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Renata S. Engel
Educators’ Broad Reach

Our Society benefits from hearing multiple perspectives.

By Renata S. Engel

A year ago, addressing ASEE members for the first time at the 2010 Annual Conference in Louisville, I noted, “What we will learn is dependent on what we are open to learn.” This belief has been reinforced by my experience as Society president. I was reminded, for instance, of the many perspectives – from industry, government, pre-college teachers, and higher education – represented in engineering and engineering technology education. I came to appreciate their value in speaking with members of the Corporate Member Council. They contacted me to discuss their role in increasing access to engineering, particularly with regard to those currently underrepresented. Commenting from my own higher-education perspective, I focused on the critical role of K-12 education in preparing students for college-level engineering. At some point during our conversation, I realized that the corporate members were talking about the entire pathway into the engineering workforce, including undergraduate and graduate education. They were as concerned about the departures that took students off that path as they were about encouraging them to consider engineering in the first place.

It is important to recognize that, even though our individual responsibilities may focus on one section, we are not released from our obligation to the entire path. Our profession most benefits when every section is accessible, prepares students for success, and considers both their prior experience and next-stage expectations.

ASEE’s primary activities are directed toward learning from and with each other about the most effective educational practices used to enhance engineering education. In addition to our emphasis on higher education, we have contributed to other parts of the pathway. This past year we reached an agreement with the National Science Teachers Association that allows representatives of ASEE and NSTA to attend each others’ meetings. At the other end, recognizing the value of industry experiences, ASEE has secured funding to manage a corporate post-doctoral program.

Speaking to members last year, I said, “What we choose to contribute is what we believe has value and importance,” and added: “The manner we serve is dependent on where we feel we have the most to offer.” The array of venues, conferences, and workshops that ASEE supports testifies to the many ways members have chosen to contribute. Our members have also made a notable contribution to the Creating the Culture of Scholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education project. Their input, through surveys, discussions, and feedback, will help direct future research and the implementation of improvements in classroom instruction.

I am proud of our role in serving society and in making society’s leaders aware of issues relevant to engineering education. My first glimpse of ASEE’s outreach to U.S. senators, representatives, and congressional staff came when I moderated a panel that the National Action Council on Minority Engineering (NACME) hosted on Capitol Hill to discuss its Community College Transfer Study. The next occasion was ASEE’s Public Policy Colloquium, when I joined the engineering deans’ meetings with congressmen from their respective states to discuss engineering research, education, and workforce. Subsequently, ASEE participated in Congressional Visits Day, spearheaded by IEEE. On this occasion, President-elect Don Giddens and I met with congressmen and senators whose committee assignments directly related to the engineering workforce or STEM education. A few weeks later, Past President J. P. Mohsen joined a similar event sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers.

Joining other constituents in the marbled Capitol Hill corridors, I walked away from each meeting with a deeper appreciation of the public-servant role that our congressmen and senators play and of the opportunity we have to assist them. As educators, we have a great deal to offer. How? We become knowledgeable on the policy issues that relate to what we do; we provide data and information in accessible formats; and we meet with them to discuss the implications and share examples of the impact of federal support and policy decisions. This kind of service can be viewed as another important dimension of our educational role.

I close my year as president with deep appreciation for how much I have learned from the members, the Board, and the staff. I am impressed with the contributions that we have made to advance engineering and engineering technology education and I am humbled by the service I have witnessed — not only by our organization but by those with whom we partner.

Renata Engel, president of ASEE, is associate dean of engineering at Penn State University.




Walter W. BuchananWalter W. Buchanan

ASEE members elected Walter W. Buchanan to serve as ASEE president-elect for 2011-2012.
Buchanan is J. R. Thompson Endowed Chair Professor and head of the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. He will assume the position of ASEE president-elect at the 2011 Annual Conference and become president the following year.

Full election results for all ASEE offices are as follows:

Walter W. Buchanan (862 votes)
J. R. Thompson Endowed Chair Professor
Head, Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution
Texas A&M University

David Woodall (321 votes)
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
Oregon Institute of Technology

Vice President, External Relations
Sandra Yost (723 votes)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Detroit Mercy

Alan Jacobs (445 votes)
U.S. Academic Relations

Vice President, Finance
Ray M. Haynes (1,089 votes)
STEM Integration
Da Vinci Charter High Schools

Chair, Professional Interest Council II
Catherine K. Skokan
(551 votes)
Associate Professor
Division of Engineering
Colorado School of Mines

Ken Brannan (548 votes)
Professor and Head
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
The Citadel

Chair, Professional Interest Council III
Joseph J. Rencis
(598 votes)
Mechanical Engineering Department
University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

Roberta Harvey (499 votes)
Provost Fellow
Office of Academic Affairs
Rowan University

Chair-Elect, Zone II
Barbara Bernal
(240 votes)
Software Engineering Department
Southern Polytechnic State University

Robert Ward (199 votes)
Civil Engineering Department
Ohio Northern University

Chair-Elect, Zone IV
Nebojsa Jaksic (92 votes)
Department of Engineering
Colorado State University, Pueblo

Abraham Teng (80 votes)
Associate Professor
Pre-Engineering and Computer Science Departments
Utah Valley University

Constitutional Amendment
Accept (999 votes)
Reject (59 votes)




Eight ASEE Members Elected

WASHINGTON – Eight active members of ASEE have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the most prestigious professional distinctions awarded to engineers. They were among 68 new academy members and nine foreign associates whose election was announced February 8 by NAE President Charles M. Vest.

Academy membership honors engineers who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education,” the NAE announcement said. The February election brings the academy’s total membership to 2,290 and the number of foreign associates to 202.

The ASEE members newly elected for their accomplishments to the NAE are:

Nadine N. Aubry, Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and head of the mechanical engineering department, Carnegie Mellon University, for contributions to low-dimensional models of turbulence and microfluidic devices, and for leadership in engineering education.

John R. Birge, Jerry W. and Carol Lee Levin Professor of Operations Management, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, for contributions to the theory of optimization under uncertainty.

Michael J. Cima, Sumitomo Electric Industries Professor of Engineering, department of materials science and engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for innovations in rapid prototyping, high-temperature superconductors, and biomedical device technology.

Stuart L. Cooper, University Scholar Professor and chair, department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, for contributions to polymer chemistry, biomedical polyurethanes, blood compatibility, and academic administration.

Chris T. Hendrickson, Duquesne Light Company Professor of Engineering and co-director, Green Design Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, for leadership and contributions in transportation and green design engineering.

Mark J. Kushner, George I. Haddad Collegiate Professor and director, Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for contributions to low-temperature plasmas for semiconductors, optics, and thin-film manufacturing.

Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and professor of mechanical engineering, and chair, division of engineering and applied science, California Institute of Technology, for discovery of intersonic rupture, contributions to understanding dynamic failure, and methods to determine stresses in thin-film structures.

Alexander J. Smits, Eugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and chair, mechanical and aerospace engineering, Princeton University, for contributions to the measurement and understanding of turbulent flows, fluids engineering, and education.




Norman FortenberryExecutive director sees potential to double membership.

Family legend has it that at age 3, Norman L. Fortenberry declared he was “going to be an ‘in-the-ear.’” Certainly from high school onward, through 11 years and three degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, nothing grabbed his interest more than engineering. Attracted to mechanical engineering as the most flexible discipline, he specialized in applied mechanics.

Fortenberry interned at several major companies and two prominent research institutions. But if an industry or research career beckoned, it was quickly overtaken by a new enthusiasm – education – that would ultimately bring him to ASEE as executive director. Since 1988, when he developed lesson plans as a research instructor in a NASA-funded pre-engineering program, he has taught, mentored, funded, and worked to stimulate students and faculty involved in engineering and science. He has also become a sought-after expert on engineering education, serving on numerous advisory and journal editorial boards. His guiding principle is captured in a 2008 quote from former MIT President Charles Vest, who now heads the National Academy of Engineering: “In the long run, making universities and engineering schools exciting, creative, adventurous, rigorous, demanding, and empowering milieus is more important than specifying curricular details.”

Born in Japan as the son of a career U.S. soldier, Fortenberry says his own education benefited from the expectations of progress and character common among military families, as well as from a uniform curriculum at Defense Department-run schools and an MIT mentor, Samson S. Lee, the “resident philosopher king” of their shared laboratory. He found excitement in a system dynamics course taught by David Wormley, now dean of engineering at Penn State (and ASEE president, 2006-2007). “It allowed you to look at mechanical, fluid, and electrical systems using the same equations – and you could model things.”

Now 50, Fortenberry joined ASEE as a young assistant professor looking for ways to teach better at the college of engineering jointly managed by Florida A&M University and Florida State University. But he soon segued into guiding educators himself as a program director and manager within the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources directorate.

In 1995, he left to lead the National GEM Consortium, which provides mentorship and corporate financial support to underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate degrees in engineering and science. Returning to NSF two years later, he served as a key spokesman on undergraduate education while managing a variety of programs involving science, technology, engineering, and math and increasing participation of minorities, women, and people with disabilities in the STEM fields.

Fortenberry went on to launch the first operational center at the National Academy of Engineering. The Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education aims to bring NAE’s influence to bear on improving the field through research and innovation. Within two years, it was generating $2.5 million a year in grant income, and was collaborating with some 60 campus-based programs and research centers.

Since his arrival at ASEE headquarters May 1, typically starting his workday at 6 a.m., he has made service to members – individual, institutional, and organizational – and spending control his top priorities. He estimates ASEE’s potential membership at double the current 12,000, and wants to demonstrate “the value they receive for the dues they pay.” He notes that faculty are under stress nowadays, called upon to excel in both research and teaching. “These are our folks. We need to find ways to support them across everything they do.”




Your Passport to Engineering Education
June 26 - 29, 2011
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Photo: Vancouver, BC
English Bay, Vancouver, BC
Photo by James Z via Flickr

Please note: ASEE Registration will not be open on Saturday, June 25, 2011.

View the 2011 Conference at a Glance


View the 2011 Exhibitors
View the 2011 Exhibit Hall Floor Plan




 San Antonio

1. San Antonio downtown from the Tower of The Americas at night. 2. The Riverwalk 3. The McNay Museum of Art 4. The Tower Life Building 5. Bexar County courthouse 6. San Antonio Public Library 7. The Tower of the Americas at night 8. The AlamoSan Antonio
Photo by Zereshk via Wikimedia Commons

Join us in San Antonio, Texas for the 119th Annual Conference & Exposition!

Your Passport to Engineering Education

June 10 - 13, 2012
San Antonio, Texas

For the most current information please visit:


The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition hosts more than 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education. Attendees include deans, faculty and researchers, students, and retirees. Distinguished lectures run throughout the conference, starting with the main plenary. In addition to various award receptions and banquets, ASEE hosts a complimentary “Meet the Board Forum,” providing the opportunity for all registrants to meet with members of the ASEE Board of Directors and discuss current issues in engineering and technology. The spouse/guest tours help make the conference an event for the entire family. Other highlights include the “Greet the Stars” orientation for new ASEE members and first-time conference attendees, the ASEE Picnic, the “Focus on Exhibits” Happy Hour, and Brunch. The 2012 conference will be in San Antonio. We look forward to welcoming you there.


In order to strengthen the quality of conference proceedings, the ASEE Board of Directors has voted on a policy of “publish to present” at the ASEE annual conference. This policy, which requires all conference papers and presentations to be peer reviewed, seeks to ensure that intellectual activity by faculty and staff receives appropriate professional recognition.

In addition to Publish to Present sessions, beginning with the 2011 ASEE annual conference and continuing, divisions may submit Panel sessions. To submit a Panel session, divisions are asked to provide white papers (extended abstracts) in no more than four pages consisting of two pages of session description and two pages of bios. The PIC chairs will review the Panel sessions submitted and determine their viability to the conference. (Please check the appropriate field/column for submitting a Panel session through the new ASEE paper submission system.)

The process for the submission of ASEE annual conference papers is as follows: Once authors have submitted abstracts of their papers, these will be reviewed and evaluated as acceptable or not. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full-paper draft to be reviewed by at least three engineering educators. A draft paper may be accepted as submitted, accepted with minor changes or major changes, or rejected. If a paper requiring major changes is re-submitted, the author will be asked to provide an explanation to the division program chair as to how the paper revision has addressed the reviewers’ concerns. The division chair may then decide to accept or reject the paper.

Authors of accepted papers may also choose to present through a poster session, rather than the lecture format of the technical sessions. The ASEE poster sessions will now showcase authors of accepted papers who have selected this format, or whose papers have been assigned as a poster because of lack of space in the technical sessions. Exceptions to the Publish-to-Present requirement include invited speakers and panels. Divisions may also designate one of their technical sessions as a “panel” of speakers submitting poster presentations.

The presentation of research and program findings within a conference setting provides a valuable means of exchanging information and ideas. While the majority of papers presented at the ASEE annual conference already undergo review at the abstract, draft, and final paper stage, the Board feels confident that a rigorous process of review will safeguard the quality of all paper presentations and ensure the prestigious reputation of this important conference.


The Call for Papers format has changed. Please view the following Web address for Call for Papers for the 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition: The complete Call for Papers listing will be in the September issue of Prism.


Aerospace Division
Architectural Engineering Division
Biological and Agricultural Engineering Division
Biomedical Engineering Division
Chemical Engineering Division
Civil Engineering Division
College Industry Partnership
Computers in Education Division
Construction Engineering Division
Continuing Professional Development Division
Cooperative and Experiential Education Division
Corporate Member Council
Design in Engineering Education Division
Educational Research and Methods Division
Electrical and Computer Engineering Division
Energy Conversion and Conservation Division
Engineering and Public Policy Division
Engineering Design Graphics Division
Engineering Economy Division
Engineering Ethics Division
Engineering Libraries Division
Engineering Management Division
Engineering Research Council
Engineering Technology Division
Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation Division
Environmental Engineering Division
Experimentation and Laboratory Oriented Studies Division
First-Year Programs Division
Graduate Studies Division
Industrial Engineering Division
Information Systems Division
Instrumentation Division
International Division
K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division
Liberal Education Division
Manufacturing Engineering Division
Materials Division
Mathematics Division
Mechanical Engineering Division
Mechanics Division
Minorities in Engineering Division
Multidisciplinary Engineering Division
New Engineering Educators Division
NSF Grantees Poster Session
Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Division
Ocean, Marine, and Coastal Engineering Division
Physics and Engineering Physics Division
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
Student Constituent Committee
Systems Engineering Constituent Committee
Technological Literacy Constituent Committee
Two-Year College Division
Women in Engineering Division


The following are the tentative deadline dates for the 2012 Annual Conference:

SEPT. 5 – OCT. 7, 2011
Abstract Submission Process Open

SEPT. 5 – OCT. 14, 2011
Session Requests, Division Social Functions Requests, Workshop Proposals, and Distinguished Lecture Nominations Due

SEPT. 5 – OCT. 21, 2011
Assign Abstract Reviewers

SEPT. 5 – NOV. 11, 2011
Abstract Review Process Open

November 2011
PIC Chair Meeting

NOV. 11, 2011
Abstract Reassignment (to another Division) Deadline

DEC. 2, 2011
Session Approvals Sent to Program Chairs

DEC. 2, 2011
Abstract Accept-or-Reject Decisions Deadline

DEC. 5, 2011 – JAN. 6, 2012
Draft Paper Submission Process Open

JAN. 2, 2012
Workshops, Business and Social Events Location, Title, Description, and Ticketed Information Due

JAN. 9 – FEB. 17, 2012
Draft Paper Review Process Open

JAN. 2012
Registration and Housing Open for All Attendees

FEB. 24, 2012
Draft Paper Decision Deadline

FEB. 24 – MARCH 9, 2012
Final Paper Submission Process Open

MARCH 9, 2012
Deadline for Final Division Social Event Details, Final Workshop Details, and Final Distinguished Lecture Details. Includes: AV Special Requests and Food and Beverage Menu Selections for All Sessions.

MARCH 9 -16, 2012
Paper “Accepted Pending Changes” Final Upload Phase Open

MARCH 23, 2012
Paper “Accepted Pending Changes” Decision Deadline

MARCH 30, 2012
Author Registration Deadline, Proceedings Fees and Copyright Transfer Due, and Best Paper Nominations Due

APRIL 8, 2012
Final Technical Session Program Details Deadline: Session, Moderator, and Speaker Information Final. No Session Changes Accepted after This Date for Any Activities. All Accepted Papers Must Be Assigned to Sessions by This Date. Session Cancellation Deadline: All Sessions Not Canceled After These Dates Are Final.

JULY 2012
2013 Call for Papers Posted on Web.

For the most current information please visit:



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American Society for Engineering Education
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Washington, DC 20036-2479
Telephone: (202) 331-3500