David Goldberg President and Founder of Big Beacon

David Goldberg, Ph.D., is President of ThreeJoy Associates and co-founder of the Big Beacon Movement. In these roles he focuses on leadership coaching for students, faculty, and administrators in higher education, as well as technology executives and professionals around the world, helping them grow and develop to better align with the creativity imperative of the 21st century. His goal is to “rewire” engineering schools and programs into places that unleash and inspire a new generation of students to become not just technically competent engineers, but also passionate and creative problem solvers.

Dave first recognized the need for transforming engineering education early on when he was a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan. Even though other professors didn’t see the same vision as Dave, he stayed true to his convictions and went on to author his first book, Life Skills and Leadership for Engineers, in which he detailed his early theories about the skills engineers need but were seldom taught in school. It wasn’t until 2006 that other professors and engineering professionals began echoing his concerns.

Prior to founding ThreeJoy Associates and Big Beacon, Dave was the Jerry S. Dobrovolny Distinguished Professor in Entrepreneurial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he was known for his path-breaking research in genetic algorithms and evolutionary computation, as well as his passion and commitment to rethinking engineering education. In 2007 he
began a lecture series on The Engineer of the Future. The ideas presented led to him to co-founding and co-directing the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (iFoundry), a cross-disciplinary curriculum incubator in the College of Engineering at UIUC dedicated to the transformation of engineering education. He is also the co-founder of ShareThis, Inc (www.sharethis.com), the largest platform for
sharing and influence across the web.

Dave is the author of several books, including Philosophy and Engineering: An Emerging Agenda (edited with Ibo van de Poel), The Entrepreneurial Engineer, The Design of Innovation, Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization & Machine Learning, and Life Skills And Leadership For Engineers. He holds BSE, MSE, and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.

Dave’s travels to promote engineering education transformation take him around the world — to Asia, South America, the United States, and Europe — where he’s brought in as a visiting professor or a consultant to help higher education leaders embrace the vision of the future engineer and promote effective change on their campus. By 2022, he envisions his Big Beacon movement spreading beyond engineering education, to education in all fields at all levels.

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