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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. CONTEXT Engineering education is an interdisciplinary research field where scholars are commonly embedded within the context they study. Engineering Education Scholars (EES), individuals who define themselves by having expertise associated with both engineering education research and practice, inhabit an array of academic positions, depending on their priorities, interests, and desired impact. These positions include, but are not limited to, traditional tenure-track faculty positions, professional teaching or research positions, and positions within teaching and learning centers or other centers. EES also work in diverse institutional contexts, including engineering disciplinary departments, first-year programs, and engineering education departments, which further vary their roles.more »PURPOSE OR GOAL The purpose of this preliminary research study is to better understand the roles and responsibilities of early-career EES. This knowledge will enable PhD programs to better prepare engineering education graduates to more intentionally seek positions, which is especially important given the growing number of engineering education PhD programs. We address our purpose by exploring the following research question: How can we describe the diversity of academic or faculty roles early-career EES undertake? APPROACH OR METHODOLOGY/METHODS We implemented an explanatory sequential mixed-methods study starting with a survey (n=59) to better understand the strategic actions of United States-based early-career EES. We used a clustering technique to identify clusters of participants based on these actions (e.g., teaching focused priorities, research goals). We subsequently recruited 14 survey participants, representing each of the main clusters, to participate in semi-structured interviews. Through the interviews, we sought to gain a more nuanced understanding of each participant’s actions in the contexts of their roles and responsibilities. We analyzed each interview transcript to develop memos providing an overview of each early-career EES role description and then used a cross case analysis where the unit of analysis was a cluster. ACTUAL OUTCOMES Five main clusters were identified through our analysis, with three representing primarily research-focused day-to-day responsibilities and two representing primarily teaching-focused day-to-day responsibilities. The difference between the clusters was influenced by the institutional context and the areas in which EES selected to focus their roles and responsibilities. These results add to our understanding of how early-career EES enact their roles within different institutional contexts and positions. CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS/SUMMARY This work can be used by graduate programs around the world to better prepare their engineering education graduates for obtaining positions that align with their goals and interests. Further, we expect this work to provide insight to institutions so that they can provide the support and resources to enable EES to reach their desired impact within their positions.« less
  4. CONTEXT Engineering education is an interdisciplinary research field where scholars are commonly embedded within the context they study. Engineering Education Scholars (EES), individuals who define themselves by having expertise associated with both engineering education research and practice, inhabit an array of academic positions, depending on their priorities, interests, and desired impact. These positions include, but are not limited to, traditional tenure-track faculty positions, professional teaching or research positions, and positions within teaching and learning centers or other centers. EES also work in diverse institutional contexts, including engineering disciplinary departments, first-year programs, and engineering education departments, which further vary their roles.more »PURPOSE OR GOAL The purpose of this preliminary research study is to better understand the roles and responsibilities of early-career EES. This knowledge will enable PhD programs to better prepare engineering education graduates to more intentionally seek positions, which is especially important given the growing number of engineering education PhD programs. We address our purpose by exploring the following research question: How can we describe the diversity of academic or faculty roles early-career EES undertake? APPROACH OR METHODOLOGY/METHODS We implemented an explanatory sequential mixed-methods study starting with a survey (n=59) to better understand the strategic actions of United States-based early-career EES. We used a clustering technique to identify clusters of participants based on these actions (e.g., teaching focused priorities, research goals). We subsequently recruited 14 survey participants, representing each of the main clusters, to participate in semi-structured interviews. Through the interviews, we sought to gain a more nuanced understanding of each participant’s actions in the contexts of their roles and responsibilities. We analyzed each interview transcript to develop memos providing an overview of each early-career EES role description and then used a cross case analysis where the unit of analysis was a cluster. ACTUAL OUTCOMES Five main clusters were identified through our analysis, with three representing primarily research-focused day-to-day responsibilities and two representing primarily teaching-focused day-to-day responsibilities. The difference between the clusters was influenced by the institutional context and the areas in which EES selected to focus their roles and responsibilities. These results add to our understanding of how early-career EES enact their roles within different institutional contexts and positions. CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS/SUMMARY This work can be used by graduate programs around the world to better prepare their engineering education graduates for obtaining positions that align with their goals and interests. Further, we expect this work to provide insight to institutions so that they can provide the support and resources to enable EES to reach their desired impact within their positions.« less
  5. This paper provides an overview of the general process and types of informal reasoning that undergraduate chemical engineering students use when approaching hypothetical process safety decisions.
  6. Engineering solutions typically involve weighing multiple competing and often conflicting variables in an attempt to come to an optimal solution. Since many engineered systems are used by or impact employees, customers, and the public, the safety and well being of those people must factor heavily into engineers’ decision making processes. Indeed, in the professional codes of numerous engineering societies, the safety, health and welfare of the public is at or near the top of the list in important and fundamental tenets of the profession. Given the importance of process safety in engineering, the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE), themore »Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), and the engineering accrediting agency (ABET) have provided guidelines specifically for chemical engineering programs that require them to include explicit instruction in process safety and hazard identification. Since 2011, the accreditation criteria for chemical engineering programs has included language that addresses the study of process safety and hazards as a core element of a chemical engineer’s education.« less
  7. Alongside the continued evolution of the field of engineering education, the number of early career faculty members who identify as members of the discipline continues to increase. This growth has resulted in a new wave of roles, titles, and experiences for engineering education researchers, many of which have yet to be explored and understood. To address this gap, our research team is investigating the ways in which early career engineering education faculty are able to achieve impact in their current roles. Our aim is to provide insights on the ways in which these researchers can have new and evolving formsmore »of impact within the engineering education field. The work presented herein explores the transition experiences of our research team, consisting of six early-career faculty, and the ways in which we experience agency at the individual, institutional, and field and societal levels. Doing so is necessary to consider the diverse backgrounds, visions, goals, plans, and commitments of early career faculty members. Guided by two qualitative research methodologies: collaborative inquiry and collaborative autoethnography, we are able to explore our lived experiences and respective academic cultures through iterative cycles of reflection and action towards agency. The poster presented will provide an update on our NSF RFE work through Phase 1 of our two phase investigation. Thus far the investigation has involved analysis of our reflections from the first two years of our faculty roles to identify critical incidents within the early career transition and development of our identities as faculty members. Additionally, we have collected reflective data to understand each of our goals, relevant aspects of our identity and desired areas of impact. Analysis of the transition has resulted in new insights on the aspects of transition, focusing on types of impactful situations, and the supports and strategies that are utilized. Analysis has begun to explore the role of identity on each members desired areas of impact and their ability to have impact. Data will also be presented from a survey of near peers, providing insight into the ways in which each early career engineering education faculty believe they are able to and desire to have impact in their current position. The collective analysis around the transition into a faculty role, strategic actions of new faculty, desired impact areas, and faculty identity will play a role in the development of our conceptual model of early career faculty agency. Additionally, this analysis provides the groundwork for phase two of our study, where we will seek to place the experiences of our group within the context of the larger community of early career engineering education faculty.« less