Posts by shannonchance

Shannon Chance, PhD, LEED-AP, Registered Architect Marie Curie Research Fellow at UCL and Lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology

Recap on SRHE: Eye-opening research on highly productive researchers and the history of higher ed

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I presented on the first day of the 2018 SRHE Conference in Newport, Wales.

The Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) met last week for its 2018 conference. On Day 1, I delivered a summary report on national education policies in relation to what female engineering students told me about school experiences that led them to study engineering.

SRHE is a UK-based organization and its annual meeting is held each December in Wales at the Celtic Manor near Newport, a high-end golf resort where the organization has garnered good deals by assembling mid-week, off-season. The place was decorated beautifully for Christmas and I got a room on the tenth/top floor, with views of the nearby hills. Because I’m a genuine geek, I attended seminars straight through and missed out on the facility’s lovely pool, ice skating rink, and challenge course. Despite missing those thrills, I found the seminars delightful. In this blog, I can’t describe all the fascinating things I learned at the conference, but I’ll share some overarching thoughts and impressions.

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View from my tenth-floor room of Celtic Manor.

The opening and closing keynote speeches were very interesting, and they bookended the conference by taking opposite approaches to study international trends in higher education.

Prof. Marek Kwiek delivered the opening keynote. He described how his mixed-methods research study was conducted. He collected over 17k surveys and 500 interviews across 11 European countries, and he identified eye-popping results that did not sit well with some conference attendees. Essentially, top earners in higher education in Europe are more research-oriented, they publish much more than other academics but they also work quite hard, spending more time than others on *all* aspects of academic work–including teaching, research, service, and administration. This goes against commonly held beliefs, and prior research, that suggests researchers successfully avoid work other than research.

Prof. Kwiek said the top 10% of researchers produce 50% of all journal articles.

Prof. Kwiek found that the top 10% of researchers produce 50% of all journal articles. Top-producers work a full two months per year more than most university teachers. They also collaborate with many others internationally when they publish. But what visibly agitated the audience was the demographics Prof. Kwiek identified with regard to these top performers: they are predominantly male, middle-aged, full professors, with a mean age of 47. Being that I’m 48, I am already behind–but more than willing to catch up!

I’m a quick learner, and now I have the code for success. In this case, Prof. Kwiek highlighted an inherent problem: that the variables that mean the most to promotions/progression, salary, and prestige consistently favor men. This is not a problem of Prof. Kwiek’s making, but it is a situation his data clearly showed.

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Meeting with my phenomenography mentor, Dr. Mike Miminiris and his US-based friend Marquis Moore.

The other bookend presentation, the closing keynote by Prof. Louise Morley of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research in Sussex, would highlight several relevant and important points in response.

One interesting point Prof. Morley raised was that the person who identifies a problem often comes to be seen *as* the problem. Another interesting topic she raised was that bias built into the system of higher education ties to our overall economic-political model called “neo-liberalism” and this makes it nearly impossible to escape. It’s like trying to avoid air. How can we step outside this model to properly credit diverse contributions, when all the measures of performance inherently favor mainstream versions of excellence and productivity?

To help me come to terms with much of this–and excel despite being culturally different–I bought Prof. Kwiek’s book “Changing European Academics: A comparative study of social stratification, work patterns and research productivity.” If you’re interested in the details he presented, you can buy the book. I’ve also included some slides of his presentation directly below, followed by more commentary and photos of other presentations:

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An extremely informative panel with Profs. Ellen Hazelkorn and Vikki Boliver and Kalwant Bhopal.

Although I am not a positivist (similar to Prof. Kwiek), I also haven’t adopted the critical perspectives that Prof. Morley uses. I haven’t entirely rejected the neo-liberal framework, and most of my research takes an interpretivist and/or constructivist stance in that I study the status quo prior to suggesting ways to change it. I do incorporate some aspects of critical feminism and critical race theory, but these are underlying principles, not the core paradigm I use.

With regard to neo-liberalism, back during my Ph.D. studies, I really enjoyed the class I had at William and Mary called “Finance of Higher Education.” My teacher, Prof. David Leslie, studied economic trends in USA higher ed and he identified patterns like this. He exampled that in the States, there’s a direct correlation between the discipline you teach in, the pay you’ll receive teaching in that discipline, and how traditionally male- or female-dominated the profession is. This means that in the USA, I can get paid more by teaching in an architecture or engineering department than in an education department. I did look this up and found it shockingly true.

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Dr. Maryam Al-Mohammad presenting on “global citizenship” alongside Dr. Neil Harrison, both from UWE.

Fortunately, in European higher ed, the pay grades are less inherently tied to gender. On the whole, there seems to be better pay equity among disciplines in the European academy. Despite the fact that there is more equitable pay for equal work, men still reach the top echelons of higher education management/administration (and research) at much, much higher rates than women. Ireland, for example, is far behind the US where many university and community college (the US equivalent of the Irish IoT) presidents are female.

So, yes, bias regarding gender, ethnicity, physical ability, etc., etc., etc. is still extremely pervasive. Understanding bias, and visualizing why and how it happens, can help us remedy the problems.

So, even though the findings Prof. Kwiek presented were gloomy overall, he did provide me with helpful ideas for accelerating my career. I’ve been trying to break into publishing in a new discipline (I’ve moved from publishing in architecture education and education planning journals to publishing in engineering education) and the findings Prof. Kwiek reported will help me set, and meet, my goals faster. For me, having a road map of what it takes to succeed under current conditions is an important step in moving ahead and I thank Prof. Kwiek for providing such a guidebook.

A later speaker during Day 1 of the conference, Dr. Rachel Handford, noted that “possible selves” “can only include those selves that it is possible to perceive (Stevenson & Clegg, 2011; 233)” meaning that we learn what we might become and consider options before we act, but we need to see examples of possibilities first. I’ve always found this to be true, and I try to expose myself to many different people with different ways of working and seeing the world. They help me figure out what I want to be, learn, do and accomplish. There are photos of Dr. Handford’s presentation below, as well as presentations by Prof. Ming Cheng (on Chinese students studying abroad) and Drs. Cecelia Whitechurch and William Locke (on academic staff members’ techniques for gaining promotion).

I need to wrap up, though I would like to mention other highly-notable moments: three presentations on higher ed in South Africa, one presentation on low-income UK students studying abroad at elite US institutions, a fascinating panel that included Profs. Ellen Hazelkorn and Vikki Boliver and Kalwant Bhopal, a presentation by Drs. Maryam Al-Mohammad and Neil Harrison on “global citizenship”, and talks by historians Prof. John Tyler and Dr. Mike Klasser.

Prof. John Tyler delivered a keynote on the impact of WWI on higher education in Europe and his presentation was insightful. In the US, the aftermath of the Civil War and WWII were turning points for higher education. I’d say the Morrill and Hatch Acts which established the Land Grant institutions in the US mark the birth of the modern university in North America. These facilitated providing higher education to the masses. The federal government became involved in funding higher education. These funds expanded after WWII when our country needed to re-train returning vets and decided to provide money to send them to university. The US government also decided to fund research via universities, as it had worked well for the US to have Harvard run the top-secret Manhattan Project that developed the A-bomb and helped end the war. These are all things I learned in the “History of Higher Education” course I took at Old Dominion University in 2009. At SRHE, Prof. Tyler explained that the dawn of the modern university in the UK came after WWI.

In a paper presentation, Dr. Mike Klassen discussed his research on “the academization of engineering education in the United States and the United Kingdom: A neo-institutional perspective.” Dr. Klassen recently visited UCL (for our recent CEE strategy meeting) but I hadn’t learned what he was studying other than higher ed policy. At SRHE, I got to hear him present on the history of engineering education. I’m hoping that someday he’ll want to study overlaps between engineering and architecture education history and pedagogy development–again comparing North American and European traditions–and that the two of us can work together on this.

I left SRHE having forged many new contacts. I met so many people I’d like to keep in contact with and learned so many new ideas and research findings. I look forward to attending SRHE 2019 and speaking at an SRHE workshop, to be organized by Ann-Marie Bathmaker, in spring 2019.

Special Focus on Diversity

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IEEE Transactions on Education table of contents for the special focus issue on enhancing socio-cultural diversity

The new special focus issue I spearheaded for IEEE Transactions on Education just arrived in my mailbox! It arrived alongside a number of other prestigious journals on engineering and higher education.

This issue is dedicated to helping increase social and cultural diversity in engineering fields relevant to IEEE, including electrical, electronics, and computer engineering. As a result of my work on this issue, I was appointed as an Associate Editor of the journal and I have a second special focus issue underway.

To give you a bit of information on it–the November 2018 issue on socio-cultural diversity–I’m sharing an early draft of our guest editorial. You’ll find the draft below, after the list of article titles. You can visit the journal’s homepage or follow the links I’ve provided to download individual articles. Our guest editorial statement is free, but many of the others will require you to purchase the article or log in via a university library website that pays for access. Please contact me if you need help accessing articles.

Shannon teaching with Nataschu saturated

A favorite photo from my days at Hampton University, with architecture students Nataschu Brooks

Fostering diversity and supporting diverse students has always been a focus of mine. I’m proud to have been associated with Hampton University, a Historically Black University in southeast Virginia, and to have been appointed Full Professor there in 2014. I try to bring what I learned there into the work I do here in Europe every day.

I’m also proud to have done research to increase understanding of how diverse students experience engineering education. I did much of this work at Dublin Institute of Technology, and I’m extending the impact of that work today through my current appointment as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at University College London (UCL), by publishing articles and special focus issues.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 11.32.36 AMPublication by UCL and the Royal Academy of Engineering

UCL has a proud history of inclusivity, having admitted women and people from diverse races and religions long before most institutions did so. My amazing colleagues in UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education (CEE)–including Jan Peters, Emanuela Tilley, and John Mitchell–worked with the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK to produce a groundbreaking report titled “Designing Inclusion into Engineering Education.” Techniques they developed have far wider applicability than just engineering, so please download a copy.

Articles in the Special Focus Issue

Description by guest editors

Universities and colleges struggle to find the best approaches for achieving diversity throughout their campus environments. Even after successfully recruiting diverse populations, challenges arise in providing appropriate support and developing engagement opportunities that help enable students’ success. Some students from minority populations may not have had schooling that was as well funded as their peers from the mainstream. They may arrive differently equipped, but not any less capable, than their peers. In this special focus issue, we asked: How do we support their efforts to succeed? How do we help faculty understand the challenges diverse students face? How can we affect change in the teaching methods they encounter?

This issue of the IEEE Transactions on Education (ToE) makes exciting contributions to the literature on teaching in fields including electrical and electronics engineering, computer engineering, and computer science. This issue represents an effort to positively influence engineering scholarship, engineering education, and engineering practice. It helps stake new territory for ToE with regard to format as well as the diversity of authors, topics, editors, and reviewers.

Regarding the presentation of content, this is ToE’s third issue to provide structured abstracts. This feature makes content more searchable and it also makes the questions guiding each study more explicit. The most noteworthy contributions and findings are identified clearly and succinctly, prior to the full text. These features help readers locate relevant content and more easily understand how the pieces fit together.

Even more importantly, this issue provides a platform for voices and perspectives from around the globe to explore facets of diversity relevant to IEEE. Although engineering education research (EER) on diversity has focused greatly on gender aspects, we aimed to explore many different aspects of diversity in this issue. All contributors provide concepts and techniques to foster equity and equality in engineering education.

The topics, authors, editors, and reviewers represent ever-widening diversity—geographically, socially, ethnically, racially, religiously, and otherwise. Our call for papers defined diversity broadly, in an effort to increase inclusion and equity in engineering classrooms and labs as well as in engineering publications. A primary intention has been to improve the participation rates of people from under-represented groups—particularly in computer science, electrical and electronic engineering, computer engineering, software engineering, and biomedical engineering—and to support their ongoing success in these fields.

The guest editors have lived and worked in multiple countries across Africa, Europe, and North America and were keen to involve diverse individuals throughout the publication process. We were acutely aware that many readers and authors of many US-based journals had lacked exposure to much of the work in EER being conducted outside the US. Citation analysis of 4321 publications across four prominent platforms—the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE), the European Journal of Engineering Education (EJEE), and conferences of both the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and European Society of Engineering Education (SEFI)—had shown ASEE and JEE citations “are dominated by sources with US affiliations.” SEFI and EJEE reflected wider diversity in that “while US sources are frequently cited, European and other authors are also well represented (Williams, Wankat, & Neto, 2016, p. 190).” Thus, Williams et al demonstrated, “in citation terms, European EER is relatively global but US EER is not (p. 190).”

In response, the guest editors encouraged researchers active in the US to submit articles and they also worked to solicit manuscripts from around the world. They aimed to provide “complementary perspectives” as encouraged by Borrego and Bernhard (2013), whose study compared EER that originated in the US with EER from Northern and Central Europe. They found the latter tends to explore “authentic, complex problems, while U.S. approaches emphasize empirical evidence” (p. 14). They also found “disciplinary boundaries and legitimacy are more salient issues in the U.S., while the Northern and Central European Bildung philosophy integrates across disciplines toward development of the whole person” (p. 14). Informing this edition’s intent, Borrego and Bernhard asserted, “Understanding and valuing complementary perspectives is critical to growth and internationalization of EER” (p. 14).

Adopting a global perspective, this issue promotes research, advocacy, and action geared toward achieving equity. Authors have considered many facets of diversity, including race, ethnicity, economic status, religious affiliation, age, and multiple understandings of the term gender. Subsequent issues of IEEE ToE will extend this work by, for instance, featuring technologies developed to support learning in IEEE fields for people with physical disabilities. Supporting a range of approaches to diversity, this current issue features empirical research on engineering/STEM pedagogies, paying particular attention to their level of inclusivity for students and teachers from minority groups.

Research from Saudi Arabia that is included in this issue contributes new understanding of women’s experiences studying engineering there. The nation has only recently offered engineering programs in-country that are open to women; some of the engineering teachers are female, but many who deliver courses are male. Digital technologies, Mariam Elhussein and colleagues explain, are intended to bridge the divide in classrooms where women sit on one side of a glass partition while observing male teachers who deliver content. Technologies do not always achieve the desired aims, because female students explained during focus group discussions that they sometimes keep their digital devices off to avoid illuminating their faces and revealing their identities—a taboo in their culture. The study, authored by Mariam Elhussein, Dilek Düştegör, Naya Nagy, and Amani Alghamdi, is entitled “The Impact of Digital Technology on Female Students’ Learning Experience in Partition-Rooms: Conditioned by Social Context.”

Contributing new understanding regarding racially diverse learners in the US, Jumoke Ladeji-Osias et al. describe outcomes of an ongoing school program to engage black male youths in engineering and computing. These authors describe a program, running both after-school and during summers, wherein students develop mobile apps and build 3D-printed models to ignite their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Having participated for two years, students reported more positive ideas about STEM and increased interest in attending university and entering a career in either science or app development. Unfortunately, participants did not show corresponding interest in taking science courses in school. The research team of Jumoke Ladeji-Osias, LaDawn Partlow, and Edward Dillo submitted this study, titled “Using Mobile Application Development and 3D Modeling to Encourage Minority Male Interest in Computing and Engineering.”

Contributing new understanding regarding socially and economically diverse learners who enter engineering via two-year colleges in the US, Simon Winberg and colleagues discovered a correlation between math performance in two-year colleges and persistence to graduation in the four-year degree. Such research can help educators to better advise students and recruit those likely to complete degrees. The authors mined data from institutional databases to analyze and compare the performance of transfer and non-transfer students. By calculating and comparing averages, frequencies of passes and failures, withdrawals and repeats, the authors identified factors associated with persistence-to-graduation in Bachelor of Science ECM programs. The study helps confirm prior research showing many minority students who transfer to four-year engineering programs demonstrate high levels of persistence, focus and commitment, resilience to overcome challenges, and they also had high grades at their two-year institution, cumulative and in mathematics. This study, by Simon Winberg, Christine Winberg, and Penelope Engel-Hills, is titled “Persistence, Resilience and Mathematics in Engineering Transfer Capital.”

Reporting from Spain, Noelia Olmedo-Torre et al. assess what attracts women to join STEM and select specific branches of engineering. The team collected survey data from more than 1000 women (graduates and current students) representing six different institutions of higher education. About 40% were in computing, communications, electrical and electronic engineering (CCEEE) and the rest in other STEM (non-CCEEE) fields where women are greatly under-represented. Women in CCEEE were significantly less motivated by “the possibility of working on projects ” and “the possibility of working as part of a team” than those outside CCEEE. This study also reveals women’s perceptions of why others avoid CCEEE majors. The article was submitted by Noelia Olmedo-Torre, Fermín Sánchez Carracedo, Núria Salán Ballesteros, David López, Antoni Perez-Poch, and Mireia López-Beltrán and it asks, “Do Female Motives for Enrolling Vary According to STEM Profile?”

In a similar study from the US, Geoff Potvin et al. worked together to assess how gender relates to an individual’s level of interest in electrical, computer, and biomedical engineering and to identify how these interests relate to students’ expectations of careers in each branch. They analyzed data collected from women and compared these data with people who had not identified themselves as women. The female group showed more interest in bioengineering/biomedical engineering and less interest in electrical and computer engineering. They associated the career outcome of “helping others” but not “supervising others” with bioengineering and/or biomedical engineering more strongly than non-female students did. Overall, students in this study associated inventing and designing things as well as “developing new knowledge and skills” with electrical engineering, whereas they envisioned inventing and designing things but not “working with people” in computer engineering. The research team was comprised of Geoff Potvin, Catherine McGough, Lisa Benson, Hank Boone, Jacqueline Doylek, Allison Godwin, Adam Kirn, Beverly Ma, Jacqueline Rohde, Monique Ross, and Dina Verdin, who worked together to assess “Gendered Interests in Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering: Intersections With Career Outcome Expectations.”

Two articles identify gender bias evident in team projects in engineering classrooms, that tends to go undetected and/or unreported by students. First, in a small-scale study with clear relevance in engineering classrooms around the globe, Laura Hirshfield’s US-based analysis shows that when students self-report regarding team performance and team dynamics, they may fail to see and/or report differences that have to do with the way they interact and allocate tasks. Although individuals submitted team assessments and interviews describing effective collaboration and a lack of gender bias in allocating roles, self-reports did not match the author’s observations nor the data she collected via interviews. Dynamics and assignments reflected visible gender bias, the author reports, yet male and female students reported the same levels of confidence and said they were similarly satisfied with their teams. To achieve greater equity, the author urges readers to look deeper and consider forms of stereotyping and gender bias that influence students’ experiences. Laura Hirshfield’s article is titled “Equal But Not Equitable: Self-Reported Data Obscures Gendered Differences in Project Teams.”

Similarly, authors Robin R. Fowler and Magel P. Su identified “Gendered Risks of Team-Based Learning: A Model of Inequitable Task Allocation in Project-Based Learning.” In this second article, we see that the jobs that are assigned by the team to its various members often fall along gender lines–sometimes because of assumptions made by team members and sometimes because individuals want to play it safe and promise things they know they can deliver well. This can hinder the diversity of experience they get and how well-rounded their skills ultimately become by way of the project.

Two of the papers in this issue focus on educators’ experiences. Reporting from India, Anika Gupta et al. have analyzed the ratings male and female students assign to their teachers as measures of the teaching quality. They identified statistically significant differences in the ratings given—differences that correspond to the teachers’ gender and socio-economic status. In addition to bias regarding socio-economic status, this research team also found same-gender and cross-gender biases that yielded statistically different scores for teaching. The team gathered over 100,000 complete surveys—comparing groups from (a) civil engineering, (b) computer science and engineering, (c) electrical engineering, (d) humanities and social sciences, and (e) mathematics. Similar to the study by Potvin et al., these results illustrate student perceptions of various majors. In this case, statistics showed that interaction between a student’s gender and socio-economic status and those characteristics of the teacher influenced the student’s evaluation of the teacher. As student evaluations are used to inform faculty promotion and retention decisions, it is reasonable to question the validity of the data they provide. The paper was submitted by Anika Gupta, Deepak Garg, and Parteek Kumar and is titled “Analysis of Students’ Ratings of Teaching Quality to Understand the Role of Gender and Socio-Economic Diversity in Higher Education.”

Kat Young and colleagues have assessed participation in audio engineering conferences, a field that remains strongly male-dominated. Their work provides a new tool for determining the gender of participants who do not report their own data, such as in cases where they are listed as authors in various publications and conference proceedings. The techniques presented in this paper consider that not all individuals identify in a binary way. As such, this manuscript contributes new knowledge related to LGTBQ+ and how to determine what gender an author would ascribe to their self in instances where they have not been asked to provide that data. The team analyzed four aspects of data from 20 conferences—looking at conference topic, presentation type, position in the author byline, and the number of authors involved. Data revealed a low representation of non-male authors at conferences on audio engineering as well as the significant variance in conference topic by gender, and the distinct lack of gender diversity across invited presentations. This paper is titled “The Impact of Gender on Conference Authorship in Audio Engineering: Analysis Using a New Data Collection Method” and it was submitted by Kat Young, Michael Lovedee-Turner, Jude Brereton, and Helena Daffern.

Prior research has shown that including diverse perspectives on STEM teams enables more robust and innovative designs (Hunt et al, 2018) and that cross-disciplinary teaming that can facilitate pooling of diverse perspectives is difficult to achieve in practice (Edmondson & Harvey, 2017). A challenge for engineering educators is to ensure the perspectives of diverse individuals we now recruit are fully heard—that all participants have the opportunity to have their contributions considered and valued. Many instructors have had little or no training on pedagogical approaches within STEM. Even well-intentioned instructors may not understand how team formation and management of teams can help reinforce peer teamwork, and they may not recognize that poorly managed and conducted can deplete the confidence of women and others outside the classroom’s mainstream. Instructors who are accustomed to assigning team projects may not be providing guidance and support and thus may ultimately throw students together, simply expecting them to be collaborative, equitable, and productive but not explaining how to achieve this. As a result, students may not perceive group work as a recipe for success, but rather an obstacle course suited to the fittest.

In this special issue of ToE, authors have presented insights generated through the study of student learning experiences. Some authors have introduced innovative methods to measure the impacts of new pedagogical approaches within institutions. Several have investigated pitfalls that could detract from the effectiveness and inclusiveness of teams. Others increased understanding of gender-identification procedures for researchers—this group also exposed perpetual underlying biases in the speaker-invitation process that all IEEE disciplines may benefit from assessing.

Diversity and inclusion are not a post-processing task tacked on in a course or mentioned in a lecture. A well-thought-out, integrated plan that places value on the different perspective of students from diverse backgrounds, genders and life-experiences. Educators are beginning to foster a sense of belonging by adopting techniques for “cohort building” among diverse groups of students. This can help bridge the gulf many students experience when they move from secondary school into higher education. Such techniques can help ensure diverse students’ expectations are met, so students do not find themselves isolated or alone.

The guest editors hope you enjoy this special issue of IEEE Transactions on Education and are able to incorporate some of the methods presented here—to help create a generation of future leaders and innovators. The editors encourage readers to review emerging calls for action in diversity recently published by The Power Electronics Industry Collaborative (PEIC), ASEE, and SEFI.

In this issue, editors channeled their efforts towards achieving fairness and holistic well being, and toward fostering a community of engineers who can address global challenges, act with vision and confidence, and develop effective and robust responses to engineering problems. When students are prepared with superior STEM skills and equipped with life-skills, they will be able to build their own interest-related cohorts and will be able to seek out the resources they need, without being afraid to ask for them. A more diverse group will be prepared to address global challenges.

—Shannon Chance, Laura Bottomley, Karen Panetta, and Bill Williams

References

Borrego, M., & Bernhard, J. (2011). The emergence of engineering education research as an internationally connected field of inquiry. Journal of Engineering Education100(1), 14-47.

Edmondson, A. C., & Harvey, J. F. (2017). Cross-boundary teaming for innovation: Integrating research on teams and knowledge in organizations. Human Resource Management Review.

Hunt, V., Prince, S., Dixon-Fyle, S., & Yee, L. (2018). Delivering through diversity. McKinsey & Company Report. Retrieved April3, 2018.

Williams, B., Wankat, P. C., & Neto, P. (2018). Not so global: a bibliometric look at engineering education research. European Journal of Engineering Education43(2), 190-200.

Get yourself a job in engineering education or Ph.D. fellowship in architecture pedagogy

For those of you interested in learning more about educational research or finding an academic position in engineering education research, I’m posting some exciting opportunities.

Architectural pedagogies, multiple intelligences and educational inclusion – funded PhD

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Shannon Chance sharing examples of design portfolios and methods of book-binding with architecture students at Hampton University, a decade ago.

The first is a funded Ph.D. in the topics I love most: Architectural pedagogies, multiple intelligences and educational inclusion. This position will pay for someone to go to Northumbria, UK to get a Ph.D. in this very exciting topic.

Please bring this to the attention of potential candidates. This “Find a PhD” website is valuable for anyone wanting to find funding for doctoral studies. Most positions are open to people of all nationalities.

 

ASEE’s ERM division job posts

Next, I’m sharing an email I just received from the division of Educational Research Methods of the American Society for Engineering Education, listing jobs in engineering education that are open in the USA right now. Details and links are provided below the list, in the same order as listed. The list was compiled by Virginia Tech’s Dr. Holly M. Matusovich, who is doing excellent work through ASEE.

  1. Instructions for Submitted Announcements for the ERM Listserv
  2. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: (Updated) Faculty Search: Assistant OR Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech
  3. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Associate Professor (Tenured Position), Wake Forest University Department of Engineering
  4. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Assistant Professor (Tenure Track Position), Wake Forest University Department of Engineering
  5. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Teaching Professor or Professor of the Practice, Wake Forest University Department of Engineering
  6. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Tenure-Track and Non-Tenure Track Positions in Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel
  7. ITB RoboSlam 2015-4 hotrod

    An autonomous robot designed by electrical engineering students at ITB, now the Blanchardstown campus of TU Dublin. 

    POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: First-Year Director Job Description, Old Dominion University

  8. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: U-M Post Doctoral Teaching Fellowship in Engineering Education – International Teaching Experience
  9. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:  12 lecturer positions in the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education at the University of Florida
  10. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tenure Track Assistant/Associate Professor Faculty Position
  11. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:  Two Lecturer Positions, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Engineering Fundamentals Program (EFP)
  12. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:  Tenured Faculty Position in the Department of Engineering Education at Ohio State University
  13. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: : Multiple tenure-track positions at the rank of assistant or associate levels, School of Engineering Education at Purdue University
  14. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Tenure-track and visiting faculty, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  15. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Six tenure-track faculty positions at the assistant professor level, The R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis
  16. CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Engineering Education CAREER Webinar

 

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  1. Instructions for Submitted Announcements for the ERM Listserv

 

To send an announcement to the ERM listserv, please prepare a 2-3 paragraph description including any relevant URLs and contact info as well as a subject line. Do not include any attachments. Be sure that the announcement includes the person to contact with questions.  Email all of this information to matushm@vt.edu with [ERM Announcement] in the subject line to facilitate email sorting. Announcements will be sent out on the 1st and 15th of each month.  Each set of announcements will be included in the announcements email twice. Announcements will also be recorded on the ERM website: http://erm.asee.org/

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: (Updated) Faculty Search: Assistant OR Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech

The Department of Engineering Education (EngE) at Virginia Tech invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor rank. Candidates must hold a doctorate (by August 2019) in engineering education, engineering, education, or a related field; at least one degree (BS, MS, PhD) in engineering or a related field is desirable.

Successful candidates will demonstrate the potential to conduct research in engineering education, secure external research funding, teach in both our first-year and graduate programs, and collaborate within and beyond the department. We welcome applicants with expertise across a wide range of engineering education areas and methods. Our faculty hold degrees in diverse fields, including engineering education, higher education, educational psychology, and linguistics as well as a range of STEM disciplines. Experience in industry is also welcome.

Applications must be submitted online to http://jobs.vt.edu (posting number TR0180132).  Review of applications will begin November 26, 2018. Applications should include: (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a two-page research statement describing current research and future plans, (3) a two-page teaching statement, and (4) names and contact information for three references. Details on how to prepare and submit all materials can found under “Posting Details” for this position on the website. Inquiries about the position should be directed to Chair, EngE Search Committee, 345 Goodwin Hall, 635 Prices Fork Rd., Blacksburg, VA 24061,engesearch18@vt.edu

A more detailed description of the position and information about the Department of Engineering Education can be found at http://www.enge.vt.edu/

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Associate Professor (Tenured Position), Wake Forest University Department of Engineering

 

Job Requisition No: R0001130  The new Department of Engineering invites applications at the rank of Associate Professor in any engineering area to begin in the fall semester of 2019. Commensurate with the level of experience, the successful candidate will be appointed to a tenured position in the Department of Engineering and will help establish the new undergraduate engineering program.  We seek a colleague who will diversify our team through their scholarly pursuits and will provide significant educational contributions in support of our students’ development as engineers. Wake Forest University (WFU), a top-30 nationally ranked university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, welcomed its inaugural class of engineering students in August 2017. As a collegiate university, WFU combines the tradition and intimacy of a small liberal arts college with the innovation and vitality of a research university.  Interested applicants should apply via the University’s career website at: http://www.wfu.careers/. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled with new applications reviewed on a regular cycle. Further information is available atcollege.wfu.edu/engineering/.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Assistant Professor (Tenure Track Position), Wake Forest University Department of Engineering

 

Job Requisition No: R0000982  The new Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University invites applications at the rank of Assistant Professor in any engineering area to begin in the fall semester of 2019. The successful candidate will be appointed to a tenure-track position in the Department of Engineering and will help establish the new undergraduate engineering program.  We seek a colleague who will diversify our team through their scholarly pursuits and will provide significant educational contributions in support of our students’ development as engineers. Wake Forest University (WFU), a top-30 nationally ranked university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, welcomed its inaugural class of engineering students in August 2017. As a collegiate university, WFU combines the tradition and intimacy of a small liberal arts college with the innovation and vitality of a research university.  Interested applicants should apply via the University’s career website at: http://www.wfu.careers/. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled with new applications reviewed on a regular cycle. Further information is available atcollege.wfu.edu/engineering/.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Teaching Professor or Professor of the Practice, Wake Forest University Department of Engineering

 

Job Requisition No: R0001129  The new Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University invites applications for a Teaching Professor or Professor of the Practice faculty position (at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor) in any engineering area to begin in the fall semester of 2019.  Faculty members with the title of Teaching Professor hold a Ph.D. or terminal degree in the discipline, while faculty members with the title of Professor of the Practice have at least a Master’s Degree in the discipline along with relevant experience different from that achieved through traditional graduate and professional study. The contributions of teaching professionals are significant and cover a broad range of areas, which include teaching, advising and service to their programs, departments, the College, and the University. The successful candidate will diversify our team through their engineering expertise and will provide significant educational contributions in support of our students’ development as engineers. Wake Forest University (WFU), a top-30 nationally ranked university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, welcomed its inaugural class of engineering students in August 2017. As a collegiate university, WFU combines the tradition and intimacy of a small liberal arts college with the innovation and vitality of a research university.  Interested applicants should apply via the University’s career website at: http://www.wfu.careers/. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled with new applications reviewed on a regular cycle. Further information is available atcollege.wfu.edu/engineering/.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Tenure-Track and Non-Tenure Track Positions in Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel

 

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina invites applications for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level or a non-tenure track lecturer position.  The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a unique public institution with the mission of educating principled leaders through its Corps of Cadets and Graduate College. We are seeking applicants with in Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, or Construction Engineering.  Minimum qualifications for the tenure track faculty position includes an earned PhD in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering, or related fields. The successful candidate will have demonstrated a potential and interest in undergraduate education as well as graduate education; undergraduate research, and a strong potential for and commitment to student advising, supporting our nationally recognized student activities, and continuous professional development in both civil or construction engineering, and engineering education.  Minimum qualifications for the non-tenure track instructor position include an earned MS in civil engineering or related field, plus five years of experience, or an earned PhD in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering, or related fields.  The successful candidate will have demonstrated a potential and interest in undergraduate education and have design/field experience.  Professional registration/ certification or potential for and strong commitment towards obtaining it should be demonstrated for both positions. The applicant must be an effective communicator and be able to serve as a role model for students in the Corps of Cadets and to other students in our day and evening programs.  For more information and to apply:  http://careers.pageuppeople.com/743/cw/en-us/job/495551/assistant-professor-engineering.  Please contact Dr. Mary Katherine Watson (mwatson9@citadel.edu) with questions.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: First-Year Director Job Description, Old Dominion University

 

The Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University (ODU) invites applications from accomplished individuals with an earned PhD or equivalent degree in engineering to serve as the Inaugural Director of our First Year Engineering Program starting Fall 2019. The successful candidate is expected to provide leadership in shaping and coordinating our program and courses (structure, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment); promoting consistency in course contents, standards and instructional modes across different classes; supervising all first-year faculty; coordinating with faculty teaching in the program and related departments (e.g., Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry); and teaching sections of the relevant classes as appropriate. Salary and rank will be based on experience and qualifications.

 

We seek an individual with strong accomplishments in disciplinary and/or engineering education research, who has an established pedagogical track record in working with undergraduate engineering students. Also of interest is a person who can work effectively with local and regional companies in providing solutions to Engineering problems. An interest in engineering education best practices, research, and assessment are desirable attributes. Candidates must be committed to contributing to high-quality education of a diverse student body at the undergraduate level.

 

Review of applications will begin January 15, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled. Complete applications will include a cover letter, a current CV, teaching statement, pedagogical innovations, assessment of teaching (if not included in CV), diversity statement, and four references that will be contacted at a later time. The College and University are strongly committed to a diverse academic environment and places high priority on attracting female and underrepresented minority candidates. We strongly encourage candidates from these groups to apply for the position. Application materials should be submitted to:https://jobs.odu.edu/postings/8857

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: U-M Post Doctoral Teaching Fellowship in Engineering Education – International Teaching Experience

 

We are seeking one post doctoral teaching fellow for a collaboration between the University of Michigan (U-M) Department of Biomedical Engineering and Shantou University (Shantou, Guangdong Province, China).  This “train the trainer” engineering education collaboration will lead to the development of the next generation, experiential biomedical engineering curriculum to meet 21st century challenges.  Fellows are mentored by U-M instructors on the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus and then travel to Shantou University, where they participate in the development and launch of similar courses for the new Shantou University Biomedical Engineering Program.  The goal of this collaboration is to introduce innovative, evidence-based pedagogical practices into the Shantou classroom.

 

Applicants should submit letter of interest, vita, teaching statement, teaching evaluations, and list of three references to aileenhs@umich.edu. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit some type of media that demonstrates their teaching (e.g. link to video of the applicant teaching or an example of an instructional intervention designed by the applicant). Review of applications will begin on February 1, 2019 and continue until the position is filled. The start date is negotiable between June and September 2019.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:  12 lecturer positions in the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education at the University of Florida

 

The Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education (IE³) at the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida invites applications for multiple, up to 12 full-time, nine-month, or twelve-month non-tenure track positions at the level of Lecturer, Sr. Lecturer or Master Lecturer. The anticipated hiring rank is Lecturer with most positions at twelve-month appointments.  Senior levels may be considered based upon experience or the need of the unit. The ideal candidate would have experience in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in their respective engineering field.   The University of Florida is embarking on an initiative to lead the nation in Digital Literacy by 1) Foster Digital Literacy across campus in the use of these tools, 2) Develop and apply the Platform for Life Tools to our education and research endeavors, 3) Promote Digital Responsibility – Manage the human impact of the coming transformation of society.  Several lecturer positions will be allocated to this initiative.

 

Duties and responsibilities include: teaching, revising, and developing undergraduate and graduate engineering courses, and may include both online as well as face-to-face instruction in one or more of the following areas:  Computer Science Courses, General Engineering Courses such as Freshmen Design, Non-majors Circuits, and Statics.  In addition, there may be other service and teaching activities at local, university, state, and national level, as directed by the Institute Director. IE³ is specifically looking for faculty with a passion for teaching and a desire to develop a career in pedagogy of engineering education.  Teaching assignments will be made according to background and experience and will be six to eight course sections per year (twelve-month appointment) based on mutual agreements.  To apply and for more information: https://apply.interfolio.com/58175  Questions may be directed to Hans van Oostrom, Ph.D., Institute Director, oostrom@ufl.edu (352) 392-1345

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tenure Track Assistant/Associate Professor Faculty Position

 

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell seeks a full-time faculty member at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor with expertise in Biomedical Engineering. We have an emphasis on medical device development, but candidates with expertise in medical imaging, bioinstrumentation and biomechanics, as well as other biomedical engineering fields are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be expected to coordinate and teach courses geared towards Biomedical Engineering majors as well as perform research. The position includes service contributions to the Department and the University. Apply at: https://secure.dc4.pageuppeople.com/apply/822/gateway/?c=apply&lJobID=494699&lJobSourceTypeID=809&sLanguage=en-us Questions may be directed to Bryan Buchholz., Interim Chair of Biomedical Engineering, bryan_buchholz@uml.edu

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Two Lecturer Positions, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Engineering Fundamentals Program (EFP)

 

The Engineering Fundamentals Program (EFP) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seeks two dynamic Lecturers to contribute to its innovative, first-year engineering program. EFP is the home of the engage program, an integrated and team-taught freshman curriculum, and is responsible for teaching nine credit hours of common freshman coursework for each of the College’s first year students (1000 per year). Subject matters taught include physics, perspective of the engineering profession, teaming, design process with projects, engineering communication and basic computer instruction. EFP also teaches a sophomore computer programming course and other classes, such as First-Year Studies classes, focused on skills for success during the transition from high school to college, and a leadership class for peer mentors who support the Engage Living and Learning Community, a 200+ student residential community for first year students in the Tickle College of Engineering.  Details of the Engineering Fundamentals Program are available at http://ef.utk.edu.

 

These positions are full-time, non-tenure-track, 9-month appointments. Candidates are expected to have an earned doctorate in engineering with an undergraduate degree in any engineering discipline; strongly preferred are candidates with a doctorate in engineering education. Candidates must possess excellent communication skills, and a solid commitment to innovative teaching methods, both traditional and technology enabled.  Demonstrated interest in engineering education programs is expected. College-level teaching experience and educational research experience evidenced by refereed conference and journal publications and participation on funded grants are strongly preferred. Professional registration is desirable.

 

Applications should include: (1) a letter of interest addressing qualifications and teaching interests, (2) a comprehensive curriculum vitae, and (3) the names and contact information (address, phone number, and e-mail address) for at least three professional references.  Please send a single electronic file (pdf) as an e-mail attachment to mcopley@utk.edu.  Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. Richard Bennett, Chair of the Search Committee, (voice: 865.974.9810; email: rmbennett@utk.edu).  Anticipated starting date is August 2019.

 

For more information, please see the full job posting at: https://webapps.utk.edu/humanresources/utjoblist/PrintJob.aspx?ID=22794

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:  Tenured Faculty Position in the Department of Engineering Education at Ohio State University

 

The Ohio State University invites applications for a tenured faculty position at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor to start August 2019. We are seeking proven, innovative scholars in engineering and/or computing education who will help build the Department of Engineering Education (EED, https://eed.osu.edu/) that was formed in November 2015. Highly competitive candidates have: pioneered significant scholarly contributions to engineering and/or computing research, shown that they can collaborate with both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty members from different disciplines, and experience in applying evidence-based pedagogical teaching techniques with attention to inclusion of multiple perspectives and demographics.  Successful candidates will be expected to continue to secure external funding to support graduate students and research, cultivate department research initiatives, and collaborate with scholars within the department, within the college, within the university, and across the engineering and/or computing research communities. In addition, they will be expected to contribute to continued improvement of our first-year engineering fundamentals courses, our engineering technical communication courses, or our multidisciplinary campus courses that includes capstone design courses. Finally, they will be expected to build our graduate program and research enterprise.

 

Interested applicants should submit an application in Academic Jobs Online:https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/12602. Please include a cover letter, curriculum vita, statements of teaching and research interests, and names and contact information of five references commensurate with the rank sought. The Ohio State University College of Engineering is strongly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all areas of scholarship, instruction and outreach. In the cover letter, describe experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals that promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion in one or more of these areas. The Ohio State University is committed to establishing a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, encouraging all members of our learning community to reach their full potential. We are responsive to dual-career families and strongly promote work-life balance to support our community members through a suite of institutionalized policies. We are an NSF Advance Institution, a member of the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), and have an excellent partner in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.  Application deadline: December 31, 2018.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Multiple tenure-track positions at the rank of assistant or associate levels, School of Engineering Education at Purdue University

 

The School of Engineering Education at Purdue University invites applications for multiple tenure-track positions at the rank of assistant or associate levels. Purdue University seeks to attract exceptional candidates with interests and expertise in engineering education research ranging from pre-kindergarten through college and into engineering practice. Commensurate with rank, new faculty will be expected to develop (or continue to develop) a nationally or internationally recognized, externally-funded research program in engineering education, advise graduate students, teach graduate and undergraduate level courses – including in first-year engineering, Multidisciplinary Engineering, or Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies programs – and perform service at the School, University, and professional society levels.

 

Please find the full position description at https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/InfoFor/Employment/JobDescriptions/171/ENE%20Ad.pdf. Review of applications began on November 1, 2018 and will continue until all positions are filled. Applications are still being accepted for full consideration. For information or questions regarding applications, contact the search committee chair, Tamara Moore at tmoore@purdue.edu.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Tenure-track and visiting faculty, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

 

The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology invites applications for tenure track and Visiting faculty positions with an anticipated start date of August 2019. The department, which continues to experience strong enrollment growth (currently 425 students), offers B.S. degrees in computer science and software engineering.
Requirements include a doctorate or near completion in computer science, software engineering or closely related field (including engineering education with an emphasis on these fields) and evidence of or demonstrated potential for excellence in undergraduate teaching. We are looking for candidates from all areas of computer science and software engineering who embrace the mission and vision of Rose-Hulman to join our collegial team of 23 faculty.   The department and the institute place a high value on engaging students from traditionally underrepresented groups, and candidates from these groups are especially encouraged to apply. Candidates who can broaden and enhance the educational experience of our students are also encouraged to apply. Rose-Hulman also offers a multidisciplinary, project-driven engineering design major, a multidisciplinary robotics minor, an ongoing research project on human-robot collaboration, and the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges program among its vibrant interdisciplinary initiatives.

 

If you have questions and or concerns, please email Sriram Mohan at mohan@rose-hulman.edu  Applicants should submit a cover letter, a curriculum vita or resume, a statement on their teaching philosophy and practices, a statement of their professional development goals, and a statement regarding their experience or other evidence of commitment to diversity and inclusion to https://jobs.rose-hulman.edu.

 

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  1. POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:  Six tenure-track faculty positions at the assistant professor level, The R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis

 

The R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis (UIndy) is seeking teacher-scholars for six tenure-track faculty positions at the assistant professor level (9-month contract) with an expected start date of August 2019.Our mission is to use interdisciplinary education to develop modern engineering leaders who create outstanding solutions. The School’s mission is accomplished through the DesignSpine,  which provides students with an interdisciplinary design experience throughout their entire academic tenure. These experiences involve projects sourced from external stakeholders, which expose students to design for Six-Sigma, project management, entrepreneurial mindset, and communication. The School has programs in computer science, industrial and systems engineering, mechanical engineering, and software engineering. We are launching programs in computer engineering, electrical engineering, and general engineering starting in the Fall of 2019. To accommodate this growth, the School has a plan to expand into new facilities on campus.

The faculty in the School are comprised of individuals from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences where collaboration is highly encouraged and supported – including a School structure without department boundaries. The faculty’s educational backgrounds span multiple engineering, computer science, and physical science disciplines, and include those with significant industrial, consulting, entrepreneurial, and project management experience. Our diverse team is dedicated to effective and innovative teaching methodologies, which include a rigorous first-year program, project-based learning, service learning, and current topics courses. Team building and design activities begin from the first day of classes and are reinforced throughout the curriculum. Our small class sizes and experienced professors allow students to design and direct coursework based on their interests, industry trends, and internship experiences.

Review of applications begins December 1st and will continue until all positions are filled. For more information, please see our posting at https://uindy.hyrell.com/VirtualStepPositionDetails.aspx?TemplateId=257773

Questions may be directed to Dr. Jose Sanchez at sanchezjr@uindy.edu

 

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  1. CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Engineering Education CAREER Webinar

 

Julie Martin, the program director for Engineering Education in the EEC Division of NSF, will be hosting a webinar for prospective CAREER PIs on Monday, December 17 from 1-2pm Eastern. Participants are invited to send questions to Julie ahead of time to be answered during the webinar. Please log in a few minutes early to join the meeting. Meeting number (access code): 903 505 576. Meeting password: Career@2018. Join by phone by dialing 1-510-210-8882. The webinar will be recorded. Live captioning will be provided: click here for live captioning and enter event number 3795027.

 

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Holly M. Matusovich, PhD

Associate Professor

Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs

Engineering Education

Virginia Tech

355 Goodwin Hall

matushm at vt dot edu

Diverse researchers at your service!

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The campus of DIT Grangegoreman (soon to be TU Dublin) which is now under construction

I found myself surrounded today, by dozens of brilliant scholars. I’d been invited to speak at a workshop on Gender Equality held by the Irish Alumni Chapter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA). The half-day workshop was held in St. Laurence Church on the Grangegorman Campus of DIT.

Marie Curie fellows, past and present, traveled in from all over Ireland to attend the event. The Irish MSCA Alumni chapter is just two years old and it covers the whole of the island, welcoming researchers from north and south, east and west.

A lovely group of early-career researchers arrived in last night from Cork for the workshop, for instance. They came to Ireland from many different countries across Europe and beyond to work with the excellent researchers here.

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Dr. Chiara Loder, with Ireland’s MSCA office, helps researchers write winning proposals

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Dr. Geraldine Canny, the MSCA National Contact Point and Head of Ireland’s MSCA Office.

Dr. Amir Tabaković, a Strategic Research Proposal Coordinator housed in DIT’s Research Enterprise and Innovation Services office organized the event. Amir was formerly a Marie Curie Fellow to TU Delft in the Netherlands. Several other alumni assisted in organizing, including Dr. Declan Devine, the  Chair of Ireland’s MCA Alumni chapter who was a Marie Curie fellow–following his wife’s own MSCA fellowship. They have spent time doing research in Switzerland, the US, and now back home in Ireland.

The day’s line-up of speakers was both exceptionally accomplished and full of insight. We started with introductions by our hosts, Amir and Declan, and a talk by Dr. Geraldine Canny, who is Head of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office and National Contact Point – H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme. She is responsible for the delivery of the office suite of application supports and also provides input into MSCA policy as a Programme Committee member. The program continued as follows:

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Jean Cahill, one of my mentors and heroes

I’ve included photos of many presentations. During the coffee break and post-workshop lunch, we got to socialize and network. I asked Jean Cahill–a Head of Research at DIT and one of the people who has helped me with writing various grants in the past–how many Marie Curie Fellows we’ve had at DIT. She rattled off five, and I was two of them! I think, for institutional records, I’m counted as an incoming MSAC Fellow (2014-2016) and an outgoing MSCA Fellow (2018-2020). The reason I’d asked Jean about this was that I had just met DIT’s newest incoming MSCA fellow, and she’s female. Interestingly, all the five fellows to DIT who Jean identified are female. The program is open to men and women alike, so the success rate for women applying to DIT is very high! I’ve always found DIT to be a very supportive environment. In fact, Jean and others like former National Contact Point Dr. Jennifer Brennan, helped me draft both of MSCA applications–going well above and beyond their job requirements and providing loads of pertinent advice that was crucial to my success in securing funds. For both of my MSCA applications, Professor Nancy Stenson and Dr. Marek Rebow helped with editing as well.

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Chatting with Professor Brian Bowe in DIT’s Rathdowne House

For today, Amir had asked me to talk about my experiences as a Marie Curie fellow and identify some gender aspects of my research work. I encouraged the audience to push beyond gender and seek inclusivity for all types of diversity. I asked them to promote wider considerations of diversity in European funding calls and evaluations, as well as in their own research. I asked them to consider publishing gender-related aspects of their findings in journals that reach more than one type of specialty audience and I provided examples. Then I described one of the research projects I’ve done as an MSCA fellow and the data analysis I have underway now that I will report via the Society for Research in Higher Education.

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Dr. Shanonn Chance with DIT’s Dr. Barry McCauley, an expert in BIM and Quantity Surveying

At the conclusion of the workshop, I met up with my former Fulbright and MSCA supervisor, Professor Brian Bowe. Then I walked from DIT Grangegoreman to DIT Bolton Street by way of our new path–which connects the two sites and takes just seven minutes to walk. There at Bolton Street, I returned a library book (Marton and Booth, 1997) and had a chat with Dr. Barry McCauley, who was serving as my temporary replacement but has since been appointed to a permanent full-time position of his own at DIT. I couldn’t be more pleased, as Barry is an excellent teacher and researcher and is excelling even while adjusting to his new prosthetics. Barry was injured on a construction site when he was 21 and his legs were crushed, but he has not let this stop him. He went on to get his Ph.D. and he’s a force to be reckoned with! We are lucky to have him at DIT; I really enjoyed learning Navis Works and CostX from him in prior years and he has done some very important research on uptake and implementation of BIM (Building Informational Modelling) globally.

If you are a researcher reading this who is interested in applying for a fellowship to come do research in engineering education at either DIT (soon to be TU Dublin) or at my other institution which is UCL, or in BIM implementation here at DIT, please contact me and I’ll help you write a grant proposal (IrelandByChance at gmail dot com).

Learning London: A day of cream tea and BauBax testing

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Soho at Christmas–but it is lit this way year round!

Aongus and I aim to make the most of every free day we have in London. I’m back at Gatwick now, flying to a speaking engagement in Dublin, and reflecting on the past 24 hours.

After work yesterday (7PM Friday), we met in Covent Garden. First strolling aimlessly, for the purpose of exercise and air, we found ourselves in Soho when Aongus’ hunger pangs won out. We stopped in for Dim Sum at the Golden Phoenix restaurant on Gerrard Street, London W1D 6JE, in the heart of China Town.

Aiming to try new things as often as possible, we thus enjoyed our first dinner on Gerrard Street. The custard-filled buns at the Golden Phoenix were particularly delicious; we will skip ordering a saucy dish next time and stick to the dumplings!

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Cream tea for two at Harrod’s

Today (Saturday morning) we awoke for a trip to Kensington via the London underground. I’d booked cream tea for two at Harrod’s. The store and its surrounding streets had a festive holiday feel.

After tea, we browsed and even made a small purchase (but not Italian luxury furniture, unfortunately!).

In our photos of furniture-testing, you’ll see Aongus trying out his new BauBax 2.0 travel jacket. In a recent Kick Starter campaign, I had ordered us matching bomber jackets. Today we donned these early Christmas presents, and Aongus is delighted with his. I’m an architect and I am quite detail-oriented, so although I’m happy with several of the innovative features, I am not entirely satisfied with the overall product–at least not in the medium size for women.

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Harrods interior stair. The building is a-maze-ing.

It seems to me they tested the BauBax 2.0 design on the large size for men. Several of the features promised–most notably the interior iPad pocket–are too small in the version for ladies. My iPad is a few millimeters too long to fit, and they now say the ladies version will only fit an “iPad mini” which I have not found to be a useful tool. Nevertheless, there’s still a pocket for the iPad pencil. Not too useful if you can’t bring your iPad! It’s important to have pockets when Ryanair won’t allow baggage aboard without add-on fees. I like to travel with as few bags as possible!

So, while the garment does have several nice design features, the final product appears to have been rushed out of the factory. Many of the seams and details in mine are of poor quality. I’ll need to bring it to a tailor to remedy its shortfalls, and I’ll not buy clothing online again.

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Giving an Italian recliner and a BauBax 2.0 bomber jacket a test run

I guess it boils down to the fact that when it comes to buying cars, computers, and clothes, I’m not an Innovator according to Rodger’s Adoption model–those folks bought the BauBax 1.0 on Kickstarter. I’m also not completely comfortable as an Early Adopter, as I’ve ended up with second-iteration products that still needed some refinement–including this BauBax 2.0 and a 2004 Nissan 350Z.

I really loved my Z car but it, and its 2003 and 2004 siblings, came out of the factory without its tires balanced! They didn’t realize that tire-balancing issue until they’d rolled 14 months or so of these two-seat sports cars out of showrooms. Tires started failing at 16k miles and had to be replaced. So now I know definitively–I need to wait for v3.0. Just be an Early Innovator and enjoy the benefits of having a refined design rather than a cutting-edge showpiece.

I am, however, very happy with the smile on Aongus’ face and the fact that he says the shape of the jacket is flattering. Fortunately, with time and use, I’m beginning to identify which pockets can fit which items–which doesn’t exactly align with the BauBax info sheets that we studied meticulously–but I’m finding systems that work for me.

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Comptior on Exhibition Rd

So as you see from Aongus’ reclined testing position at Harrod’s furniture showrooms, we rested a bit on some cozy chairs, identifying ideal options for our future. After discussing chair designs with a furniture rep, we viewed some women’s fashions. We enjoy seeing the bizarre clothing designs on offer here and at Harvey Nichols, but we quickly had our fill and headed out and down to the street.

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Enjoying a chicken tagine

Following a zesty Lebanese tagine at Comptior on Exhibition Road–a cafe we had previously enjoyed with my cousin Kaitlin–we headed over to the Victoria and Albert Museum to absorb some art and history. We particularly enjoyed the stained glass and the new section for photography. You’ll see photos of the building and also from the Buddist, metalwork, and photography sections.

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Cameras on exhibit in the V&A’s new photography section

The sun had set and there wasn’t much time before my flight to Dublin, so we dashed to the South Kensington tube station and jumped onto a District line train.

We said a quick but heartfelt “goodbye and see you Friday” as I disembarked at Victoria Station and climbed the stairs to the National Rail station on the ground floor. Despite construction works around Gatwick that delayed the train 15 minutes, I arrived and cleared security with plenty of time for a browse at Dixon’s and a healthy salad from Pret before I hit the runway–putting my travel jacket to work.

Ciao, Britain. See your other side on Tuesday!

Perched atop UCL for an Away Day strategizing engineering education

Perched high above UCL, in the penthouse Marconi room, University College London’s engineering education experts assembled on November 29th at the uppermost point of the Bloomsbury campus to discuss progress and strategy for the future. I was delighted with the sweeping views toward East London, where I live, and my co-researcher Dr. Inês Direito and I selected seats where we could watch the color of the sky shift throughout the day.

UCL staff from the Institute of Education (IoE), Arena Centre for Research-Base Education, and Faculty of Engineering Sciences (Integrated Engineering Programme and the Centre for Engineering Education where I’m working) joined together for a half-day retreat. We started with a light lunch so that we could get re-acquainted and welcome a guest from McGill University in Canada. I myself am here for two years as a Marie Curie Research Fellow, on a career break from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

Our Centre for Engineering Education (CEE) has two directors. Professor David Guile is from the Institute of Education and Professor John Mitchell is from the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. John ran the meeting.

After introductions, we got updates on CEE activities as well as a synopsis of our core mission. Emanuela Tilley, Director of UCL’s Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) provide an update and John Mitchell described progress building the university’s new campus in Stratford, East London. The campus is called Here East and will eventually include space for our Centre.

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Emanuela Tilley providing updates on UCL’s award-winning IEP

We learned about the new Masters in Engineering and Education that CEE and IoE recently launched. There are six MSc students in the current, inagural cohort and its organizers anticipate bringing in 20 additional students next year. I’ll be delivering a session for this degree program in January, on learning theories. I’m hoping that DIT’s MSc in aBIMM (Masters in applied Building Information Modeling and Management technologies) can provide a helpful precedent for organizing the thesis portion of the program, as my colleagues Deborah Brennan and Dr. Avril Behan have already achieved creative solutions to address the types of challenges our UCL team faces, as identified by Jay Derrick and David Guile. I’ll work to connect these four people.

Near the end of the meeting, Inês and I provided updates on our current and planned research projects. I mentioned contributions we’ve made to the larger community of engineering education researchers, running multiple workshops at SEFI 2018, providing leadership on journals like IEEE Transactions on Education, and collaborating with the CREATE research group at DIT, my home institution. I wrapped up by identifying the research projects that we have in progress—two that use phenomenology as well as two phenomenographic studies and two systematic reviews. I should have mentioned the special focus issue I have underway on using design projects to promote student development, but I forgot!

Meeting my bosses at London DIT Alumni’s annual chapter gathering

Maintaining professional connections is important, and although I’m on a Marie Curie fellowship in London, I still meet frequently with leaders from my home institution, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Last night I met with Dr. Avril Behan (my direct line manager at DIT) in London, our recently-retired boss Professor Kevin Kelly, and DIT’s president Professor Brian Norton.

The London DIT Alumni chapter hosted a brilliant get-together, an annual event, at London’s Irish Center. This gave me a chance to meet DIT alumni working in London and also catch up with Avril, Kevin, Brian, and other DIT staff like Ciara Ahern.

I also had the pleasure of meeting anew many DIT graduates: MBA Tania Eyanga, Architecture Technologist John Heaney, daylighting designer Dr. Ruth Kelly Waskett, and engineers Paul Sheridan and Stephen Sunderland who work with WSP.

I’ve attached photos of the event as well as a few pics from Professor Kevin Kelly’s retirement party, held at DIT a couple of weeks ago.

At last night’s gathering, Professor Brian Norton provided updates on DIT’s new campus at Grangegoreman, and delivered the exciting news that a pedestrian route connecting Grangegoreman with DIT Bolton Street has just opened. The walk now takes just seven minutes and cuts through Kings Inn Law building, a truly stroll walk up Henrietta Street to Constitution Hill. Can’t wait to use this route! It will cut about 15 minutes off the current walking time between the two DIT sites.