engineering innovation

Pre-College Career Accelerators > Engineering Innovation

Explore the field of engineering while learning key 21st century skills.

Engineering is using science to solve a problem. A career as an engineer requires complex critical thinking and problem-solving skills to conceive, design, and develop effective products and systems. Through this investigative exploration of engineering, students will learn the fundamentals of the career involving design and product creation through stimulating action-based, collaborative challenges to support deep learning and skills development. Utilizing the city as the classroom, this program will feature off-site field visits to engineering landmarks and guest lectures from leading industry professionals. Through the capstone project, students will not only learn, but put into practice key 21st century skills to be successful in their future careers as engineers.

Who should take this course?

This course is suitable for scientifically-oriented students who want to understand the mechanics behind how things work. Students curious about a career in engineering will practice the craft of an engineer and leave the course knowing if this path is right for them.

Program Highlights

  • Collaborate in teams to identify engineering solutions to real-world problems.
  • Individualized coaching for students to explore their creativity with support from professional engineers.
  • Learn every step of the engineering design process, from concept to creation to production.
Explore the field of engineering while learning key 21st century skills.

Through hands-on learning, students tackle real engineering challenges.

Students will learn about the different sub-disciplines of engineering through hands-on design challenges. They will complete a capstone project requiring them to work through the research process and put the scientific tools they learn into practice. Simulation activities will include conceiving of, designing, testing, and constructing an engineering model from start to finish.

Through hands-on learning, students tackle real engineering challenges.

Explore career paths while learning from engineering professionals.

Experienced guest speakers and career exploration workshops will provide students with insights into multiple paths to reach a career in engineering and hone the flexibility and determination required to succeed in this profession.

There will be three Road to College and Career Panels with the following themes:

  • Road to College - Pick the brains of current engineering students
  • Life After College – Engage with current post-baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral students
  • Path to Careers – Learn about the road to a career in engineering from established professionals across various sub-disciplines of engineering and in a variety of jobs in the industry.

These panels are designed to give students exposure to each level on the path to a career in engineering from industry experts. They will learn from undergraduate students about the academic experience in college, hear from early-level career professionals working in distinct aspects of the industry, and engage with successful innovation leaders.

Explore career paths while learning from engineering professionals.

Our leadership training helps students to be leaders in the engineering field.

The greatest historical engineering features came from innovative leaders who were not afraid to put the scientific process into practice to explore new solutions to complex problems. As students set off into a 21st century world that will present never seen before challenges involving climate change and rapid technological innovation, they will be called upon to harness their leadership potential like never before.

Leadership training includes the following themes:

  • Innovation
  • G.R.I.T. ® (Growth Mindset, Risk and Integrity for Twenty-first Century Leadership)
  • Collaboration
  • Communication & Group Dynamics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Information Literacy
  • Media Literacy
  • Technology Literacy
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Self Direction
  • Social and Cross-Cultural Competences
  • Productivity & Accountability
  • Leadership and Responsibility
Our leadership training helps students to be leaders in the engineering field.

Possible Site Visit Locations

University of California, Berkeley
  • Cable Car Museum
  • Bay Model Visitor Center
  • Exploratorium

World-Class Instructors Within the Field

Our Career Accelerators are taught by world-class instructors. Check-out our Engineering Innovation instructor at UC Berkeley!

Roberto Dugnani, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Dugnani graduated from Stanford University’s Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. program in 2004. Dr. Dugnani is currently a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Between 2012 and 2021 Dr. Dugnani served as a Foreign Expert, Associate Researcher, and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute and conducted research in the fields of solid mechanics and fracture mechanics. Prior to moving to Shanghai, Dr. Dugnani worked as a Senior Managing Engineer at Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, a leading international scientific and engineering consulting firm located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Between 2009 and 2012 Dr. Dugnani also held an Adjunct Faculty position at Santa Clara University, CA in both the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Departments.

His favorite quote: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice” Steve Jobs - Stanford University commencement speech, 2005

World-Class Instructors Within the Field

Campus Locations

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 


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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC


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