Research Areas

The primary goals of our faculty's research are informed by the concepts of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) and Research to Practice. IDEA factors into all of our work, both as guiding principles and end goals. Conducting research with an aim of real-world implementation is at the core of our identity as a department.

As with any department, our research interests are colorful and widely varied; however, broadly speaking, they fall into three major categories.

light bulb with gear icon.

Learning Experiences

We investigate learning processes and student experiences, both in and outside of the classroom and in both formal and informal spaces. Examples of our research include: ways students learn in a variety of environments (e.g. makerspaces, co-curriculars, experiential learning), how students’ identities develop, and ways we can build a more inclusive culture and sense of belonging.

pencil and screen icon.

Pedagogical Innovations

We research engineering and computing pedagogy, knowing that our approaches to teaching must evolve as we come to better understand how our students learn and what their future paths might hold. Examples of our research include: how activities and curricula prepare students to be professional engineers or computing professionals, alternative ways to grade and assess, and student agency in first-year engineering classrooms.

building icon.

Systems and Institutions

We explore how larger systems and institutions influence the experiences of students, faculty, and the community. Examples of our research include: how to build connections between students and the community, the alignment between policy-implementation and actual experience of marginalized groups of students and faculty, and how engineering culture impacts mental health.