate, do business, and manage our health — engineering impacts our lifestyles, our lives, and our planet.

How we do research that continues to have a significant impact on society and how we best train the engineers of the future to meet the challenges of the 21st century are the fundamental issues that the Stanford School of Engineering must address.

The engineering school of 20 years from now will look different, but how? Where can Stanford Engineering have the biggest impact? How should the school position itself and evolve its environment and culture and provide the necessary resources to achieve our long-term goals?

Persis with the quad in the background

These are questions a small group of faculty, staff, and students set out to answer early in 2015. As part of the “SoE-Future” process, they sought input from hundreds of people within and outside the school and asked how we build on our solid foundation to ensure future success. The level of enthusiasm and engagement of those involved was extraordinary, and the recommendations the committee generated based on that feedback has exceeded all expectations.

It is clear that the younger generation of engineers thinks very differently about the future of engineering. So our young and mid-career faculty members were vital to defining where the school’s priorities should be, both in support of research and of education.

It is no surprise that as the world becomes more interconnected, the boundaries that have traditionally defined different engineering disciplines are dissolving. The engineers of today and tomorrow see the world, and how they can address its challenges, in a very holistic way. They are enthusiastic about increasingly interdisciplinary research that brings together engineering fields with other disciplines, and an educational curriculum that trains future students to collaborate, create, and lead.

Ultimately, the future is defined by those who will live in it. Our outstanding faculty, staff, and students will determine where we go from here across three areas that are critical to the success of the school: research, education, and culture. I hope you will be excited by the path forward that is outlined on this site — and that you will work with us to make this vision of our future a reality.

Persis Drell
2014-16 Frederick Emmons Terman Dean of the Stanford School of Engineering