Strategic Planning Summer Working Group Report
BS Degree 2.0: The Evolution of the Former
BS in Engineering Degree
August 10, 2015
Section 1: Charge
Proactively consider either sunsetting the old B.S. Engineering degree1 or reformulating this
degree in a way that adds value to the institution.
Section 2: Relationship to Strategic Plan
This committee’s efforts help advance the following goals of the strategic plan:
Goal 1: Enhance the distinctive identity and reputation of Mines
1c Expand active-learning instruction (such as studio and project-based, rather than
traditional lecture format) utilizing best-in-class pedagogical and technological
1d Improve and expand opportunities for participation in professional practice and
research throughout the entire undergraduate experience
1e Expand and enhance graduate student development of professional attributes
through formalized activities and curricular excellence
Goal 2: Build upon a student-centered campus culture of excellence, inclusion, diversity and
2a Expand residential campus to integrate efforts from academic affairs and student life,
for undergraduate and graduate students, to promote student community and to
foster collaboration, learning, leadership and citizenship
2b Advance academic culture and structure that fosters creativity, intellectual-curiosity,
and student success
2c Enhance opportunities for students to develop effective communication skills as a
complement to strong content expertise
2d Build a campus that values employees and students of the institution through a
positive, supportive, and inclusive environment
2e Increase the diversity and quality of Mines’ faculty, student and staff
Section 3: Membership
Working Group members: Kevin Moore, Chair; Peter Han; Nigel Middleton; Jeff Holley; Mark
Mondry; Graham Mustoe; and John Persichetti. Individuals also participating: Jered Dean, Juan
Lucena, Linda Layne, Katie Johnson, Alexandra Newman, Cameron Turner, Leslie Light
1 The CSM 2014-2015 undergraduate Bulletin references the B.S. Engineering degree (with specialty) as
suspended after the fall of 2013. The applicable section of the Bulletin is available online at:
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 1
Section 4: Summary of Deliberations
The committee has had two extensive face-to-face meetings, though various subsets of campus
have been discussing this topic since April 2013 in response to our most recent ABET visit2.
In brief, given the newly-accredited BSCE, BSEE, BSEnvE, and BSME degrees, the former
BSE with Specialty degree is redundant. The former BSE is still “on-the –books,” but admissions
to the degree program are currently suspended. A need exists to either eliminate or revise the
Emerging trends in engineering education suggest that there can be merit in retaining a revised
“general engineering” type degree. Early discussions identified two ends of the spectrum: revise
the BSE to be either
• “Designer degree”: Take core coursework, build a 12-18 credit “secondary area” – all
entirely from existing Mines classes; minimal effort/minimal distinction.
• “Innovative degree”: Take core coursework, build a 12-18 credits “secondary area” – but,
add new integrated design/innovation, project-based, best practices experiences in each
year or semester; more effort/more distinction.
Committee consensus, based on a number of factors (see Section 7), was that the “minimal
effort designer degree” would be neither distinctive nor desirable.
This consensus then led to discussion about what an “Innovative BSE” would look like (called
the BSE 2.0 in the remainder of this document). To address this, the committee considered an
approach to define Mission/Vision/Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)/Student Outcomes
(SOs), following common ABET parlance. A summary of our current thinking on these topics
follows, as well as a summary of other key considerations:
1. Possible BSE 2.0 Mission Statement
The BSE 2.0 should reflect a paradigm shift in engineering education for the future, from the
traditional discipline-centric course of study to a broad-scope, application-driven approach
encompassing a multi-disciplinary science and engineering pillar coupled with social/cultural
and environmental pillars. Inherent in the BSE 2.0 should be the mindset of human-centered
design and all this entails, including application areas in the curriculum that place emphasis
on business and entrepreneurship, intellectual property development, economics, business
development, and project management, as well as sustainability, cultural, and community
integration as those topics intersect engineering.
2 Constituent Advisory Board (CAB) meeting April 2013 as an ABET-related activity; BSE “Committee”
(Bach, Mooney, Turner, Johnson, Moore, Steele, Zhang) met approximately monthly from 2012-2013);
Early Feb 2015 scoping effort by Moore, Dean, Johnson, Light, Lucena; meeting with Moore, Han, and
Middleton, Spring 2015; meeting with Moore, Walls (EB), Gianquitto (LAIS), Spring 2015; recent email
discussion/ assignments to current committee members; employer interest survey in Spring 2015.
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 2
Mission: The BSE 2.0 program educates the next generation of engineering innovators,
design thinkers, and impact makers who will be leaders in defining and solving problems in
socially responsible ways, to advance an ideal of attaining a sustainable global society.
Characteristics of BSE 2.0 include:
• The degree emphasizes curricular breadth, as distinct from the disciplinary depth
that characterizes the family of Mines’ other engineering degrees.
• The degree will achieve intellectual credibility in engineering circles by orienting the
studies around selected technical applications of major societal importance, as
represented, for example, by the NAE’s list of Engineering Grand Challenges and
major thematic areas embedded in Mines mission3.
• Relevant business and social drivers in the application areas will have prominence in
• The degree will be a platform for employment in sectors aligned with the application
areas, or for graduate studies in an engineering discipline, or for studies leading to a
Note that while we do not believe that all engineers should be educated outside a
disciplinary focus such as the proposed BSE 2.04, we believe that some should and that
Mines should have such an option available in their degree offerings.
2. Possible Program Educational Objectives
Within several years after graduation, graduates of the degree will be engaged in
progressively more responsible positions as:
Innovators: BSE 2.0 graduates are innovators who are comfortable taking risks and who are
energized by the belief that engineers help to make the world a better place while improving
Design Thinkers: BSE 2.0 graduates are confident in their abilities to approach engineering
problems from a human perspective and to identify alternative design solutions before
converging on an optimized end result that balances technical, economic, environmental
and societal goals.
Impact Makers: BSE 2.0 graduates are much more than engineers, with a broad perspective
to see new opportunities and to make a positive impact on people, organizations, the
environment, and society.
3 Topics suggested by the Committee: public infrastructure; energy security; water security; utilization and
management of natural resources; waste management; and engineering aspects of public health. Note
that the initial set of application/focus areas are expected to align with existing Mines expertise and the
“Earth, Energy, Environment” narrative, but we expect it is possible that new application areas can
emerge based on Mines’ strategic plans, faculty and student interests, and society’s needs.
4 However, it is clear from the trends in pedagogy related to engineering education, that all engineers
should be exposed to many of the concepts that would be inherent in the BSE 2.0.
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 3
3. Possible Student Educational Outcomes
Upon graduation from the BSE 2.0 program, students will be able to:
• Exhibit a high level of creativity and advanced problem solving skills – drawing upon
broad understanding of technical/social/political/environmental/economic dimensions
inherent in complex, multi-faceted project developments.
• Confidently work in and lead multidisciplinary teams, recognizing and mobilizing the
different skillsets necessary to achieve a particular design, and marshalling diverse
expertise and stakeholder interests to achieve a common project goal.
• Recognize and integrate cultural, social, political, economic and environmental
resource constraints into the establishment and execution of an engineering project.
• Demonstrate exceptional communication skills (listening, writing, speaking,
persuading), and be adaptive to technical and stakeholder audiences, including
being empathetic to other cultures, perspectives, and motivations, while recognizing
the limitations of engineering approaches.
• Improve the global quality of life through an understanding of influential factors in
design, and demonstrate a comprehensive viewpoint throughout the process while
giving proper deference to a community’s desired cultural and social identity.
• Drive smart public and corporate policy development.
• Achieve innovative, sustainable business and community development practice.
• Apply academic learning to real-world engineering projects in a manner that is similar
to how leading multinational companies approach real world opportunities;
• Use “business sense” to see engineering problems in a larger commercial and
societal context, and confidently use their abilities to pursue entrepreneurial and
Intrapreneurial opportunities during and after their undergraduate studies at Mines.
• Demonstrate core knowledge and skills per ABET accreditation criteria (ABET
Student Outcomes (a)-(k) met by this program).
4. Possible Program Elements
The BSE 2.0 would deliberately foster:
• Technical Competence - Each student completes an approved course of study in
one of several to-be-determined “areas of specialization” or focus areas (note: ABET
considerations arise here).
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 4
• Collaborative Competence - Each student develops extensive collaborative skills in
the areas of: (1) working in cross-disciplinary teams; (2) project management; (3)
communications (listening, written, and verbal), and, developing (1)-(3) with the goal
of (4) defining and solving problems within the constraints of diverse perspectives,
both technical and social.
• Leadership Competence – Each student demonstrates leadership acumen by
performing a leadership role in a combined technical/socially-drive project.
• Entrepreneurial Competence – Each student completes an entrepreneurial activity as
a component of the undergraduate course of study (innovation competition, startup
creation, e-team, or other approved activity) and is able to demonstrate strong
business aptitude to see engineering problems in a larger commercial and societal
• Sustainable Society Competence – Each student demonstrates competence in
addressing the social and environmental realities of their work in an area of overlap
with one or more of their chosen areas of specialization or focus.
Program elements are envisioned to include:
• Hands-on experience with several real world design projects categorized into
Application Areas, demonstrating both technical and socio-economic contribution to
the project objectives (application areas based in science and engineering design
where “smart designs” have a significant regional or even global impact – see
Footnote 3 above).
• Extensive exposure to multi-disciplinary engineering design understanding,
integration and execution in course and client work (the BSE 2.0 degree program will
strive to have 3 or more traditional discipline-centric engineering programs involved
in each application area project, and students versed in all facets of the technical
design) – strong technical knowledge in engineering, but with more breadth than
• Each student serves as Project Manager on one or more multi-disciplinary student
5. Potential Student Base for Degree
The BSE 2.0 would attract ambitious students with a passion to make a positive impact to
our daily lives by leveraging their aptitudes in science and technology to address societal
and environmental needs on a local, national, and international scale. The degree would
cultivate engineers who want to utilize a multidisciplinary, broad-based core of skills to
rebuild, recreate, and bring to life unimagined approaches to the future of the world.
We envision the program will attract an interesting collection of engineering students with a
desire to have significant influence over multiple facets of a project together with those
students who simply do not want to be limited by a specialized degree and who value a
broad-based knowledge foundation – engineers that look beyond mastering their discipline
to focus on the fruitful outcomes culminating from the development of their core knowledge.
We envision the population making up the student body for the BSE 2.0 being as diverse
and rich as the offering itself. Among many potential sources the degree will draw
principally from three groups:
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 5
• Typical CSM applicants whose aptitudes and interests transcend a specialty.
• Students who otherwise would not consider CSM and who seeks the strength of a
diverse and application-oriented program that is differentiated from traditional
discipline specific engineering degrees.
• Students desiring a thoughtful, thorough exposure to engineering as a foundation to
launch an academic career that includes graduate degrees in law, medicine, or
business in pursuit of professional opportunities beyond engineering.
6. Potential Employer Base for the degree
Graduates of the BSE 2.0 program will be well-positioned to work in leadership roles in a wide
range of industrial, governmental, academic and non-engineering related disciplines. Some
examples are described below:
• Organizations operating in new, fast-changing and dynamic technology- and product-
based industries that are seeking technically-innovative and socially-responsible
employees that can work effectively in continually changing working environments that
produce new technologies and products. Examples of such companies are Google,
Amazon, Apple, 3M and Tesla.
• Government agencies and entities that need policy advisors with a broad
science/engineering background combined with expertise in areas such as sustainability
and resource management and have strong communication skills. Examples of such
agencies and entities include the White House, US Senate and Congress, and various
US federal and state government agencies, such as CDC, EPA, FDA, DOE, DOI, NIH,
• Engineering consulting and design companies focused on projects related to energy
issues, sustainability and the environment who need employees that are technically and
analytically competent yet socially aware in design concepts and able to connect and
integrate perspectives and realities that are outside of the typical engineering
perspective. Examples of such companies are URS Corp, CH2M Hill, Jacobs
Engineering, and Wright Water Engineers.
• Financial firms, law firms, health care providers who need high-level financial, legal and
medical professional employees with a strong science and engineering background.
Examples of such companies are J.P. Morgan and Chase, Kaiser Healthcare, and
Kilpatrick Townsend (Denver High-tech IP Law firm).
• Technology-based companies looking for employees who are equipped to excel in
today’s project based, self-organizing and agile working environments (i.e., they are self-
directed and creative).
• Organizations looking for technical leaders who embrace risk as a necessary avenue to
growth and innovation.
• Organizations seeking employees who are technically and analytically competent, yet
able to connect and integrate perspectives and realities that are outside of the typical
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 6
• Consulting firms, financial firms, law firms, health care providers (i.e., BSE 2.0 graduates
are the type of individuals who will go on to graduate and professional degree programs
outside of engineering).
• Graduates should also be well-suited to become self-employed entrepreneurs who can
create and build companies whose businesses are focused on the development of
innovative products, designs and technologies in a socially responsible manner.
• Graduates will be prepared to enter graduate school to obtain graduate degrees in
engineering or professional degrees in non-engineering related areas such as medicine,
law or business.
7. Other Comments
We envision studies in the new BSE 2.0 degree to be organized around two axes: one targeted
toward specific world-wide challenges and the other targeted toward technical areas associated
with potential innovative solutions.
Potential broad challenge areas where the BSE 2.0 students might engage include5:
• Energy (Energy Development, Sustainable Energy)
• Water Security (Water quality, supply storage and management, effective usage
domestic and industrial/commercial usages)
• Natural Resource Management and Utilization (Mining and Fossil Fuel Extraction, Water
usage, Agricultural Resource Management and Effective Utilization)
• Waste Management (Collection, Transport, Treatment/Re-cycling, Disposal, Control, and
Minimized Production / Prevention)
• Infrastructure Development (Urban design, Cities of the future, Maintenance,
improvement and renewal of current aging infrastructures)
Possible technical focus areas in the new BSE 2.0 degree might include:
• Business, Politics and Economics
• Engineering Design Optimization
• Sustainable Design
• Smart Materials
• Innovation and Entrepreneurship
5 As noted in a previous footnote, it is expected that initial areas are consistent with existing capabilities
and focus at Mines, but as the program develops, one could consider expansion to new areas, for
example, perhaps in the important area of International Public Health and Safety (Disease Detection,
Isolation and Mitigation, Legal Regulations and Political Constraints).
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 7
• Environmental Science
• Sustainable Energy
• Humanitarian engineering and corporate social responsibility
Note a student could also design customized challenge and technical focus areas with guidance
and formal acceptance from a faculty committee within the BSE program.
Section 5: Recommendations/Observations
The deliberations reflected in Section 4 resulted in a striking, but aligned, consensus in our
working group: our ambitions are big. The BSE 2.0 design process will involve the creation of
new courses, amplification of cross-disciplinary teaching, and creative pedagogy that stimulates
the explorative intellectual curiosity within the minds of the target students we aspire to graduate
from the program.
For example, there are numerous avenues for achieving the envisioned student competencies
outlined in Section 4.4 above. Most, if not all, of those competencies include an elevated level
of practical student project opportunities that provide students with learning experiences through
team-based collaborative doing. Not just learning what should be done, but actually doing it -
learning by doing6. These learning experiences could include things like co-curricular
innovation competitions, enhanced student entrepreneurial resources, access to “maker
spaces” and support for new relevant student clubs, organizations and co-op/internship
opportunities. There are opportunities to intersect the BSE 2.0 with the NAE Engineering Grand
Challenges. There are further opportunities to integrate more business acumen and
societal/environmental empathy into the BSE 2.0 program courses and activities. These efforts
will require a deliberate focus of resources.
Of course, many of the existing engineering degree programs at Mines would also benefit from
the activities and resources we envision critical to the success of the BSE 2.0 program. Thus,
the working group sees a compounding benefit to the entire institution as a result of successful
implementation of the BSE 2.0 vision. Ideally, many of the student outcomes envisioned for
BSE 2.0 could be applied to discipline specific engineering degree programs at Mines and new
courses and resources would be shared. Clearly, the engineering education landscape is
changing – the working group sees the development of BSE 2.0 as a unique opportunity to
design and apply some of these initiatives at Mines in an accelerated manner.
Our ambitions for BSE 2.0 are most likely achieved in deliberate steps. These steps are
Section 6: Next Steps
We plan the following activities during the fall semester, leading up to a final report:
• Incorporate any potential findings, as appropriate, from the McBride Honors retreat
discussion on the role of honors programs on campus.
• Incorporate the results of discussions during the fall 2015 Faculty Conference.
6 “Engineering by Doing,” as Dean Moore likes to call it.
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 8
• Integrate findings and recommendations from other working groups, in particular the 1st
and 2nd Year Experience group, and Programs of Distinction group.
• Conduct a brief, informal market assessment of the proposed degree working with
admissions and the career center, expanding on the Employer Survey completed in May
20157 and potentially including an informal survey of 1st year students using an
appropriate core course as the audience.
• Identify department champions for the degree.
• Determine any applicable ABET timeline, if desired.
• Outline a proposed BSE 2.0 curriculum.
• Identify co-curricular resources needed and timeline for implementation.
• Establish proposed budget.
• Prepare BSE 2.0 Final Report to present to Academic Affairs.
Section 7: Resources/References Consulted
• Websites for general engineering programs at a number of schools, including Olin
College of Engineering, Harvey Mudd, CU Boulder, Stanford, ASU, Illinois, RPI, Lehigh,
and Carnegie Mellon, among others.
• Web searches and interviews with colleagues at other institutions to see how “general
engineering” is perceived from the academic, industrial, government and social
perspectives – are “we” all on the same general page when it comes to the meaning of
general engineering? For example, we found that some institutions insert a general
engineering degree into an honors program to elevate the degree and avoid the potential
for prospective students to view the degree as “inferior” to a discipline specific degree.
• Reviews of some committee member’s personal resources in engineering management
training: Honeywell 6-sigma training, UC Irvine Management Certificate Program (in
technology-based businesses), and reflection on social and cultural aspects of past
consulting projects and what would help in a degree program to prepare students for
work on these sorts of future projects.
• The recent book titled The Whole New Engineer, (authored by David Goldberg and Mark
Summerville, published in October 2014) describing innovations in engineering
education at Olin College and the University of Illinois.
• CSM Employer Interest Survey.
7 In this preliminary survey 50.91% of 110 companies responding indicated that they would be interested
in graduates from the BSE 2.0 concept.
BSE 2.0 Committee Report 8-10-2015 Page 9