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Work In Progress: Experts’ Perceptions of Engineering Intuition

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Postgraduate Pathways and Experiences

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Elif Miskioğlu Bucknell University

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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.

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Kaela M. Martin Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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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.

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Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering 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 is currently the chair of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) and an associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Educaiton (JEE). Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

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This work in progress paper describes preliminary findings from interviews intending to develop a definition of and method for measuring “engineering intuition.” Engineers are asked regularly in their profession to judge situations and predict or estimate results in order to minimize the potential for error. The need for this ability has been amplified with the pervasiveness of computer-aided problem solving in engineering. It is now mandatory for practicing engineers to quickly and accurately evaluate software results as part of the problem-solving process. We hypothesize that the ability to undertake such actions is heavily influenced by discipline-specific intuition, which has been previously explored in the disciplines of nursing and business management. The following study presents preliminary results attempting to define the construct of “engineering intuition.” Semi-structured interviews with practicing nurses, business managers, and engineers were conducted using: 1) implicit discussion around intuition informed by literature, and 2) critical incident technique, i.e., explicit discussion around the concept of intuition. Each interview sought to identify practitioner decision-making and problem-solving processes on the job. The combined dataset and supporting literature are planned to be used as the basis of our future work, which ultimately aims to develop a psychometrically tested instrument capable of accurately measuring engineering intuition. Dissemination of these preliminary results are intended to elicit feedback on our methodologies and findings before moving to the second phase of our research study.

Miskioğlu , E., & Martin, K. M., & Carberry, A. R. (2020, June), Work In Progress: Experts’ Perceptions of Engineering Intuition Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35633

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