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April 2020


  • Ratio of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients to Tenured/Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty by Discipline

Sponsored Content: Keysight Technologies

  • Remote Teaching Tools from Keysight


  • Help in Making the Transition to Web-Based Teaching

Sponsored Content: Liaison’s EngineeringCASTM

  • Let’s Re-Engineer Admissions, Together.


  • Engineers Helping to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • What’s on Tap in the May/June 2020 Issue of Prism?


  • Register for ASEE’s Virtual Annual Conference

  • Call for Papers - Special Issue of Advances in Engineering Education: The Impact on Engineering Education of the COVID-19 Pandemic


By Charles M. Stuppard

The ratio of bachelor’s degree recipients to tenured/tenure-track faculty can provide insights into the overall student experience. Shown below are the top 5 lowest and highest ratios of bachelor’s degree recipients to tenured/tenure-track faculty by school, taken from ASEE’s 2018 Engineering by the Numbers.

This databyte highlights the ratio of bachelor’s degree recipients to teaching tenured/tenure-track faculty by discipline in 2018. Electrical/Computer Engineering, Civil/Environmental Engineering, and Metallurgical and Materials Engineering each had less than a 2:1 ratio of bachelor’s degree recipient to tenured/tenure-track faculty. In contrast, Computer Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, and Electrical Engineering had a more than 10:1 ratio of bachelor’s degree recipients to tenured/tenure-track faculty.

*Included institutions must have reported enrollment, faculty, and a minimum of 50 bachelor's degrees awarded. 260 institutions fit the criterion for this table.

The range of ratios by discipline is in line with the range of ratios by school. Of the 22 reported disciplines, Computer Engineering had the sixth highest number of degree recipients despite ranking among the bottom 10 in the number of tenured/tenure-track faculty. The higher ratio may not signify a need for more Computer Engineering faculty, although it may influence research awards and student opportunities within some programs.


Charles M. Stuppard, an ASEE data analyst, is the author of the new Diversity Benchmarking Report for Underrepresented Groups in Engineering and Engineering Technology. See also: Current Status of the U.S. Engineering and Computing Workforce, 2019, Carolyn Wilson, senior research associate.

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With much of the country locked down to combat the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, most colleges and universities are likewise shuttered. With surprising speed, engineering instructors have pivoted to online instruction, including remote labs. It’s a safe bet that some of them have never taught a class online or set up a virtual lab. Here is a repository of links to online papers, videos, primers, and tools to help make the transition to web-based teaching a bit less stressful.

- Here is a link to an online teaching resources repository that ASEE launched on Facebook last month:

- For several weeks now, three organizations—the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, the Global Engineering Deans Council, and the Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education—have been hosting regular webinars geared toward online leasrning. Recent subjects include Working With Project Teams Online, presented by William Oakes, a professor of engineering education and director of EPICS at Purdue University, and Online Classrooms—Need of the Hour, presented by Keith Fernandes, an assistant professor at India’s St. Joseph Engineering College. An archive of these and other previous webinars can be viewed (here), or you can subscribe to IFEES’s YouTube channel (here).

- In February 2017, Tim Drysdale, a senior lecturer in engineering at Britain’s Open University (a pioneering remote-learning institution) filmed this video, just after the school opened a new $3.5 million OpenEngineering Lab, in which he shows how “an internet of laboratory things” works in practice. Here’s the link:

- This MIT in-house video is a guide to preparing to shift from the physical classroom to the virtual:

- Here is a Chronicle of Higher Education article explaining how Clemson University and some other colleges were preparing for the transition to remote teaching. It also provides links to resources:

- This is an overview of remote laboratories in engineering education from the Kongsberg Institute for Engineering, University College of Southeast Norway:

- This 2009 paper from IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies explores the many facets of remote laboratories in engineering education:

- This link offers 14, fully hands-on workshops exploring explore heat transfer concepts that Virginia Tech is using to teach 350 mechanical engineering students in online classrooms:

- This hour-long video is a primer for teaching an online lecture course in thermodynamics, presented by Krishna Pakala, an assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Boise State University:

- This summer, the Association of College and University Educators is offering an online course called Promoting Active Online Learning that’s designed specifically for graduate students, who often have teaching responsibilities. If you’re interested, you can (Register here).

- This recommendation for a home-build spectrophotometer comes from Margot Vigeant, a professor of chemical engineering at Bucknell University:

- Michael Goryll, an associate professor of electrical, computer, and energy engineering at Arizona State University, offers this link to a video he made to help students access remote labs:

- This hour-long video on implementing virtual labs features Bucknell’s Margot Vigeant; Denise Felsenthal, director of engineering technical services, and Shaun Usman, assistant director of information technology, Arizona State; and AnnMarine Thomas, professor of mechanical engineering, University of St. Thomas. It was created for KEEN, an online network of engineering faculty:

As to my small end-of-semester drama, the system provided no evidence that the student completed the exercise. Since it was a low-stakes assignment, the student still passed the course. But the incident chipped away at our mutual trust and forced us to waste a lot of time that should have been spent on teaching and learning.

- Creating a Virtual Lab

Here is a short primer (with links) by Greses Perez-Johnk, a Ph.D. student in science education at Stanford University:

What do you need to create a simple virtual lab experience? Through the research conducted by the Science in the City Research Team at Stanford University, we created virtual laboratories and lessons for learning that bring students’ communities into their classrooms and show learners the science and engineering in their neighborhoods. Although this research work has been implemented primarily in K-12 settings, there are a lot of lessons we can take from these experiences into other engineering environments.

First, you will need at least a cell phone camera, or even better, a 360-camera to record your laboratory (See Calorimeter Lab example). In order to scaffold the content to meet the needs of different learners, you can add audio, close captions, as well as summaries of results after each lab trial. To stream the recorded labs, you can use platforms such as YouTube or Zoom. If you wish to create a lesson to actively engage learners beyond the laboratory work, such as collaborative experiences and formative assessments, then the instructional platform Nearpod may be the next step for you. With Nearpod, you can connect students with your lesson and each other through online activities that are self-paced or controlled by the facilitator. At the same time, you can incorporate your virtual two-dimensional or 360-virtual labs into the lesson for a more realistic experience. To engage students in virtual reality journeys in any of the platforms, learners will only need a cellphone or computer. If your students have access to VR glasses, you could offer a more immersive experience. We have used cardboards goggles as they offer an affordable alternative to expensive commercial headsets. The cardboard ones can be found for as low as $5.99 or DIY through Google open source versions for everyone to make. For easy view on VR goggles, and a more authentic virtual experience, the content recorded can be powered through the platform Omnivirt.

Virtual engineering labs have the potential to reach students with online activities that are more realistic and active. It expands our notions of what counts as the laboratory. For examples of how these lessons have been used in different contexts follow the SC at Stanford resources page. The current pandemic has sped up the experiment of going virtual within days. However, engineering educators do not have to sacrifice effective and active teaching. Instead, we can draw on tools like virtual environments to imagine new ways where learning could take place.

- This link will direct you to a Cornell University web page that offers best-practice suggestions to students (and faculty) for remote working:

- This link ( will take you to a work-in-progress website offering a guide to “rapidly transitioning campus courses online” put together by Christine J. Shanks, an associate professor of design at Tompkins Cortland Community College and a lecturer in digital multimedia design at Penn State University.

- Zoom-era Etiquette

Here is a primer (with links) on establishing norms for videoconferencing by  Zachary del Rosario, who is completing a Ph.D. in statistically rigorous aircraft design at Stanford, and will soon begin a visiting professor position at Olin College:

We’ve spent our lives learning how to communicate face-to-face, but most of us have spent far less time videoconferencing. I suspect many of us thought of videoconferencing as inferior to physical presence—to be avoided. For the foreseeable future, that doesn't seem a viable option. This is why we need to talk about videoconferencing norms: To adjust to and thrive in the new normal.
Further, this online-only situation is not all bad! Now seminar speakers that were geographically unavailable are as easy to reach as your neighbor. I attended a recent seminar from the U.S. with participants in Germany, and I have completed a faculty interview with an online teaching demo. Videoconferencing—done well—opens new possibilities.

Based on my experience as a remote employee and from teaching online, here are some norms for excellent videoconferencing:

1. Mute yourself when not talking: Unfortunately, the technology and office layout for videoconferencing are not yet optimized. You may have kids screaming in the background, or construction blaring outside your apartment. All these problems have a simple solution: Mute yourself when not talking. Learn the keyboard shortcut for toggling mute (e.g. in Zoom, Alt + A or Cmd + Shift + A) and practice using it.

2. Practice empathy: You have a lifetime of experience talking in person, but you are probably as novice at videoconferencing as anyone else. Also keep in mind that students and colleagues may not have access to the same resources (e.g. broadband, silence, technology). Be patient with each other: We're all learning!

3. Overcommunicate: Since we're all new to videoconferencing, we're dealing with more cognitive load than usual. One solution to this challenge is to be as exact as possible in communicating. Be more detailed in your requests and use multiple modes when giving your students instructions (verbal, written in assignments, on your LMS, etc.).

For more details, see "Videoconferencing 101: Competencies and Norms." I also recommend this Crash Course in Remote Management, which has recommendations for leadership/management roles.

- KEEN, a Wisconsin nonprofit that oversees a network of engineering educators with the goal of making engineering education more entrepreneurial, has been scheduling a series of live discussions on virtual learning. One recent conversation was about how best to engage with students online, led by educators from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Olin College. This link will allow you to join a subnet where you can view the transcripts and resources from past discussions, suggest topics or volunteer to be a facilitator:  Virtual/Online Learning Subnet.


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As the pandemic crisis began ramping up in March, many engineering faculty, schools and students around the world rushed to come up with quick innovations to help ease the shortage of critical supplies, look for ways to improve testing for the virus, and do a better job of tracking it. Here is a far-from-comprehensive list of some of those efforts.


- Lennon Rodgers, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engineering Design Innovation Lab, with assistance from two friends and wife (an anesthesiologist) quickly designed a prototype to fast-manufacture face shields, a type of protective gear the university’s hospital was running out of. Wired magazine wrote about the effort.

- Using 3D printing plans posted on the website of a company started by a Syracuse University alumnus, engineering and architecture faculty at Syracuse are printing pieces for face shields, which are then assembled at the school’s performing arts production facilities. The initiative is producing 60 to 90 shields a day.

- Faculty, staff and students at the Metal Additive Manufacturing Lab at the University of Memphis’ engineering college used its 3D printers to create face-shield frames for the Le Bonheur Children’s hospital. The effort was overseen by Ebrahim Asadi, the lab director and an assistant professor mechanical engineering.

- Mircea Teodorescu, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, repurposed 3D printers to produce protective gear, including face shields, goggles and masks.

- A skeleton staff at the University of San Diego’s engineering school is using its empty fabrication lab and idled 3D printers to test, modify and prototype face shields. Once the team has a viable prototype, it will work with the university’s nursing school to find channels to distribute the shields to area medical facilities.

- Albert Titus, chair of the biomedical engineering department at the University at Buffalo’s engineering school, oversaw a team that included engineering faculty, as well as faculty from the university’s medical, dental and management schools and local industry, to find a quick solution to 3D print N95 masks.

- At Boise State University’s engineering college, a team of faculty, staff and students created a grassroots network of 3D printers to produce face shields, and team members are also sewing face masks for medical workers.

- As part of a wider campus effort, the department of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University, as of March 25, put its 3D printer to use making face shield frames, based on a design the school’s pharmacology/toxicology department was using.

- Bucknell University faculty, staff and students are fabricating protective gear for healthcare workers in the engineering school’s makerspaces.

- Engineering faculty and students at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, working with chemistry, biology and health sciences colleagues, are 3D printing surgical masks for local healthcare providers. They’re using a design developed in conjunction with Montana’s Billings Clinic Foundation in conjunction with a local neurosurgeon. The masks have insertable filters that can be changed whenever necessary.

- Faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh’s engineering school organized a large collection of PPE supplies from all its labs and facilities for donation to area hospitals. The pallets were stacked with boxes of gloves, masks, peroxide, alcohol, air-filter units, sanitizers and eye protection.


- Engineers from a Mercedes-AMG unit in Britain who typically are involved in developing powertrains for Formula One racecars teamed up with doctors at University College London Hospital to design a breathing device that provides oxygen to COVID-19 patients without the need of a ventilator, a much more invasive machine. (


- David Bernick, an associate adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is researching a technology to improve the counting of COVID-19 molecules in a solution to bolster testing for the virus.


- Todd Snyder, an instructional support specialist at the University at Buffalo’s civil engineering department, is also co-owner of Niagara Craft Spirits. The distillery followed World Health Organization guidelines to produce hand sanitizer.

- A team of researchers at Oxford University, led by investigators from its Big Data Institute, came up with evidence to support the feasibility of a mobile app that would allow for a speedy way to trace and alert people who have been exposed to patients confirmed to be infected with the virus (

- Narges Norouzi, an assistant teaching professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is working with physicians at UC Davis Health on technology to remotely monitor patients’ respiratory symptoms.

- Mark Akeson, a professor of biomolecular engineering at UCSC is tracking the evolution and spread of the coronavirus using phylogenetic relationships.

- Engineering faculty at Texas A&M University designed and 3D printed 200 diffusers for metered dose inhalers for Houston Methodist Hospital. The inhalers allow doctors to administer bronchodilator drugs to COVID-19 patients that are typically delivered by a nebulizer. (Physicians are worried that using a nebulizer risks aerosolizing the virus.)


Job-hunting? Check out scores of openings geared to engineering education on ASEE’s Classifieds Website, including these:

1. Electrical Engineering - 2 opportunities

2. Engineering Education - 2 opportunities

3. Nuclear Science and Engineering - 1 opportunity

Visit here for details: http://



COVER: PANDEMIC—Engineering researchers develop a host of varied responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

FEATURE: CHINA—The Department of Justice’s China Initiative puts international collaboration in the cross-hairs.

FEATURE: JERUSALEM—A controversial aerial cable car project shows the perils of planning in hallowed places.



Registering for the Annual Conference will allow you to:
Have the opportunity to see any presentation made by an author, distinguished lectures, or plenaries 24/7 during the week of the conference;
Attend Q&A sessions, so you can interact with the presenters;
Attend workshops, business meetings, and the different orientations that usually happen at the annual meeting;
Attend/participate in the recognition and highlighting of our national award winners, and our incoming fellows, and our outgoing and incoming board members; and
Participate in our interactive exhibit hall as well as sponsor/tech demos. There will be exclusive exhibit hall times to interact with sponsors and exhibitors.


Advances in Engineering Education is seeking short, 1,000-word papers for a special issue on COVID-19 and the conversion to virtual learning. Papers must be submitted by June 30, 2020. They will undergo a quick, limited peer-review. Our intent is to have this special issue published online by September 1, 2020.
Submitted papers should report on issues related to the rapid implementation of online or otherwise remote education due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Papers may address, but are not limited to, creative solutions to moving lectures, projects, labs, or other coursework to a virtual or remote platform, as well as new learning communities, and mechanisms for sharing best practices.  

- The paper should be considered as an extended abstract.  Similar to the format of a Looking Ahead article. The body of the paper should consist of no more than 1,000 words (not including tables, figures, references and biosketches).

- The paper should focus on challenges faced and resolved as a consequence of the epidemic, including new approaches that may lead to longer-term implementation. The focus should be on implementation including the plan for implementation.

- The body of the paper must consist of four sections:

    • Introduction - clearly state the particular challenge you faced; to the extent possible, briefly reference related prior work or studies.

    • Methods - describe the implementation; any platform and software used to address the challenges; explain how the innovation was tested and implemented.  Discuss the learning curve and note changes and improvements made as you gained experience.

    • Preliminary Results - if possible provide data on the types of courses involved; the various methods in which students were reached, including cases where it was difficult to reach some; and the extent of the original courseload or curriculum covered.  Initial assessment could include student and faculty perceptions of teaching and learning effectiveness. Include figures, tables, short video clips, and audio as appropriate.  Include links to appendices and other relevant information.

    • Next Steps - address how these challenges might impact your future instruction.  Thus, what might happen after the epidemic passes?

Please add references; authors may wish to include a brief acknowledgement section. Finally, please include a brief biosketch and a high resolution digital photograph for each co-author.

- Consult the website for other applicable criteria for unsolicited papers.


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