FREE stands for “Feminist Research in Engineering Education” and is a diverse research group in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. FREE operated under the name RIFE, standing for “Research in Feminist Engineering,” from 2007-2014.
The goal of the FREE research group is to do research, teaching and outreach that helps people (students, the public, engineering colleagues, and other engineering education researchers) develop a more inclusive, engaged, and socially just vision of engineering education. We do this with a belief and commitment to the idea that engineering education can and should be a means to develop more engaged citizens.
The philosophy of the FREE research group is that we do what we can to say what needs to be said, that we hold our community in as high esteem as we might with a religion, that wasting time, effort and energy is a form of disrespect of ourselves and of others, and that noticing daily details of ourselves and others helps honour each of us as human beings.