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Engineering with Engineers: Fostering Engineering Identity

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37079

Download Count

100

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Paper Authors

biography

Yen-Lin Han Seattle University

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Yen-Lin Han is an Associate Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Seattle University. Dr. Han received her BS degree in Material Science and Engineering from National Tsing-Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, her PhD degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Her research interests include micro-scale molecular gas dynamics, micro fluidics, and heat transfer applications in MEMS and medical devices as well as autonomous vehicles and robotics. She is passionate about Engineering Education and experienced in developing inverted classroom lectures and facilitating students’ learning through authentic engineering problems. She is currently the Co- PI for the NSF Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments grant awarded to the Mechanical Engineering department at Seattle University to study how the department culture changes can foster students' engineering identity with the long-term goal of increasing the representation of women and minority in the field of engineering.

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Kathleen E. Cook Seattle University

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Kathleen Cook, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Seattle University. Dr. Cook received her doctorate in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Washington, with a minor in quantitative methods and emphases in cognitive and educational psychology. Her research has included classroom learning, identity, and person perception.

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Gregory Mason P.E. Seattle University

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Gregory S. Mason received the B.S.M.E. degree from Gonzaga University in 1983, the M.S.M.E. degree in manufacturing automation from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1984 and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering, specializing in multi-rate digital controls, from the University of Washington in 1992.
He worked in a robotics lab for the Department of Defense for five years after receiving his M.S.M.E. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Seattle University, Seattle, WA. His research interests are controls system and the use of technology to enhance engineering education.
Dr. Mason is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He is a licensed professional engineer.

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Teodora Rutar Shuman Seattle University

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Professor Teodora Rutar Shuman is the Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Seattle University and an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. She is the PI on a NSF-RED grant "Revolutionizing a Mechanical Engineering Department through Industry Immersion and a Focus on Identity". Her research also includes NOx formation in lean-premixed combustion and electro-mechanical systems for sustainable processing of microalgae. Her work is published in venues including the Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Education, Bioresource Technology, Chemical Engineering Journal, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, and Combustion and Flame. She is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Algae Biomass Organization. Dr. Shuman served as Chair for the ASEE Energy Conversion and Conservation Division.

She received a Dipl.Ing. degree in mechanical engineering from Belgrade University, and an M.S.M.E. and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

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Jennifer A. Turns University of Washington

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Jennifer Turns is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She is interested in all aspects of engineering education, including how to support engineering students in reflecting on experience, how to help engineering educators make effective teaching decisions, and the application of ideas from complexity science to the challenges of engineering education.

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Abstract

The Mechanical Engineering Department at a private, mid-sized university was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments (RED) grant in July 2017 to supports the development of a program that fosters students’ engineering identities in a culture of doing engineering with industry engineers. With a theme of strong connection to industry, through changes in four essential areas, a shared department vision, faculty, curriculum, and supportive policies, this culture of “engineering with engineers” is being cultivated.

Many actions have taken to develop this culture. This paper reports our continued efforts in changes of these four areas: Shared department vision: The department worked together to revise the department mission to reflect the goal of fostering engineering identity. From this shared vision, the department updated the advising procedure and began addressing the challenge of diversity and inclusion faced in engineering. A diversity and inclusion statement was discussed by all faculty and included in all syllabi offered by the department to emphasize the importance of an inclusive culture. Faculty: The pandemic prompted faculty to think differently on how they deliver their courses and interact with students. Many faculty members adapted inverted classroom pedagogy and implemented remote laboratories to continue the emphasis of “doing engineering”. The industry adviser holds weekly virtual office hours to continue to provide industry contacts for students. Although faculty summer immersion this past year was postponed due to pandemic, interactions with industry were continued in various courses. Curriculum: A new mechanical engineering curriculum rolled out in the 2019-20 academic year. Although changes have to be made due to the pandemic but the focus of “engineering with engineers” remained. An example would be the Vertical Integrated Design Projects (VIDP) courses offered in Spring 2020. Utilizing virtual communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, student teams in the VIDP courses could still interact with industry advisors on a regular basis and learned from their experiences. Supportive policies: The department has worked closely with other departments, the college and the university to develop supportive policies. Recently, the college recommended the diversity and inclusion statement developed by the department to all senior design courses offered in the college. The university was aware of the goal of this project in fostering students’ engineering identities, which in term can promote the retention of URMs. The department’s effort is aligned with the new initiative the university launched to build an inclusive environment.

More details of the action items in each area of change that the department has taken to build this culture of engineering with engineers will be shared in the full-length paper.

This project was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) IUSE/PFE: RED grant through NSF.

Han, Y., & Cook, K. E., & Mason, G., & Shuman, T. R., & Turns, J. A. (2021, July), Engineering with Engineers: Fostering Engineering Identity Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37079

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