Associate Professor of Engineering Design, Teaching Stream
Plenary: Jason A. Foster – Engineering as Translation: an Approach to Bridging the Realms of Design and Professional Communication
In his plenary, Jason Foster explores the central role of translation and framing in the engineering enterprise – and how to translate between the realms of design and professional communication. Whether its translating stakeholder input into engineering requirements, drawings into equations, or results into recommendations, engineers are always translating between representations in order to gain insights. This translation brings consequences as the engineer is simultaneously – sometimes consciously – framing and re-framing both the problems they work on and the tools they apply. Understanding engineering (design) education as translation helps not only to integrate engineering concepts for students, but also provides a way for instructors of professional communication to integrate with the broader engineering education community. Jason has been teaching design in close collaboration with communications-focused colleagues for the last decade, and thinks that he has finally developed some translational heuristics to better understand them.