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  1. Improving undergraduate STEM teaching for diverse students is dependent to some extent on increasing the representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and women in the ranks of faculty in engineering departments. However, new faculty members, whether they had postdoctoral training or not, report that they were not adequately prepared for academia. To address this need, a professional development program was developed for underrepresented doctoral and postdoctoral students, which focused on various strategies to be successful in teaching, research and service aspects of academic positions. The program included an intensive two-week summer session, with follow-up mentoring during the academic year, and was conducted from 2017 to 2020 with three cohorts of fellows recruited from across the country. To evaluate the impact of the program on the participants’ perceptions of their preparation for academic careers, a follow up survey was sent in May 2021 to the three former cohorts of participants (n=61), and responses were received from 37 of them. The survey asked participants to reflect on areas that they felt most prepared for in their academic positions, and areas that they felt least prepared for. The survey also asked participants to discuss additional supports they would have likedmore »to have been provided with to better prepare them given their current positions (academic, industry, etc.). Results from the survey indicated that 92% of participants found the professional development program prepared them for the responsibilities and expectations to succeed in academic positions. Over 90% agreed that the program prepared them for the application process for a tenure track search, and 89% agreed the program prepared them for the primary components of the startup package. In addition, participants reported that the program increased their preparation in developing teaching philosophy (100%), developing learning outcomes (97%), and using active learning strategies during teaching (91%). The majority agreed that the program helped prepare them to teach students with various cultural backgrounds, and to develop and use assessment strategies. Participants were also asked to discuss the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on their career trajectory, and most of them reported being somewhat impacted (65%) to extremely impacted (29%). Participants reported few or no job openings, cancelations of interviews, delays in research which impacted the rate of completing degrees, and publications, which affected the participants’ application competitiveness. Furthermore, working from home and balancing family and academic responsibilities affected their productivity. Based on the survey results, funds were secured to provide an additional day of professional training to cover any items not addressed during summer training, as well as any issues, challenges, or concerns they might have encountered while fulfilling their academic position. Thirty-three ACADEME fellows have indicated that they will participate in the new professional development, held in May 2022. Results from this analysis, and preliminary topics and outcomes of the supplemental activities are discussed. The findings contribute to the literature by increasing knowledge of specific challenges that new faculty encounter and can inform future efforts to support minorities and women in engineering doctoral programs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Improving undergraduate STEM teaching for diverse students is dependent to some extent on increasing the representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and women in the ranks of faculty in engineering departments. However, new faculty members, whether they had postdoctoral training or not, report that they were not adequately prepared for academia. To address this need, a professional development program was developed for underrepresented doctoral and postdoctoral students, which focused on various strategies to be successful in teaching, research and service aspects of academic positions. The program included an intensive two-week summer session, with follow-up mentoring during the academic year, and was conducted from 2017 to 2020 with three cohorts of fellows recruited from across the country. To evaluate the impact of the program on the participants’ perceptions of their preparation for academic careers, a follow up survey was sent in May 2021 to the three former cohorts of participants (n=61), and responses were received from 37 of them. The survey asked participants to reflect on areas that they felt most prepared for in their academic positions, and areas that they felt least prepared for. The survey also asked participants to discuss additional supports they would have likedmore »to have been provided with to better prepare them given their current positions (academic, industry, etc.). Results from the survey indicated that 92% of participants found the professional development program prepared them for the responsibilities and expectations to succeed in academic positions. Over 90% agreed that the program prepared them for the application process for a tenure track search, and 89% agreed the program prepared them for the primary components of the startup package. In addition, participants reported that the program increased their preparation in developing teaching philosophy (100%), developing learning outcomes (97%), and using active learning strategies during teaching (91%). The majority agreed that the program helped prepare them to teach students with various cultural backgrounds, and to develop and use assessment strategies. Participants were also asked to discuss the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on their career trajectory, and most of them reported being somewhat impacted (65%) to extremely impacted (29%). Participants reported few or no job openings, cancelations of interviews, delays in research which impacted the rate of completing degrees, and publications, which affected the participants’ application competitiveness. Furthermore, working from home and balancing family and academic responsibilities affected their productivity. Based on the survey results, funds were secured to provide an additional day of professional training to cover any items not addressed during summer training, as well as any issues, challenges, or concerns they might have encountered while fulfilling their academic position. Thirty-three ACADEME fellows have indicated that they will participate in the new professional development, held in May 2022. Results from this analysis, and preliminary topics and outcomes of the supplemental activities are discussed. The findings contribute to the literature by increasing knowledge of specific challenges that new faculty encounter and can inform future efforts to support minorities and women in engineering doctoral programs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Precipitation strengthening of alloys by the formation of secondary particles (precipitates) in the matrix is one of the techniques used for increasing the mechanical strength of metals. Understanding the precipitation kinetics such as nucleation, growth, and coarsening of these precipitates is critical for evaluating their hardening effects and improving the yield strength of the alloy during heat treatment. To optimize the heat treatment strategy and accelerate alloy design, predicting precipitate hardening effects via numerical methods is a promising complement to trial-and-error-based experiments and the physics-based phase-field method stands out with the significant potential to accurately predict the precipitate morphology and kinetics. In this study, we present a phase-field model that captures the nucleation, growth, and coarsening kinetics of precipitates during isothermal heat treatment conditions. Thermodynamic data, diffusion coefficients, and misfit strain data from experimental or lower length-scale calculations are used as input parameters for the phase-field model. Classical nucleation theory is implemented to capture the nucleation kinetics. As a case study, we apply the model to investigate γ″ precipitation kinetics in Inconel 625. The simulated mean particle length, aspect ratio, and volume fraction evolution are in agreement with experimental data for simulations at 600 °C and 650 °C duringmore »isothermal heat treatment. Utilizing the meso-scale results from the phase-field simulations as input parameters to a macro-scale coherency strengthening model, the evolution of the yield strength during heat treatment was predicted. In a broader context, we believe the current study can provide practical guidance for applying the phase-field approach as a link in the multiscale modeling of material properties.

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