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Trans or Trad – What is the value of a T-shaped Education?
16 October 2019, 6.30 – 8.00
University of Leicester, The Attenborough Tower and Engineering Building. eye35 / Alamy Stock Photo
The Building Centre
26 Store Street
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A debate hosted jointly with the Edge looking at whether we need to reassess our approach to professional education to address the climate crisis.

Are we preparing the right sort of graduates for the modern construction industry? The challenge is to break down the silo-mentality to create a more integrated team and hence a more efficient industry. A T-shaped education provides a broad grasp across several disciplines and an in-depth knowledge in one. Add to this the need for a common understanding building physics to tackle climate change and the requirement for more ‘T-shaped’ graduates becomes ever stronger. But the attraction for the traditional courses persists due to the value attributed to the identity and culture promoted by the institutions who set the curriculum and accredit courses. The specialist professional degree is something admired around the world. And perhaps interdisciplinary education is better tackled at a post-graduate and practice level in any case. So are the new interdisciplinary courses a small worthy peripheral variation on the mainstream of construction education, or a revolutionary model that should be encouraged by the institutions to grow? Should we be creating a new construction discipline through which educational establishments can attract a new generation of graduates more attuned to the needs of the industry and the environment?

Panellists include:
Jane Wernick, EngineersHRW - chairing
Dejan Mumovic, Bartlett Engineering Architecture Design course leader
Maria Smith, Interrobang! Trans-disciplinary practice
Peter Roberts, Principal of the multidisciplinary engineering practice OR Engineers.
Faith Wainwright, Arup
John Connaughton, University of Reading
Chris Stobbart, graduate of Sheffield architecture and engineering course.