Global engineering forum targets looming engineering shortage

by Mark Ignatowski, UW-Madison Communications

The United States and the world face severe shortages of engineers by the year 2025, according to research based on U.S. Bureau of Labor data. The challenge of developing leaders in the changing engineering and technical workforce will be explored during the third annual UW-Madison Engineering Executives Forum.

The event, hosted by the Department of Engineering Professional Development, takes place at the Fluno Center on the UW-Madison campus on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29-30, 2007. More than 100 engineering and technical executives are expected to participate in this year’s forum.

This year’s topic, “Developing Engineering and Technology Leaders to Meet Global Challenges,” will focus on increasing and strengthening leadership in the changing engineering workforce. Guest speakers will share ways to define and measure leadership abilities and educational opportunities to enhance leadership skills. Attendees will learn about the problems facing workers as well as strategies for dealing with these problems.

A discussion panel on Nov. 29 will address many different approaches to leadership development. Panelists with various academic and professional backgrounds will discuss the challenges of global leadership, how to encourage and support leaders, and how to measure success in terms of fixing leadership problems.

Keynote speaker U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Susan Y. Desjardins will discuss the fundamental skills of leadership. She will talk about how leaders differ at various levels of an organization and how responsibility shapes how people lead.

Technology entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa will be a member of a Nov. 29 panel and will also host a discussion about the role of engineers from India and China, and how these workers affect U.S. companies and educational institutions.

For more information, register online or call (800) 462-0876.