Engineering faculty honored by NAE

Konstantina "Nadia" Gkritza
Carl Laird
Zoltan Nagy
Three Purdue engineering faculty members are among 77 of the nation's most innovative, young engineering educators who have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's sixth Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium.

Konstantina "Nadia" Gkritza, associate professor of civil engineering and agricultural and biological engineering; Carl Laird, associate professor of chemical engineering; and Zoltan Nagy, professor of chemical engineering, will participate in the symposium in Irvine, Calif., Oct. 26-29.

"The Frontiers of Engineering Education program brings together top university faculty to explore preparing engineers for the world's great engineering challenges," said NAE President Dan Mote. "It is a no-holds-barred look at the front-edge of engineering education."

Faculty members who are developing and implementing innovative educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines will come together for the 2-1/2-day event, where they can share ideas, learn from research and best practice in education, and leave with a charter to bring about improvement in their home institution. The attendees were nominated by NAE members or deans, and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

"Most of the faculty in higher education must adapt to changing times, from chalk boards to overheads, from classrooms to online education, and from traditional students to learners who are quite adept at navigating the Internet," said James M. Tien, Distinguished Professor and dean of the College of Engineering at University of Miami and chair of the FOEE Advisory Committee. "As a consequence, faculty are not only needing to continuously update their course content but also their delivery approach so as to better engage the students. Research on learning, publications on teaching methods, and conferences on education are all trying to support the beleaguered faculty. So is the annual FOEE symposium, which brings together engineering faculty who are eager to share their innovative teaching approaches and to learn from their equally talented colleagues."