Asee peer logo

Connecting Research to the Broader Community: Developing and Implementing a Graduate Course Across an Engineering Research Center’s Partner Universities

Download Paper |


2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jean Larson Arizona State University

visit author page

Jean S. Larson, Ph.D., is the Educational Director for the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), and Associate Research Professor in both the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Technology, postgraduate training in Computer Systems Engineering, and many years of experience teaching and developing curriculum in various learning environments. She has taught technology integration and teacher training to undergraduate and graduate students at Arizona State University, students at the K-12 level locally and abroad, and various workshops and modules in business and industry. Dr. Larson is experienced in the application of instructional design, delivery, evaluation, and specializes in eLearning technologies for training and development. Her research focuses on the efficient and effective transfer of knowledge and learning techniques, innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration, and strengthening the bridge between K-12 learning and higher education in terms of engineering content.

visit author page

author page

Claudia Zapata Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics


Edward Kavazanjian Arizona State University

visit author page

Dr. Edward Kavazanjian, Jr. is Director of the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) at Arizona State University, a National Science Foundation Gen-3 Engineering Research Center. He is a Regents' Professor and the Ira A. Fulton Professor of Geotechnical Engineering. He joined ASU in 2004 after 20 years in engineering practice. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013 and became a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2018. He is recipient of the 2009 Ralph B. Peck Award, 2010 Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award, and the 2011 Terzaghi Award from ASCE and was ASCE’s 2022 Terzaghi Lecturer.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), a National Science Foundation (NSF) third generation (Gen-3) Engineering Research Center (ERC), developed, implemented, and evaluated across its four partner universities and a fifth invited university a one-credit graduate-level course on connecting research to the broader community. The curriculum developed for this course is aimed at educating graduate and senior-year undergraduate students on the skills necessary to connect their research to broader technical and non-technical issues within the engineering profession and the global community. Content is aligned with the Center’s and the NSF ERC program’s shared goal of educating students in five areas: Entrepreneurship, Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment, Leadership, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Professional Development.

The five-week, one-credit course was developed through collaboration among faculty at each of the partner universities. The course included both synchronous and asynchronous components delivered through video conferencing and a common learning management system to students from the four partner institutions, Arizona State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California – Davis, and New Mexico State University, and from a fifth invited participating university, the University of Washington. The course was initially launched during the 2020 Fall semester with 30 students. To measure the Center’s strategic goal of developing students with the desired skills and preparing them to be successful in industry and academia upon graduation, the mastery of the curriculum by the students was evaluated by the CBBG’s external evaluation team through a web-based survey. Findings from this survey, along with modifications and adjustments that were incorporated into the curriculum when the course was offered again in Fall 2021, are discussed herein.

Larson, J., & Zapata, C., & Kavazanjian, E. (2022, August), Connecting Research to the Broader Community: Developing and Implementing a Graduate Course Across an Engineering Research Center’s Partner Universities Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015