About the Pioneers Project

The Engineering Education Pioneers project seeks to shed light on past change efforts in engineering education in order to facilitate continuing transformation in the field. One primary project activity was to interview “pioneers” or successful leaders and change agents in engineering education, with emphasis on the earlier generations of pioneers. A group of graduate students interested in engineering education conducted the interviews and authored the pioneer profiles published on this site.

What is on this web site?

The main content is profiles of engineering education pioneers, currently indexed by last name. (See below for information about how these individuals were selected.) Each profile is based on an interview, and although written in first person, each profile was authored by the interviewer, staying close to the words and voice of the interviewed pioneer.

Profiles will be published on this site as their production is completed during 2017. Profile editing and production is being done by project staff members Cheryl Allendoerfer and Ken Yasuhara.

The suggested address for this web site is http://bit.ly/engredupioneers.

How did you define “pioneer”?

Engineering education pioneers are defined as those who…

  • are/were active (through research, teaching practice, and/or service*) in the area of engineering education; and
  • are recognized by members of the engineering education community as significant contributors to or shapers of the field of engineering education.

*Service is interpreted broadly to include professional society work, journal/book editorships, center/program leadership, conference leadership, etc.

How did you select these pioneers?

We sought nominations from multiple communities related to engineering education:

  • American Society for Engineering Education’s Educational Research and Methods Division (ASEE ERM), ASEE’s Minorities in Engineering Division (MIND), ASEE’s Women in Engineering Division (WIED), Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), National Action Council for Minorities in Enginereing (NACME), National Academy of Engineering’s Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (NAE-CASEE), National Science Foundation
  • editors of engineering education journals
  • chairs of engineering education departments/schools
  • engineering education e-mail lists

Ninety-three people were nominated by more than 30 individuals. From this pool, the project team and advisory board selected pioneers for interviews, through a process involving multiple criteria, including number of nominations, diversity, year of entry into engineering education, engineering education-related awards, and contributions to the field. Ultimately, 47 people were interviewed, with an emphasis on pioneers who were near retirement or had already retired. We acknowledge that this is just a sample of the many people who substantially contributed to engineering education and hope that this work can be expanded to include more of them.

Why didn’t you interview more pioneers?

Resources limited the number of pioneers who could be interviewed and profiled. Further, not all invited pioneers were interested or able to participate. We acknowledge that this is just a sample of the many people who substantially contributed to engineering education and hope that this work can be expanded to include more of them.

Who funded this project?

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1263512 and by the Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT) at the University of Washington. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

How can I extend/replicate this work?

While we cannot provide funding and personnel to extend this effort, we are happy to share the materials we produced and used in this project, including an interview protocol and guidelines. These materials will be published  on this web site after profile publication is complete. Feel free to contact us, if you need them sooner.

How might I use the pioneers profiles for engineering education professional development?

We offer two example usages as sources of inspiration:

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact the project co-PIs: Cindy Atman <atman@uw.edu>, Jennifer Turns <jturns@uw.edu>, and Ken Yasuhara <yasuhara@uw.edu>.