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Icarus: The Development of a Voluntary Research Program to Increase Engineering Students’ Engagement

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Study and Research Abroad

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Homero Murzi Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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Homero Murzi is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering (BS, MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and in Engineering Education (PhD). His research focuses on contemporary and inclusive pedagogical practices, environmental, ethics and humanitarian engineering, and non-traditional knowledge transfer. Homero has been recognized as a Fulbright scholar and was inducted in the Bouchet Honor Society.

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Australian universities face a problem of engagement and sense of belonging of students, particularly in schools of engineering. The Icarus program was created to find ways to address problems of motivation, sense of belonging, and engagement, through a co-curricular experience. The purpose of this study is to present preliminary information about the implementation of Icarus, as an engineering education experiment. The program’s goal was to provide students with a different space to develop the competencies and skills desired while simultaneously they form their identity as engineers, hence, students conducted research voluntarily with the supervision of academic mentors. Data were collected with participants of the program. Results showed that the main motivation to join the Icarus program was to apply theory from class into engineering real world issues, and to work and engage with peers. Icarus students have higher levels of perceptions on how well they will do in their engineering courses, and higher levels of deep learning. The program resulted to be an interested intervention to increase engagement and sense of belonging and students were committed to the program in the long term despite that they did not receive any credit for the voluntary research.

Murzi, H. (2018, June), Icarus: The Development of a Voluntary Research Program to Increase Engineering Students’ Engagement Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29637

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