The engineering professions depend on high-level decision-making, as the basis of innovative designs for solutions to complex problems, inventive creation of new paradigms for approaches to existing problems, or inventive identification of new problems. Research shows that brilliant (elite) practitioners invariably exhibit highly developed intellectual abilities integrating both rational analytic (diagnostic) and intuitive integrative (prognostic) abilities, while mere “excellent” practitioners (the majority) exhibit a lesser level of intellectual ability restricted to rational analytic (diagnostic) abilities. We claim excellence for all our graduates but there is always a small, brilliant group of students and graduates who stand out from the others and who win the awards that bring prestige to the profession, the institution, the course and the teachers. These brilliant students and graduates exhibit complex intellectual abilities similar to those of the elite practitioner. Regrettably, however, our curricula, teaching methods and assessment are restricted to development of rational and analytic (diagnostic) decision-making abilities to the exclusion of intuitive integrative (prognostic) abilities. Thus we promote excellence but impede brilliance and therefore inhibit the prestige that flows from brilliance. This paper presents a new paradigm for engineering education based on best-practice research and research-training assessment methods which promote brilliance. This innovative approach has proved practicable, sustainable and no more expensive than conventional engineering education methods.