MSE’s Kessler selected to participate in NAE symposium

Michael Kessler, associate professor of materials science and engineering, is one of 53 of the nation’s most innovative young engineering educators selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s second Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium.

Early-career faculty members who are developing and implementing innovative educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines will come together for the 2-1/2 day event, where they can share ideas, learn from research and best practice in education, and leave with a charter to bring about improvement in their home institution. The attendees were nominated by fellow engineers or deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

Kessler’s innovation, titled “Enhancing student motivation by publishing student writing into a class textbook,” is a tool that he has used in a graduate-level composite materials course. Each student wrote an overview paper in the form of a book chapter, and the chapters were then compiled into a textbook that was published and distributed globally through online bookstores.

“The Frontiers of Engineering Education program creates a unique venue for engineering faculty members to share and explore interesting and effective innovations in teaching and learning,” said NAE President Charles M. Vest. “We intend for FOEE to become a major force in identifying, recognizing, and promulgating advances and innovations in order to build a strong intellectual infrastructure and commitment to 21st-century engineering education.”

This year’s program will focus on ways to ensure that students learn the engineering fundamentals, the expanding knowledge base of new technology, and the skills necessary to be an effective engineer or engineering researcher. “In our increasingly global and competitive world, the United States needs to marshal its resources to address the strategic shortfall of engineering leaders in the next decades,” said Edward F. Crawley, Ford Professor of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the chair of the FOEE planning committee. “By holding this event, we have recognized some of the finest young engineering educators in the nation, and will better equip them to transform the educational process at their universities.”

The symposium will be held Dec. 13-16 in Irvine, California.