67. Destabilizing & reimagining engineering education, practice, & knowledge production to address pressing water challenges
Christine Kirchhoff, Penn State University; Kristina Lyons, University of Pennsylvania; Jessica Smith, Colorado School of Mines; Elizabeth Ready, Colorado School of Mines; Diamond Tachera, National Center for Atmospheric Research;
The way we train engineers and scientists, siloed within disciplines and without an adequate understanding of the historical and socio-political complexities of the contexts within which they work, leaves them underprepared and ill-equipped to tackle today's complex water challenges. Dismantling of dams and dikes, the breakdown of drainage districts, debates over flood control, disaster management, new and alternative water supplies, and increased attention to inequities in critical infrastructure, have placed engineering at the heart of renewed technical, political, and socio-environmental disputes. This panel seeks to engage the transformative potential and challenges faced by engineering fields in a world where climate change adaptation strategies range from blind faith in innovative technoscientific fixes to practices of ecological repair that decenter human capacities of invention and intervention. We invite papers that destabilize, deconstruct, and/or reimagine technoscientific and engineering education, practice, and knowledge to open up new approaches and ways of thinking and doing that move beyond conventional 'problem solving strategies'. We are especially interested in ethnographic and empirical examples that examine creative, collaborative, and transformative processes that interface with (but not only) engineering practitioners and disciplines.