About the Deans’ Forum
The Deans’ Forum is a strategic response from leading engineering schools to the issues that society is facing in the 21st century. From discussions in 2010 between the Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo and the Head of Research at IBM-Watson about the complex problems that engineering as a discipline has the opportunity to address, and the crucial role that globally leading engineering schools can play now and in the future, the idea of creating a network of several key institutes was born.
Our first meeting was held in Tokyo in 2011, with representatives from MIT, UC-Berkeley, ETH-Zurich, KTH, Imperial College London, the French Grandes Ecoles, the University of Tokyo and IBM-Watson. Our second meeting was held in 2014 in Sweden, hosted by KTH, and our third meeting was held in spring 2015 in New York at IBM-Watson, where we were joined by our newest member, the University of Cambridge. Our fourth meeting will be held in 2016 at the University of Cambridge.
2015, New York
As a result of the alliance, several projects have been developed. For example, four workshops on the topic of Resilience Engineering have been successfully conducted. Furthermore, workshops, symposia and lecture series have been held on other topics such as brain-inspired computing, and micro-nano fluidics, bringing together the leading academics in the field, enabling postgraduate students to benefit from involvement with truly cutting-edge research, and encouraging meaningful interactions between academia and industry.
The development of sustainable and mutually enriching links between academia and industry has organically become the core topic of the Deans’ Forum. Leading engineering schools are uniquely placed to leverage their links with industry, conduct collaborative research that may be beyond the focus of industry alone, and to impact the wider academic arena through symbiotic interactions with industry on issues of engineering education for the 21st century. One example of this mutually beneficial relationship is the creation of Deans’ Forum Internships: these are sponsored internships in companies for PhD, master’s or undergraduate students from the Deans’ Forum institutes. The benefits for industry include gaining access to elite candidates for future employment, working with promising young researchers, and having a direct and focused channel of communication with university laboratories and departments in world-leading schools of engineering. For the universities concerned, they benefit from finding suitable employment locations for their top students, from the transfer of skills and knowledge between academia and industry, and from opportunities to create impact within and beyond the academy.
We invite you to join us in furthering these synergies.