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ENE Memo: October 28, 2013

From the Head: 10/28

Pioneers of Engineering Education Research and Scholarship at Purdue: Bill LeBold

On November 14, as part of the yearlong celebration of the tenth anniversary of the forming of the School of Engineering Education, the Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium will recognize some of the pioneers who established educational research and scholarship in engineering at Purdue. ENE builds directly upon their foundational work. Over the next three weeks, I will provide a brief introduction to the work of some of these individuals.

The first is Dr. William (Bill) Lebold. After completing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Minnesota in 1945, he worked in industry for several years before completing an M.S. in E.E. in 1953. He joined Purdue in 1954 as a Research Assistant in Engineering Education. Bill completed a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Purdue University in 1957 and was appointed as an Associate Professor of Engineering and Educational Research. He was promoted to a Professor of Engineering in 1962. He retired in 2002, and in 2011, ENE assisted him to be able to attend his 50th annual conference of ASEE.

In 1972, Dr. Lebold was appointed the Director of Engineering Educational Research Studies. Over the years, in this capacity, Bill organized the Purdue New Faculty Orientation Program (1957-70) and Engineering Teaching Learning Seminar (1957-64) and directed major follow-up studies of engineering and science students and graduates: National Engineering Utilization Study (1983-86), National Engineering Career Development Project (1980-84), National Minority Engineering Scholar Study (1981), Purdue Engineering and Science Graduates (1956, '64, '72,-'80), ASEE-Engineers in Industry and Government Survey (1964), UCLA and Berkeley Engineering Graduates (1961-64). He served on the Engineering Workforce Commission (1990-2000).

He conducted evaluation and educational research on undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs. Projects included studies of freshman engineering programs, issues and public policy in educational technology, engineering curricula, interdisciplinary courses, instructional development, cognitive and behavioral studies of engineering students, and history of engineering education research studies. He also developed and administered the Purdue Interest Questionnaire (PIQ) to assist thousands of engineering, science and technology students and engineering graduates in making educational and career decisions. Over 3,000 PIQs were administered in 2000 and over 55,000 since 1976. He was also co-developer of the Self-Appraisal Instruments: Mathematics Skills Self-Appraisal Survey, the Chemistry Appraisal Inventory, the Functional Skills Inventory, the Mathematics Science Inventory, and the Pre-Engineering Survey. You can find a list of the papers he deposited in the Purdue Archives here.

Interestingly, Dr. Lebold was the project coordinator on the Walker Report (1968) - the oft-forgotten engineering education report - that amongst other things recommended that a master's degree become the entry-level qualification to practice as an engineer. During the early 2000s the same debate reemerged within the ASCE community. Similarly, quite a number of the topics that were studied by Dr. Lebold and colleagues in the 1960s, '70s and '80s have strong echoes to engineering education research themes of today. We would do well to heed the aphorism usually attributed to George Santayana, although its origins probably go back to the ancient wisdom literature: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." 


Calendar: 10/28

Fall 2013

  • Oct 28: TULIP - Cultural Diversity in the Classroom (FYE advisor Pouneh Eftekhari, who specializes in international students, will be joining us), ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Oct 30:  Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-10:20am
  • Nov 8: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) 
  • Nov 9: ENE Friends at the Football
  • Nov 13: Faculty Discussion: FYE Research, ARMS BO98B Innovation Studio 9:30-12:30 
  • Nov 14: Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium: Indomitable Innovators: Pioneers of Engineering Education Research at Purdue
  • Nov 18: TULIP - Problem Solving, ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Nov 20: Advisor-PhD Student matching, ARMS BO98B Innovation Studio 9:30-12:30 
  • Nov 28-29: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 2: TULIP - Messaging FYE Outside FYE, ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Dec 4: Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-10:20am

Spring 2014

  • Feb 19: ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebrating 45 Years of  Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • April 9: ENE Turns 10: Celebrating a Decade of ENE / Open House and Research Exhibition

Summer 2014

  • June 12-13: SAVE THE DATE. Purdue, Engineering Education Futures: Hearing Global Perspectives   
  • June 14: ENE Alums & Friends Reception, Indianapolis Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • June 15-18: ASEE Conference, Indianapolis Engineering Education Futures

Kudos: 10/28 graduate student Mel Chua on being named ASEE Prism's new student columnist. Her columns will appear every third issue.


To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.