Asee peer logo

‘Lion Leadership Lessons Video Series’ - Delivering Engineering Leadership Lessons to a Broad Audience

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Innovation in Engineering Leadership Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Dean H. Lang Pennsylvania State University, University Park

visit author page

Dr. Lang is currently the Associate Director of the Engineering Leadership Research Program at Penn State University. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University, an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Kinesiology with a focus on Biomechanics from Penn State University. Dr. Lang's previous professional experiences and research interests range from mechanical engineering facilities design to research that applied engineering and molecular biology approaches to the study of the skeletal response to mechanical loading. As a Mechanical Engineer, she worked on facility design projects involving mechanical systems that included heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and energy conservation systems, as well as R&D of air conditioning equipment for Navy ships. Additional research interests have included the investigation of relationships among components of the indoor environment, occupants, and energy usage. Specifically, the effects of the indoor environment on occupant health and well-being and in parallel, how socially-mediated energy-saving strategies can increase awareness of energy use and/or increase energy saving behaviors. Dr. Lang's current research interests focus on identifying, assessing, and developing key skills, knowledge, attitudes, and other intrinsic and extrinsic factors required for engineers to effectively lead others, particularly other engineers and across cultures.

visit author page


Andrew Michael Erdman The Pennsylvania State University

visit author page

Andrew M. "Mike" Erdman received his B.S. in Engineering Science from Penn State and his M.S. from USC. At Rocketdyne (Pratt & Whitney), he helped design the Space Shuttle. As manager of Reactor Safety Analysis, Experimental Engineering, and Fluid Dynamics Technology at KAPL (Lockheed Martin), he conducted research for Naval Reactors. He currently serves as the Walter L. Robb director of Engineering Leadership and as an instructor in Engineering Science at Penn State.
Erdman has chaired the local Jaycees, Department of Social Services Advisory Council, GE Share Board, and Curling Club; and served on the Human Services Planning Council, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, and Capital Fund Drive Boards of Directors. Erdman has also lectured on leadership topics at Penn State and RPI. He has served on the Penn State College of Engineering Advisory Council, helped establish an Alumni Advisory Board, and currently serves as the President of the College of Engineering Alumni Society. Affiliations include the Penn State Alumni Association, Centre County Chapter Board of Directors, President’s Club, Nittany Lion Club, ASEE, ASME, AIAA, AKC, GRCA. He has been honored with a LMC/KAPL Leadership Award, GE Phillippe Award, PSEAS Outstanding service award, Jaycee International Senatorship, and an ESM Centennial Fellowship.

visit author page


Meg Handley Pennsylvania State University, University Park

visit author page

Meg Handley is currently the Associate Director for Engineering Leadership Outreach at Penn State University. Previously, Meg served as the Director of the Career & Corporate Connection's office at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. Meg is a PhD candidate in Workforce Education at Penn State, where she is focusing on interpersonal behaviors and their impact on engineering leadership potential.

Meg is a board certified coach with experience in developing students' leadership and professional competencies through teaching and one-on-one coaching. She is most interested in developing student knowledge of leadership to impact their successful transition to the workplace.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Leadership skills are in ever-growing demand among companies who recruit engineering graduates. This need has been recognized in numerous studies and addressed in engineering accreditation standards. Many universities struggle to find space in a curriculum under constant pressure to cover broadening technical fields. Often these leadership courses are offered as options on top of existing requirements, resulting in students taking additional credits, at significant cost to them.

The Engineering Leadership Development (ELD) Program at Penn State University has offered an 18 credit minor in Engineering Leadership Development for over 20 years, with over 600 graduates. While approximately two times that many students have benefitted by taking courses in engineering leadership during that period, it still represents a fraction of the more than 20,000 who have graduated from the College of Engineering in the same time span. Further, anecdotal evidence has shown that, while many courses provide opportunities for students to work on or lead teams, without guidance on leadership skill development, they often struggle and do not reach their potential as leaders.

To extend the reach of engineering leadership skill development, Penn State’s ELD program has developed a video series to be used in first year seminars to deliver leadership lessons to all freshmen engineering students. These video vignettes are meant to provide some basic leadership insights that students can use in their course work, on teams, in extra-curricular activities, personal interactions and management, and can carry through to their work after graduation. They are based on research into personal and team performance, and build upon the fundamental concepts of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, courage and accepting responsibility in all interpersonal interactions.

The situations and roles were written with the help of and played by students and are intended to be both informative and entertaining. Each video depicts a situation that students are very likely to encounter, and includes a typical response, as well as a more productive approach. At the end of each video, we summarize key points to remember when students encounter similar situations as well as suggested follow-up activities that students could do independently or instructors could incorporate within their classroom instruction.

The videos were piloted for the first time during the Fall 2015 semester with a limited number of users, and brought into wider use in the Spring 2016, both by encouraging wider-spread use within Penn State but also by offering the site to other university engineering leadership. At the end of the spring semester we will seek feedback from instructors as well as students. Students will be asked to provide feedback to assess how effective the videos were at developing an awareness and understanding of effective personal and team performance approaches when faced with situations that provide an opportunity to demonstrate engineering leadership competencies. Results from the feedback will be factored into revisions to the films, and included in a subsequent study.

Lang, D. H., & Erdman, A. M., & Handley, M. (2016, June), ‘Lion Leadership Lessons Video Series’ - Delivering Engineering Leadership Lessons to a Broad Audience Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26224

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: © 2016 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