Justin Hess

Assistant Professor
Mailing Addresses


Dr. Justin L Hess is an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Previously, Justin served as assistant director of the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute at IUPUI. Dr. Hess’s research interests include exploring empathy’s functional role within engineering and evaluating students’ learning in the spaces of design, ethics, sustainability, and innovation. Justin received his PhD from Purdue University's School of Engineering Education, along with a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. As a doctoral student, Justin was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Justin is currently the program chair of the Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division (LEES) with the American Society for Engineering Education, as well as chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers' Committee on Sustainability subcommittee on Formal Engineering Education.

Dr. Hess is currently a co-PI on Co-PI on three NSF projects, including (1) NSF CCESTEM Award #1737157, “Institutional Transformation: Enhancing IUPUI STEM Curriculum through the Community-Engaged Learning and Ethical Reflection Framework (I-CELER)," (2) NSF CCESTEM Award #1737303, “CCE STEM Standard: Understanding and Evaluating Ethical Engineering Practice,” and (3) NSF IUSE Award #1701132, "GP-EXTRA: Building a New Generation of Urban Environmental Scholar-Citizens through Community-Based Programs for Science and Impact.


Indianapolis, IN, USA


Purdue University, Civil Engineering, B.S., 2011
Purdue University, Civil Engineering, M.S., 2015
Purdue University, Engineering Education, PhD, 2015

Research Interests

Designing and implementing pedagogical methods to enhance engineering students’ ethical development, with a focus on ethical sensitivity, ethical reasoning, and care; Exploring the functional role of empathy in engineering design, ethics, and innovation; and Synthesizing the influence of societal and individual worldviews on decision-making

Selected Publications

Hess, J. L., Beever, J., Zoltowski, C. B., Kisselburgh, L. G., & Brightman, A. O. (2019). Enhancing engineering students’ ethical reasoning: Situating Reflexive Principlism within the SIRA Framework. Journal of Engineering Education, 108: 82-102.

Hess, J, L. & Fore, G. (2018). A systematic literature review of US engineering ethics interventions. Science and Engineering Ethics, 24(2), 551-583. doi:10.1007/s11948-017-9910-6

Hess, J. L., Strobel, J. & Brightman, A. (2017). The development of empathic perspective-taking in an engineering ethics course. Journal of Engineering Education, 106(4), 534-563.

Awards, Honors, Achievements, & Memberships

  • Division Best Paper Award, ASEE’s Computing & Information Technology Division (2016)
  • Apprentice Faculty Grant, ASEE’s Engineering Research Methods Division (2016)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012)


  • 2016-2019, Assistant Director, STEM Education Innovation & Research Institute, IUPUI
  • 2015, Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University
  • 2009, Project Management Co-op, OPUS West