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“Racing the Sun”: A Narrative Analysis of Engineering Graduate Students’ Journeys Navigating Public-Inspired Science Work

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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

Student Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Student

Page Count

20

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36535

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36535

Download Count

114

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Paper Authors

biography

Taylor Lightner Virginia Tech Department of Engineering Education

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Taylor Lightner is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she serves as a graduate research assistant. In addition, she is a student in the Disaster Resilience and Risk Management Program. Taylor received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University. Her research interests include broadening participation, interdisciplinary interactions, community engagement, and the societal impact of engineering infrastructure.

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Siddhartha Roy Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Siddhartha Roy is a PhD student in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on factors leading to failures in drinking water infrastructures; in particular, erosion corrosion of copper pipes in hot water systems. His advisor is Dr. Marc Edwards.

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Jeremi S. London Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Jeremi London is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. London is a mixed methods researcher with interests in research impact, cyberlearning, and instructional change in STEM Education. Prior to being a faculty member, London worked at the National Science Foundation, GE Healthcare, and Anheuser-Busch. She earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Marc Edwards Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Marc Edwards received his bachelor’s degree in Bio-Physics from SUNY Buffalo and an M.S./Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington. His M.S. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation won national awards from the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and the Water Environment Federation. In 2004, Time Magazine dubbed Dr. Edwards the "Plumbing Professor” and listed him among the four most important “innovators” in water from around the world. The White House awarded him a Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1996. In 1994, 1995, 2005 and 2011 Edwards received Outstanding Paper Awards in the Journal of American Waterworks Association and he received the H.P. Eddy Medal in 1990 for best research publication by the Water Pollution Control Federation (currently Water Environment Federation). He was later awarded the Walter Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2003, the State of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award in 2006, a MacArthur Fellowship from 2008 to 2012, the Praxis Award in Professional Ethics from Villanova University in 2010, and the IEEE Barus Award for Defending the Public Interest in 2012. His paper on lead poisoning of children in Washington D.C., due to elevated lead in drinking water, was judged the outstanding science paper in Environmental Science and Technology in 2010. Since 1995, undergraduate and graduate students advised by Dr. Edwards have won 23 nationally recognized awards for their research work on corrosion and water treatment. Dr. Edwards is currently the Charles Lunsford professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in environmental engineering ethics and applied aquatic chemistry.

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Abstract

There have been numerous debates about the role of science and engineering within society. These calls for engineers to engage with the public share a common theme: to help ‘communities in need’. In order to effectively respond to communities' current and future complex challenges, engineers need social and emotional analysis skills to make strategic decisions and design with empathy. Although there are few examples in existing scholarship to build upon, this paper presents public-inspired work as an opportunity for engineering to remain socially relevant. The purpose of this paper is to provide an in-depth analysis of four autobiographical narratives produced by engineering graduate students discussing their journeys navigating public-inspired engineering. This paper utilizes Cruz and Kellam’s narrative analysis approach of the hero’s journey to uncover patterns across the narratives. Results highlight the inspirations, challenges and future goals of individuals engaged in public-inspired engineering. This work will provide insights for other engineering students that wish to cater their work to the public and engineering faculty looking to provide these experiences for their students.

Lightner, T., & Roy, S., & London, J. S., & Edwards, M. (2021, July), “Racing the Sun”: A Narrative Analysis of Engineering Graduate Students’ Journeys Navigating Public-Inspired Science Work Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36535

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