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First to Second Year Identity Emergence in Industrial and Chemical Engineering Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Wednesday Cornucopia (Educational Research)

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Jacqueline C. McNeil University of Louisville Orcid 16x16

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Dr. McNeil is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at University of Louisville. Research interests include diversity in engineering, persistence, retention, co-op experiences, and longitudinal data. Contact email:

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Erin Lynn Gerber University of Louisville

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Erin L. Gerber, Ph.D., P.E. is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Louisville. Her previous research covers the areas of resource allocation, workforce planning, and logistics and distribution. She was awarded a B.S., M.Eng, and Ph.D. all in Industrial Engineering, from the University of Louisville, J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

Her doctoral work focused on the development of the LoDI Index, which is released by the Logistics and Distribution Institute at the University of Louisville every month. The index is also featured in the FRED report and is utilized by various national corporations each month. Dr. Gerber is a member of Golden Key International Honours Society, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the UofL student chapter of IISE.

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Gerold Willing University of Louisville

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Gerold (Jerry) A. Willing is an Associate Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Louisville. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. Dr. Willing’s expertise lies in the development of complex fluid systems for practical applications and characterization of their properties and stability. He has additional interests in water utility infrastructure materials and their impact on water quality, electroactive hydrogels, soft-lithography techniques, Peer-Led-Team-Learning, and development of a students engineering identity.

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Mary Elizabeth Mills University of Louisville

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This research paper explores two aspects of engineering identity formation. First, the formation of engineering identity within the engineering student’s First-year is examined. Second, this paper discusses the changes from First-Year to sophomore year for chemical engineering and industrial engineering students. This work is significant as the development of an engineering identity has been positively linked to persistence in engineering. Uncovering the traits and experiences that lead to the development of a stronger engineering identity could aid in the creation of new strategies in the education and retention of engineering students that are specifically targeted to each of the individual disciplines. Researchers collected data at a large, public research institution in the southeastern United States, using a modified version of the SaGE survey. Adjustments were made to the SaGE survey to allow for the collection of additional information on underlying identities (namely math, chemistry, and biology) in addition to Physics. The same survey format was utilized with the addition of these content areas. The data was collected within a required First-Year introductory to engineering course in fall 2017 and sophomore level courses for chemical engineers in summer 2018 and for industrial engineers in fall 2018. All possible two-way comparisons between the three student groups are evaluated and discussed within this paper. This study adds to the broader research of engineering identity by focusing on two particular engineering disciplines, chemical and industrial and (2) allowing for investigation of additional STEM disciplines as components/predictors of the development of engineering identity. Information gleaned from this work will help formulate future research in the assessment of the development of engineering identity (1) within specific engineering disciplines, and (2) over time throughout collegiate study. If commonalities can be found in past experiences, influencers, etc for students with strong engineering identities, it may become possible to tailor information sessions and activities for middle and high school students, to assist in the development and/or realization of stronger engineering identities.

McNeil, J. C., & Gerber, E. L., & Willing, G., & Mills, M. E. (2019, June), First to Second Year Identity Emergence in Industrial and Chemical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32843

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