EESD 2015 and ASEE 2015

This June I presented at two conferences: The Seventh International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) and the 122nd ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition.

EESD15 took place in Vancouver, Canada, which marks the first time that the conference was held in North America. The four day conference featured workshops, sessions and keynote addressing on various themes related to sustainable development and engineering education, with an overarching theme of developing a “T-shaped” engineer. On Tuesday, I presented a paper with co-authors Mallory Squier and Dr. Cliff Davidson, entitled “Development of a Case-Based Teaching Module to Improve Student Understanding of Stakeholder Engagement Processes within Engineering Systems Design.

From Dr. Cynthia Atman’s keynote talk

One of the highlights of the conference was Dr. Cynthia Atman’s keynote talk on design thinking in engineering. It was wonderful to see engineers’ design processes in creative visual and auditory representations.


Indigenous homes and totem poles

One of the most interesting aspects of the program was the number of opportunities we had to learn about the indigenous peoples of the area, in particular the Musqueam people. A reception held at he Museum of Anthropology allowed us to explore beautiful collections of indigenous art and cultural artifacts.

This year the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition moved to Seattle, WA. I have always wanted to explore Seattle and very much enjoyed the opportunity to explore the food and coffee scene in my free time.

Seattle skyline from Kerry Park

On Tuesday, I presented a paper with co-authors Dr. Cliff Davidson, Dr. Sharon Dotger and Meredith Sullivan, entitled “Development and Pilot Test of the Rate and Accumulation Concept Inventory.” This paper presented a preliminary validity and reliability analysis of the RACI and results of a pre- and post-test administration. Tuesday also featured an ASEE presentation for another Syracuse University PhD student. Ryan Smith presented the results of a course structure change, entitled “Developing T-Shaped Professional Engineers Through an Advance Energy System Course.”

At the Annual Student Dinner, the Syracuse University Student Chapter was recognized as a new official chapter. I am looking forward to working with other passionate graduate students within Student Division to help make our chapter a success.

The remainder of the conference was filled with meetings, paper sessions, and networking. Overall, both EESD15 and ASEE15 were fantastic conferences. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to engage with other engineering education researchers and professionals and to hear about some of the phenomenal engineering education work being completed around the world.

My time in Vancouver and Seattle was short, but I made the most of it by exploring the downtown areas and hiking trails that were a short bus ride away. I also came across plenty of green infrastructure in both cities, along with many other amazing urban sustainability initiatives. Hopefully I will have future opportunities to visit again to do some more exploring, and maybe next time I’ll travel via a plane fueled by sustainable fuels!

View from Crowne Mountain, North Vancouver
Hiking the Grouse Grind


Green infrastructure at UBC



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