Asee peer logo

Practicing Engineers’ Definition of Their Expertise: Emergent Themes and Frequency by Gender Identity and Role Change into Management

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Preparing Engineering Students for Their Professional Practice

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Caroline Bolton Bucknell University


Elif Miskioğlu Bucknell University

visit author page

Dr. Elif Miskioğlu is an early-career engineering education scholar and educator. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with Genetics minor) from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University. Her early Ph.D. work focused on the development of bacterial biosensors capable of screening pesticides for specifically targeting the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. As a result, her diverse background also includes experience in infectious disease and epidemiology, providing crucial exposure to the broader context of engineering problems and their subsequent solutions. These diverse experiences and a growing passion for improving engineering education prompted Dr. Miskioğlu to change her career path and become a scholar of engineering education. As an educator, she is committed to challenging her students to uncover new perspectives and dig deeper into the context of the societal problems engineering is intended to solve. As a scholar, she seeks to not only contribute original theoretical research to the field, but work to bridge the theory-to-practice gap in engineering education by serving as an ambassador for empirically driven, and often novel, educational practices.

visit author page


Kaela M. Martin Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

visit author page

Kaela Martin is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus. She graduated from Purdue University with a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and is interested in increasing classroom engagement and student learning.

visit author page

author page

Caitlyn Aaron


Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. His research investigates the development of new classroom innovations, assessment techniques, and identifying new ways to empirically understand how engineering students and educators learn. He currently serves as the Graduate Program Chair for the Engineering Education Systems and Design Ph.D. program. He is also the immediate past chair of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) and an associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Practicing Engineers’ Definition of Their Expertise: Emergent Themes and Frequency by Gender Identity and Role Change

This full paper seeks to characterize how gender and career-related identity may affect a practicing engineer’s description of their expertise. This work is situated within a larger effort to disentangle the construct of intuition from expertise in engineering. Our findings will inform further data collection and analysis by shedding light on gender and career-related identity as potential confounding variables.

Numerous models of expertise development note intuition as important or essential, yet intuition as a construct has yet to be defined, particularly within an engineering context. From literature on expertise development and cognition, we have synthesized a proposed definition of engineering intuition as the ability to assess solutions and predict outcomes in a timely manner. Our larger study is focused on developing an emergent characterization of engineering intuition informed by perceptions of practicing engineers, allowing us to disentangle intuition from expertise and identify its characteristics and co-dependent constructs.

We also seek to characterize salient differences between demographic groups, and in the work presented here we focus on gender and whether the individual has had a significant role change in their career to date. We define a significant role change specifically as the transition from a technical role to a managerial role.

Bolton, C., & Miskioğlu, E., & Martin, K. M., & Aaron, C., & Carberry, A. R. (2021, July), Practicing Engineers’ Definition of Their Expertise: Emergent Themes and Frequency by Gender Identity and Role Change into Management Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37591

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: © 2021 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