We need to educate a new kind of engineer, one who can solve technical problems while learning and accommodating the needs and desires of people who will use the technology. This was the core message this morning from Dr. Bernard Amadei, founding president of Engineers Without Borders and professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. For the assembled conference participants, all of whom work in the field of communication, Dr. Amadei’s message about the importance of communication for technical people was very welcome. It was a great way to kick off a full day of presentations and workshops. If you want to hear more from Dr. Amadei, you can watch his TED Talk or view a .pdf of the slides from his talk.
Morning presentations covered a wide variety of topics, from the leadership role for professional communicators in the field of social justice (Jon Leydens) and plagiarism awareness (Ruth Vanbaelen) to a workshop on workplace writing for engineers (Hazel Sales). The presentations continue this afternoon with a final plenary with Traci Nathans-Kelly and Saul Carliner on publishing with PCS.