MEERCat Purdue: A Cross-Disciplinary Post-Doc in the Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center at Purdue

Interdisciplinary Areas: Data/Information/Computation

Project Description

The MEERCat center has nearly $6M in funded research grants (NSF EEC-1519421, DUE-1525671, DUE-1626287, among others) focused on engineering education research in a Mechanical Engineering (ME) context, with a particular interest in research-to-practice initiatives to support student success at multiple levels: in specific courses, within the department, and across the entirety of the student experience. The aggregate data across these projects is a unique and unprecedented collection of survey, interview, and academic record data that deeply contextualizes student outcomes within the institutional environment--its policies, practices, traditions, and `ways of doing'. Our team consists of ME content experts, expert engineering education researchers, anthropologists, institutional research staff, and many others.

We seek a post-doctoral researcher to look across these unique datasets and assemble a truly comprehensive view of student success. The coalescence of these datasets into a single holistic project is an unprecedented opportunity to advance our understanding of how students succeed, the role of departmental context in defining the undergraduate experience, and the interplay between local conditions in the classroom and the global culture of the department. Rapid advances will be possible by leveraging the enormous amount of quantitative and qualitative data available across these signature MEERCat projects. 

Start Date

June 2019

Postdoc Qualifications

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Expertise in qualitative analysis (including software tools such as NVivo)
- Strength in statistical analysis, especially using R (regression, factor analysis, etc.)
- Experience carrying out qualitative and quantitative analyses with data sets from education, psychology, sociology, anthropology, or similar research areas
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Initiative, creativity, and flexibility
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
- Strong prior experience leading publication of academic manuscripts
Edward Berger, Associate Prof. of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering |

Jeffrey Rhoads, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Jennifer DeBoer, Assistant Professor of Engineering Education
1. Evenhouse, D., Patel, N., Gerschutz, M., Stites, N., Rhoads, J. F., Berger, E. and DeBoer, J., “Perspectives on pedagogical change: instructor and student experiences of a newly implemented undergraduate engineering dynamics curriculum”, European Journal of Engineering Education, 2017. Doi: 10.1080/03043797.2017.1397605.
2. Senkpeil, R., and Berger, E. J., “Non-cognitive factors and their impact on first year engineering performance”, International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 34, No. 2, 316-324, 2018.
3. Briody, E. K., Berger, E. J., Wirtz, E., Ramos, A., Guruprasad, G., and Morrison, E., “Ritual as work strategy: A window into organizational culture”, Human Organization, Vol. 77, No. 3, 2018.
4. Evenhouse, D., Zadoks, A., Freitas, C. C. S., Patel, N., Kandakatla, R., Stites, N., Prebel, T., Berger, E. J., Krousgrill, C. M., Rhoads, J. F., and DeBoer, J. D., “Video Coding of Classroom Observations for Research and Instructional Support in an Innovative Learning Environment”, Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, in press, 2018. (special issue inviting extended versions of REES 2017 papers).
5. Wirtz, E., Berger, E., Briody, E., Guruprasad, G., Senkpeil, R., and Dunford, A., “Peers, the Internet, and Professors: Academic-help-seeking Behaviours Among Engineering Undergraduates”, Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, in press, 2018. (special issue inviting extended versions of REES 2017 papers).