Faculty lead academic change in engineering foundation

Jul 9, 2009 | General News

Three Louisiana Tech engineering faculty, Dean Stan Napper, Dr. David Hall and Dr. Heath Tims, were among only 40 faculty nationwide invited to participate in a workshop on “Developing Engineering Faculty as Leaders of Academic Change,” sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering in Chicago, Ill., June 25-26, 2009.

Other invited participants included engineering faculty from universities such as MIT, Georgia Tech, Texas A & M University and Virginia Tech.

During the workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation, participants provided their views on key knowledge, skills and abilities needed to lead engineering education initiatives which change the way engineers are trained and address the new challenges in engineering education in the 21st century, as well as how to most effectively and efficiently transmit these changes to large numbers of engineering faculty.

Hall and Tims received a small grant to engage at least 10 faculty at Louisiana Tech in follow-up activities after the workshop.

The Tech faculty members were invited to the workshop because of their record of funding for and active participation in the implementation and institutionalization of innovative engineering education initiatives in Tech’s College of Engineering and Science.

Napper was one of the faculty who designed and piloted Tech’s first integrated engineering curriculum in the 1990s and has continued to be a strong supporter of Tech’s innovative curricula in engineering and science. Hall and Tims have served as leaders in a variety of innovative educational initiatives, most recently Tech’s NSF-funded Living with the Lab, a first-year engineering, project-centered learning curriculum, and NASA Threads, a project-centered high school pre-engineering program, respectively.

The NAE is a private, independent, nonprofit institution with more than 2,000 peer-elected senior professionals in business, academia and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers. In addition to its role as adviser to the federal government, the NAE also provide the leadership and expertise for numerous projects focused on the relationships between engineering, technology and the quality of life. Louisiana Tech is one of only 12 universities nationwide affiliated with CASEE.

Written by Catherine Fraser