Matthew Ohland

Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor in Engineering Education Associate Head of Engineering Education
Mailing Addresses
Office: ARMS 1305
Phone: (765) 496-1316
Fax: (765) 494-5819


Dr. Ohland enjoys hiking and camping, singing (baritone), badminton, racquetball, and softball. He is handy around the house, but is better at special projects and repairs than at maintenance. He delivers volunteer seminars for Tau Beta Pi and is active at church. He is married to Emily, who is a music teacher, choir director, and fused glass artist. He has three children - Everett graduated with a BFA in Art from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Carson is majoring in Aerospace Engineering at Purdue, and Anders has a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is on track to be in the West Lafayette HS class of 2024.


Bellmore, NY, USA


PhD Civil Engineering University of Florida
MS Materials Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
MS Mechanical Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
BS Engineering (General) Swarthmore College
BA Religion Swarthmore College

Research Interests

Longitudinal studies of engineering student pathways show that engineering keeps more students on average than other groups of disciplines (business, social sciences, etc.). The big difference is that engineering doesn't attract many new students. Overall, women graduate in engineering at rates similar to men, and racial differences are not significant when socioeconomic factors are considered. While these findings are all true in the aggregate, differences are observed by institution and specific engineering discipline, and the method used to measure persistence can create a bias toward reporting the experience of majority students.

Team-member effectiveness can be taught and measured with a five-factor model. Frame-of-reference training is effective at teaching students to be better team members and to give effective feedback to teammates.


Selected Publications

Ohland, M.W., Sheppard, S.D., Lichtenstein, G., Chachra, D., Eris, O., & Layton, R.A. (2008). Persistence, engagement, and migration in engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(3), 259-278.
Ohland, M.W., Brawner, C.E., Camacho, M.M., Long, R.A., Lord, S.M., Wasburn, M.H. (2011). Race, gender, and measures of success in engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(2), 225-252.
Ohland, M.W., Loughry, M.L., Woehr, D.J., Finelli, C.J., Bullard, L.G., Felder, R.M., Layton, R.A., Pomeranz, H.R. & Schmucker, D.G. (2012). The Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness: Development of a behaviorally anchored rating scale for self and peer evaluation. Academy of Management: Learning & Education, 11(4) 609-630.

Awards, Honors, Achievements, & Memberships

  • Fellow of AAAS, ASEE, and IEEE
  • Best Paper, IEEE Transactions on Education, 2011 and 2015
  • Best Paper, Journal of Engineering Education, 2008 and 2011
  • Major Educational Innovation Award, IEEE Educational Activities Board, 2016
  • Purdue Class of 1922 Helping Students Learn Award
  • Purdue's Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware


  • Assistant Director, Southeastern University Coalition for Engineering Education
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in STEM Education
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of General Engineering, Clemson University
  • Professorial Research Fellow in Engineering Education, School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, Queensland, Australia

Advice for the First-Year Engineer

Learn to recognize opportunity. When something excites you, figure out why. If the reasons are healthy, follow your passion. You probably have better instincts than most people do about what drives you. This doesn't mean that you don't need to be willing to work for, and sometimes wait for, the things you want.

Fun Facts

When I was 15 years old, I told my mom that I had met the woman I was going to marry -- and we got married six years later. She was worth waiting for. I won a ribbon in the "Dairy Cattle Olympics" at the New York State Fair, but I've never milked a cow. For more than 30 years, my mom kept the uniform I wore as "The Nutcracker" in 5th grade. I've been to 49 of the 50 states -- I'll get to Alaska sometime.

Campus Activities

  • Safe Zone trained
  • Chief Advisor of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society
  • Advisor to Purdue’s chapter of NOGLSTP, the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientific and Technical Professionals
  • Purdue Engineering Student Council Scholarship Reviewer, multiple years
  • Boiler Gold Rush Faculty Mentor, multiple years
  • Learning Community Instructor, multiple years