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Research on Engineering Practice (REP) Workshop

Research on Engineering Practice (REP) Workshop
Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
October 2-3, 2018




The one and a half day, NSF-sponsored REP Workshop was held at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. The workshop brought together scholars, industrial partners, and policymakers from around the United States and abroad. The meeting provided opportunities to appraise the current state of research on engineering practice and develop a research agenda, while exploring how findings from research on engineering practice can be used transform engineering education programs in academic and industry settings. The workshop also aimed to seed and grow an emerging scholarly community of researchers in this area through the development of new research collaborations, projects, and funding proposals.

The organizing team organized the REP workshop as a valuable opportunity for the community to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of engineering practice,
  • Apply this understanding to the development of engineering graduates who are better prepared for engineering careers (i.e., the formation of engineers), and
  • Creatively re-imagine engineering practice to better serve working engineers, their employers, and society (i.e., the reformulation of engineering).

Specific topics of interest within these three areas include the educational and professional practices that contribute to developing and sustaining a professional identity, the cultures of engineering education and practice, the effects of those cultures on individuals and the profession, and the development of professional and technical competencies.

This workshop was funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF Award Nos. 1832966, 1833055, 1833113, 1833124), and was organized in affiliation with Santa Clara University and the International Network for Engineering Studies (INES).

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Planning Committee

  • Samantha Brunhaver (Arizona State University)
  • Alexandra Coso Strong (Florida International University)
  • Brent Jesiek (Purdue University)
  • Russell Korte (George Washington University)
  • Reed Stevens (Northwestern University)

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Workshop Materials

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Dissemination Plan

To directly link the activities and sessions at the workshop with long-term capacity building in the field, the organizing committee is focused on three modes of dissemination:

  • A special session at the 2018 Frontiers in Education (FIE) annual conference, to share highlights from the workshop, provide preliminary guidance on methods and approaches for research on engineering practice, and further grow the community among a larger group of interested participants.
  • An editorial piece on the nature of engineering practice and its relationship to engineering education, including a research agenda and actionable guidelines for future research, submitted by the organizers for publication in Engineering Studies, or a similar journal.
  • A special issue of Engineering Studies, or a similar journal, comprised of research articles, white papers, and commentaries on engineering education and practice. White papers will focus specifically promising topics, sites, partners, methods, and theories related to research on engineering practice, as well as ways to further reimagine and transform the field.

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Related Publications & Resources

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1832966, 1833055, 1833113, and 18331246. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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