FREE research

What is Engineering to You? (WIETY) (Robin Adams, Shawn Jordan, David Radcliffe, Katie Morley, and Alice Pawley)
This project explores engineering epistemologies of students through photographic elicitation.  What are enduring stories in engineering that students use to describe what they do?  Why and to whom are these stories compelling?  What stories are not included as engineering?  (This project is completed.)

Gender in JEE (Lindsey Nelson, Katie Morley, Corey Schimpf and Alice Pawley)
The Journal of Engineering Education is the premiere journal that publishes engineering education research in the US, and some argue globally.  Yet the research it publishes on gender in engineering seems to be theoretically impoverished.  This study explores characterizing the gender-related research published in JEE, and argues for new theoretical directions.

Assessing Sustainability Knowledge (ASK) (Ranjani Rao, Alice Pawley, Stephen Hoffmann, Matthew Ohland, Monica Cardella, Ruth Streveler, and David Radcliffe)
Current engineering students will practice engineering in a world of global climate change, limited natural and material resources, increased awareness of the cost of energy, and increased global competition, all in the context of an increasing global population, a need for social equity, and a desire to increase global quality of life.  In short, they will need to work in a world where sustainability is key to engineering practice. The ASK project is engaged in developing  a framework to assess sustainability knowledge in engineering undergraduate students that can help engineering faculty members identify and structure essential sustainability-related content and develop methods to bring these concepts organically into courses across the curriculum.

ADVANCE Institutional Ethnography (Dina Banerjee, Jordana Hoegh, Marisol Mercado Santiago, Kacey Beddoes, Corey Schimpf and Alice Pawley)
This study applies ethnographic methods to the Colleges of Engineering, Science and Technology to explore the impact of Purdue’s organization and rules through the experiences of people, particularly women, who work within them.  We use interviews, discursive analysis of texts, and participant observation to understand the institution structure and organization by exploring how real individuals negotiate the “everyday world” (lived realities in a particular institutional location).

ADVANCE Academic Career Pathways (Jordana Hoegh, Kacey Beddoes, Corey Schimpf and Alice Pawley)
To what extent are women’s career pathways into and through academic faculty levels in STEM disciplines accurately modeled by pipeline or chilly climate ideas? What might be other metaphors that faculty use to describe their own careers? An explicit and critical component of this study is to determine the applicability of these models to women of different ethnicities.

CAREER: Learning from Small Numbers (Canek Phillips, Alice Pawley)
This research will use personal narratives about engineering education contributed by white women and students of color in undergraduate programs in order to understand how the structure of their educational institution assists and hinders their educational success. These narratives will be analyzed both deductively (informed by sociological theories of institutional structure and critical intersectional theories of gender and race) and inductively (deploying feminist and decolonizing methodological strategies and theories) to propose a new theoretical framework of ‘gendered’ and ‘raced’ institutions in the context of engineering education that can be incorporated into researchers’ and practitioners’ ways of understanding ‘underrepresentation.’  The educational plan for this project will prompt engineering leadership to ‘learn from small numbers.’ The plan uses tools borrowed from design research—‘personas’ and ‘informance’—to help department chairs, curriculum committee chairs and deans at PWIs envision data-driven responses to the question, “If my institution was designed around the experiences of women and people of color, what would it look like?” This exercise will provide engineering education leadership with new conceptual tools with which to reconsider the underrepresentation of women and people of color, and new strategies to increase their representation.