Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The Engineer of 2020 was published in 2004 and predicted the roles that engineers would play in the year 2020. A companion text titled Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century was published in 2005 and focused on changes necessary in engineering education to prepare engineers to practice in the year 2020. Both documents were heralded as inspirational, aspirational, and paradigm changing. But did change actually occur in the civil engineering curriculum?

The Engineer of 2020 report culminated in the presentation and description of a series of attributes. It is these attributes that the report suggested will “support the success and relevance of the engineering profession in 2020 and beyond.” The report acknowledges that those future attributes are similar to what made an engineer successful at the time the report was published, but technology was expected to make those attributes more complex.

This study investigates how civil engineering programs in the United States have adapted their curriculum to align with the attributes suggested in the report during the time period of 2005 - 2020. This study used a survey of civil engineering program leadership to collect their assessment of the importance of each of the attributes and to collect information related to program changes.

This study will be of interest to all civil engineering educators with an interest in ensuring that their graduates are prepared to meet The Engineer of 2020 attributes. This study will also be of interest to educators considering how the attributes described in 2004 remain relevant in 2020 and may spark conversation about how these attributes may need to be adjusted in the future. The study will be of particular interest to those responsible for recommending and implementing curricular changes in engineering programs.