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Engineering Education

Engineering Education research at Oregon State University focuses on understanding and improving student learning in engineering and better aligning engineering education with engineering practice.

Over the past several years, EngrEd faculty and graduate students have lead or participated in research identifying and addressing civil engineering student misconceptions, eye-tracking to understand critical aspects of engineering problems, comparison of experts and novices, social capital, and studies of engineering practice sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), and the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) and the Washington Department of Transportation (WDOT). Graduates of the program are prepared to be leaders in the industry and have gone on to excel in positions in academia, government, and industry.

Dr. Shane Brown: (group coordinator): Research interests include conceptual change and misconceptions; theories of situated cognition and studies of practicing engineers; comparisons between civil engineering students, faculty and practitioners; social capital and the role of student social networks in academic success, and how and why faculty change their teaching practices.

Dr. Dan Cox: Education interests include opportunities for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), particularly for students underrepresented in STEM fields.  He also works with science centers on informal science education (free choice learning) for engineering and technology.

Dr. Matt Evans: Education interests include bringing sensors and real-time, local data into the classroom with the goal of giving students the opportunity to interact with familiar data in a new way using technologies to which they will also be exposed in practice. He is an advocate for algorithmic thinking and teaching computational skills in the classroom.

Dr. David Hurwitz: Research interests are concentrated in the transportation engineering domain and include the research based development of conceptual exercises and learning activities, the connection between visual attention and cognition in engineering problem solving, and faculty development.

Dr. Judy Liu: Education interests are in structural engineering: incorporating different pedagogies of student engagement, and educating other instructors on teaching aids to improve visualization of behavior of steel building systems and components. Research interests include development of 3D visualization and communication exercises to improve both depth and breadth of knowledge (T-shaped skills) of future structural engineers.

Dr. Tom Miller: Particular interests are in the area of structural engineering, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has collaborated on engineering education related research work and curriculum development.

Graduate Student Spotlights: Coming Soon

Examples of Oregon State CCE Research Papers, Presentations, and Projects

S. Brown, Street, D., and Martin, J. P., “Engineering Student Social Capital in an Interactive Learning Environment.”, International Journal of Engineering Education , vol. 30, no. 4, 2014.

D. S. Hurwitz, Brown, S., Islam, M., Daratha, K., and Kyte, M., “Traffic Signal System Misconceptions Across Three Cohorts”, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, vol. 2414, pp. 52 - 62, 2014.

D. Montfort, Herman, G., Brown, S., Matusovich, H., Streveler, R., and Adesope, O.,“Trans-Disciplinary Patterns in Student Conceptual Understanding in Engineering.”, International Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 31, pp. 1-18, 2015.

After the Oregon State CCE Graduate Progam

Following their time at Oregon State, our students are often recruited by leaders in academia, government, and industry in order to make a positive impact around the globe. Here are a couple of our most recent graduates and their current positions:

  • Floraliza Bornasal, Assistant Professor, St. Martin’s University, Olympia, WA (PhD, 2015).
  • Devlin Montfort, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University (PhD, 2011).