Free ticketed event
This workshop is for design educators at all levels who want to enhance their courses by drawing on the latest research about engineering work. The workshop leaders will share findings from their longitudinal study that followed approximately a hundred engineers from industry-oriented capstone design classes at four different universities through the first year of work. The data includes weekly survey data from these new engineers' first three months on the job, as well as interviews at three, six, and twelve months of work. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to read narratives, explore an interactive data dashboard, and learn about new engineers' workplace activities, challenges, and strategies for making a successful transition. The research team will share findings that focus on areas where the capstone course did and didn’t prepare these new engineers for work, highlight key transferable skills, identify areas for enhancement, and note potentially unbridgeable differences. Workshop participants will have opportunities to iteratively identify aspects of their own courses that map to the challenges and strategies seen in our study population and to identify areas for improving or enhancing their courses as they explore the data and results from this project. Participants will also received materials that can be adapted to their own design courses to help their own students better prepare for engineering practice.
Marie C. Paretti is a Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she co-directs the Virginia Tech Engineering Communications Center (VTECC). Her research focuses on communication in engineering design, interdisciplinary communication and collaboration, design education, and gender in engineering. She was awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to study expert teaching in capstone design courses, and is co-PI on numerous NSF grants exploring communication, design, and identity in engineering. Drawing on theories of situated learning and identity development, her work includes studies on the teaching and learning of communication, effective teaching practices in design education, the effects of differing design pedagogies on retention and motivation, the dynamics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in both academic and industry design environments, and gender and identity in engineering.
Daria A. Kotys-Schwartz is the Director of the Idea Forge, a flexible, cross-disciplinary design space at University of Colorado Boulder. She is also the Design Center Colorado Director of Undergraduate Programs and a Teaching Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She received B.S. and M.S degrees in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. Kotys-Schwartz has focused her research in engineering student learning, retention, and student identity development within the context of engineering design. She is currently investigating the impact of cultural norms in an engineering classroom context, performing comparative studies between engineering education and professional design practices, examining holistic approaches to student retention, and exploring informal learning in engineering education.
Julie Dyke Ford is Professor of Technical Communication (housed in the Mechanical Engineering department) at New Mexico Tech where she coordinates and teaches in the junior/senior design clinic as well as teaches graduate-level engineering communication courses. Her research involves engineering communication, technical communication pedagogy, and knowledge transfer. She has published and presented widely including work in the Journal of Engineering Education, the Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Technical Communication and Technical Communication Quarterly. Julie has a PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from New Mexico State University, an MA in English with Technical Writing Emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a BA in English from Elon University.
Susannah Howe is the Design Clinic Director in the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, where she coordinates and teaches the capstone engineering design course. Her current research focuses on innovations in engineering design education, particularly at the capstone level. She is invested in building the capstone design community; she is a leader in the biannual Capstone Design Conferences and the Capstone Design Hub initiative. She is also involved with efforts to foster design learning in middle school students and to support entrepreneurship at primarily undergraduate institutions. Her background is in civil engineering with a focus on structural materials. She holds a B.S.E. degree from Princeton, and M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell.
Robin Ott received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech in 1995 and has since gained 20 years industry experience including working as a design engineer for a Naval Sea Systems Command contractor and work an Application Engineer at Parametric Technology Corporation, the creators of 3D CAD software PRO-Engineer. In 1999 she joined Kollmorgen, where she held multiple roles of increasing responsibility during her nine years there. Most recently Robin worked as Senior Director of Project Management for a small bio-tech company. Since joining the faculty at her Alma Mater in 2015, Robin has been coordinating and teaching the Capstone Senior Design program in Mechanical Engineering while pursuing graduate work in Engineering Education.