Senay Purzer

Associate Head of Graduate Programs; Professor of Engineering Education Professor of Engineering Education
Mailing Addresses
Office: ARMS WANG 4545
Phone: (765) 496-1684


Mersin, Turkey


Ph.D., Science Education, Arizona State University
M.A., Science Education, Arizona State University
B.S.E., Engineering (concentration in mechanical systems), Arizona State University
B.S., Physics Education, Hacettepe University

Research Interests

Dr. Purzer's research interests are in design education and assessment at the interaction of critical thinking and creative thinking. Central to this scholarship are aspects of design such as innovation (i.e., ability to move design ideas from concept to production) and decision-making (i.e., ability to seek and use information for making design decisions). Her research team of graduate and undergraduate students conduct research in the Engineering Learning Observatory (ELO) using video-recordings, smart-pencast, and screen capturing as students solve design problems in teams, dyads, or individually. As part of INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering, she conducts research on design learning and assessment at pre-college settings and promote the integration of science and engineering education research.

Selected Publications

Purzer, S., Fila, N. & Nataraja, K. (2016). Evaluation of current assessment methods in engineering entrepreneurship education. Advances in Engineering Education, 5(1), 1-27.

Vieira, C., Goldstein, M. H., Purzer, S., Magana, A. J. (2016). Using learning analytics to characterize student experimentation strategies in the context of engineering design. Journal of Learning Analytics, 3(3), 291-317.

Purzer, S., Goldstein, M., Adams, R. Xie, C., & Zhang, H., (2015). An exploratory study of informed engineering design behaviors associated with scientific explanations. International Journal of STEM Education, 2(9). doi:10.1186/s40594-015-0019-7.

Purzer, S. (2011). The relationship between team discourse, self-efficacy, and individual achievement: A sequential mixed-methods study. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(4), 655-679.

Purzer, S., Strobel, J., & Cardella, M. (2014) (Eds). Engineering in pre-college settings: Synthesizing research, policy, and practices. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.


  • Professor, School of Engineering Education (May 2020-Present)
  • Associate Professor, School of Engineering Education (May 2015-May 2020)
  • Program Chair (ERM), IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (October 2014-October 2015)
  • Director, Assessment Research, The Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) (Aug 2011-Present)
  • Founder & Chair, NARST Engineering Education Research Interest Group (2013-2015)
  • Director, American Society of Engineering Education, Educational Research Methods Division (2012-2013)
  • Courtesy Faculty, Department of Curriculum and Instruction (Aug 2009-Present)
  • Co-Director, Assessment Research, The Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) (Aug 2009-Aug 2011)
  • Assistant Professor, School of Engineering Education (Jan 2009-May 2015)

Advice for the First-Year Engineer

Typically, half of my students in first-year engineering has close family members who are engineers and the other half does not. I praise the first half that they are at a good place, engineering is in their genes. I applaud the second half, "what an accomplishment" that they are first-generation engineers and their accomplishments will affect many next generations.

Fun Facts

I typically do not talk to strangers when I am traveling. Ironically though, the paper that was awarded for a Helen Plants award in 2012 has developed on an airplane with my colleague, Jon Hilpert, with whom I have just met and coincidentally set next to on our flight back home from the FIE 2011 conference.