Katrina In The Classroom: Engineering And Public Policy Through Project Based Learning
2006 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
State. Devon currently focuses on design education, global programs, and design topics such as design ethics, innovative design, and conceptual design communications. Public policies are the policies of public institutions that affect our lives including, but not limited to, federal, state and local governments. Public universities and utilities, and NGOs may also be included. Since government policies affect and are expected to constrain and shape private institutions be they universities or
... rporations, then these institutions constitute a second order domain for public policy. Central to the first interest is how the expertise of engineers (and applied scientists) informs public policies. Does the right knowledge connect with the right policy makers, is the expertise well developed and appropriate to the subject, is it understood, is it followed, who participates in the connections, how effective are the connections, does it result in enlightened polices and are these policies followed? There are, clearly, many steps and many opportunities for success or failure. As more knowledge comes in, and a lot is coming in, Katrina seems to be a superb case study of exactly what should never happen: where everything that policy makers needed to be told by the experts before it happened was told -and done so for a considerable length of time, many decades, beforehand. The information was clearly understood and it had obvious and serious policy implications. But the desirable responses were not forthcoming. Even immediately before and during the emergency itself, the correct information was flowing -until it hit political walls far more effective than any flood wall in New Orleans.