The changing face of engineering

ASU celebrates diverse student engineering community

December 19, 2016

Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. Contrary to popular portrayal, scientific breakthroughs are seldom due to the work of one individual, but rather the result of incremental progress that draws on the research and work of many contributors, from diverse backgrounds, cultures and nations.

In fact, William A. Wulf, former president of the National Academy of Engineering, made a strong and memorable argument in 2002 that the quality of engineering pursuits — and the field as a whole — are greatly affected by the diversity among its practitioners. Download Full Image

“Engineering is a profoundly creative profession — not the stereotype, I know, but something I believe deeply,” said Wulf.

And creativity isn’t something that just happens, it arises from “making unexpected connections between things we already know,” he added.

Wulf concluded that creativity depends on our life experiences, and “without diversity, the life experiences we bring to an engineering problem are limited. As a consequence, we may not find the best engineering solution.”

Much like Wulf, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering recognize the inherent value that comes from different perspectives and experiences from all walks of life. Inclusion of all — from underrepresented minorities, veterans, international students, to those in the LGBTQ+ community, differently-abled and first-generation students — make the Fulton Schools a richer, more innovative and collaborative engine for change. The Fulton Schools commitment to diversity ensures we produce engineers best-equipped to solve the pressing challenges faced by our world.

As Wulf put it, “As a consequence of a lack of diversity, we pay an opportunity cost, a cost in designs not thought of, in solutions not produced.”

In celebration of our diverse and vibrant student community, this three-part series shares the strides the Fulton Schools have made — and will continue to make — in promoting varying ideas and experiences for the betterment of all.

Each entry features student stories that showcase different facets of the Fulton Schools community and the unique perspective they bring to engineering. The first will highlight students from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering, the second female students and the third entry will focus on international students.

Part one: Underrepresented minortities

Part two: Female students 

Part three: International students

Pete Zrioka

Managing editor, Knowledge Enterprise


ASU to host Bösendorfer and Yamaha USasu International Piano Competition

December 19, 2016

Forty-three exceptional pianists from around the world will converge on Tempe early next month when the ASU School of Music hosts the eighth Bösendorfer and Yamaha USasu International Piano Competition.

Scheduled to be held Jan. 2–8 at the School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in collaboration with the Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona Young Artist Committee and the Arizona Piano Gallery, the competition is hailed as one of the best in the world and welcomes the public to experience great performances by these talented young artists. Bosendorfer Yamaha ASU International Piano Competition The eighth Bösendorfer and Yamaha USasu International Piano Competition will be held at the School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Jan. 2–8. Photo by Baruch Meir. Download Full Image

A total of 183 pianists from 23 countries applied to the 2017 competition, with 43 selected to perform in the semifinal and final rounds for prizes including more than $50,000 in cash rewards, engagements with the Phoenix Symphony and a recital in Merkin Hall, Kaufman Music Center, New York.

“These competitors represent the top young pianists from some of the world’s greatest music schools and teachers, including The Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Moscow Conservatory, Seoul National University, Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, Northwestern University, as well as Arizona State University,” said Baruch Meir, founder, president and artistic director of the competition, and Bösendorfer Concert Artist. “We invite our community to experience these outstanding pianists at a top-tier competition.”

The competition will include a Q&A session in ASU’s Katzin Hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Jan. 7,  where the audience can interact with members of the jury, which includes Stanislav Ioudenitch, Van Cliburn gold medalist; Oxana Yablonskaya, who served on the faculty at The Juilliard School for 30 years; Asaf Zohar, Israeli pianist and pedagogue; Zhe Tang, vice dean and piano professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Robert Hamilton, internationally respected pianist, recording artist and ASU professor; and Baruch Meir from the ASU School of Music.

All solo performances of the Bösendorfer Competition (ages 19–32) are held at the ASU School of Music in Tempe, Jan. 2–7, 2017. The final round is held at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix at 17 p.m., Jan. 8, with showcased finalists playing a concerto with The Phoenix Symphony under the baton of Matthew Kasper. The announcement of winners and the presentation of medals will immediately follow onstage after the performance. Tickets can be purchased through the Phoenix Symphony Box Office.

The semifinal and final rounds for the Yamaha Senior and Junior competition will take place on Jan. 4–7 in Katzin Hall at the ASU School of Music. These rounds are open to the public. The winners’ recital and awards ceremony will take place on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. in Katzin Hall. Tickets for all Yamaha and Bösendorfer live solo performances can be purchased through the Herberger Institute Box Office.

For more information about the competition, the schedule of events and how you might get involved, visit or contact the competition office by email at or by phone at 480-965-8740. For tickets to all the competition solo rounds, including the Yamaha competition winners’ recital on Jan. 7, visit