In this article, we review the literature on the benefits, and possible downsides, of openness in engineering research. We attempt to examine the issue from multiple perspectives, including reasons and motivations for introducing open practices into an engineering researcher’s workflow and the challenges faced by scholars looking to do so. Further, we present our thoughts and reflections on the role that open engineering research can play in defining the purpose and activities of the university. We have made some specific recommendations on how the public university can recommit to and push the boundaries of its role as the creator and promoter of public knowledge. In doing so, the university will further demonstrate its vital role in the continued economic, social, and technological development of society. We have also included some thoughts on how this applies specifically to the field of engineering and how a culture of openness and sharing within the engineering community can help drive societal development.