New Head for the School of Engineering Education

Donna Riley has been named the next Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education, effective July 1, 2017. The appointment was announced Monday, March 27, by Leah H. Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering.

Riley is currently professor and interim head of the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She also served as program director for engineering education at the National Science Foundation from 2013 to 2015 and spent 13 years as a founding faculty member of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a U.S. women’s college. Riley earned a BSE in chemical engineering from Princeton University and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in engineering and public policy.

“With awards recognizing her achievements in both research and teaching, and known as a thought leader in the field, Donna brings to the position a strong record of excellence and innovation, a strong commitment to engineering education as a discipline, and great passion and energy,” Jamieson said in making the announcement. “I know that ENE will thrive under her leadership, and that Purdue will continue to play a leadership role in field of engineering education.”

Riley is a 2005 recipient of a CAREER award from NSF on implementing and assessing pedagogies of liberation in engineering classrooms. She is the author of two books, “Engineering and Social Justice” and “Engineering Thermodynamics and 21st Century Energy Problems,” both published by Morgan and Claypool.

Riley served a two-year term as deputy editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, and rotated through the leadership of the Liberal Education/Engineering & Society (LEES) Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She currently serves on the ASEE Diversity Committee. She also is the recipient of the 2016 Alfred N. Goldsmith Award from the IEEE Professional Communications Society; the 2012 Sterling Olmsted Award from ASEE; the 2010 Educator of the Year award from the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP); and the 2006 Benjamin Dasher Award from Frontiers in Education. She is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Purdue’s School of Engineering Education was created in 2004, under the leadership of Professor Kamyar Haghighi. It was the first department or school of its kind in the nation. The headship is named in memory of Professor Haghighi, through the generosity of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Riley succeeds Professor David Radcliffe, who served as head from 2009-2016. Audeen Fentiman, Engineering’s associate dean of Graduate Education and Interdisciplinary Programs and Crowley Family Professor in Engineering Education, served as interim head of Engineering Education this year.