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June 2021


  • The 20 Engineering Schools That Award the Most Bachelor’s Degrees to Women

Sponsored Content: FIRST

  • FIRST® Launches New Transportation-Inspired Robotics Season


  • Texas Tech Professor Earns Second Fulbright to Expand STEM Education in Namibia


  • Biden Administration Gives Offshore Wind Power a Gust of Support


  • Tesla Unwraps a New, Super-speedy Model S


  • ASEE’s New Fellows Class
  • DELTA New Faculty Institute
  • ASEE Annual Conference Advance Rate
  • Online Vaccine Science Resources
  • Submit to Prism’s Last Word Column
  • Prism Seeks New Student Columnist
  • ASEE Announces New Engineering Postdoc Fellowship


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Sponsored Content

FIRST® Launches New Transportation-Inspired Robotics Season

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 65% of today's students will grow up having careers that do not exist yet. At FIRST®, we recognize the critical need to prepare students for the industries of the future and foster a strong, diverse workforce that is prepared to tackle significant challenges. 

For more than 30 years, FIRST has been inspiring young people’s love of science and technology through exciting hands-on, mentor-based PreK-12 robotics programs. Through game-like robotics challenges, students receive valuable STEM experience while building the resilience and communication skills they’ll need to innovate in their professional careers.  

Evidence from the ongoing FIRST Longitudinal Study, conducted via a multi-year partnership with Brandeis University, shows FIRST participation leads to long-term impact, including sustained attitudes and interest in STEM and persistence in STEM pathways into college and related careers. FIRST students are significantly more likely to major in STEM fields than their peers. For example, 68% of FIRST alumni majored in engineering or computer science by year 4 of college compared to 29% of the comparison group peers in the study.   

In the 2021-2022 season, students in more than 100 countries will reimagine the future of transportation in FIRST® FORWARDSM presented by Qualcomm. To introduce the new FIRST FORWARD season, industry leaders from FIRST Strategic Partners Amazon, The Boeing Company, Disney, FedEx, Lucasfilm, and Qualcomm joined FIRST Founder Dean Kamen in a new video about how leaders in the transportation industry are tackling the world’s most pressing challenges and partnering with the FIRST community to innovate for the future. Watch now. 

Learn more about the upcoming season and how you can get involved and empower the next generation of innovators. 



Tanja Karp, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Texas Tech University, spent 2016– 17 in southern Africa working to develop a LEGO robotics program, thanks to a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award. Karp has long had a passion for K–12 STEM education. “My goal is to get students in primary and secondary schools excited about the field of engineering,” she explains.

While she succeeded in implementing an accessible robotics program, one big problem quickly became apparent: the relatively high cost of the LEGO robotics kits the students needed. Karp came up with ideas to overcome that problem by expanding the country’s STEM education beyond robotics.

Now she’s been awarded a second Fulbright stipend to put that plan into action. Next year, Karp will be heading back to work with the Namibia University of Science and Technology to continue the process. They’ll develop programs that are more cellphone- and tablet-oriented, since access to smartphones and WiFi is widespread in the region. In addition to research and teaching, Fulbright recipients must also engage the community. Karp will team with a Namibian nonprofit called MindsInAction, which works with the Ministry of Education to run STEM programs. “I will bring data science and Python programming into their programs that currently mainly focus on robotics. I’ll also provide computational thinking activities to the younger students,” she says. In addition, Karp will teach classes in data science and digital communications systems at the university, with the goal of getting college students to connect with and mentor K–12 students in the basics of wireless networks and protocols.






When it comes to offshore wind power, the United States lags. To date, the country generates a mere 42 megawatts of electricity. By comparison, the United Kingdom generates 10,206 MW; China 9,996 MW; and tiny Belgium 2,262 MW. But the Biden administration recently announced ambitious plans to develop 30,000 MW of offshore wind capacity this decade and to speed up the federal review process. Toward that goal, on May 11 the government gave final approval to the Vineyard Wind project, a utility-scale offshore wind farm containing 62 giant turbines off Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The plan is for Vineyard to produce 800 MW by 2023, or enough clean energy to power 400,000 homes.

In a recent article in The Conversation, two University of Massachusetts engineering academics—Erin Baker, a professor of industrial engineering, and Matthew Lackner, a professor of mechanical engineering—write that this could be the start of a thriving U.S. offshore wind industry. They caution, however, that obstacles remain. Vineyard was initially set to begin construction in 2019 but was stalled by the Trump administration. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ruled that developers must address “cumulative impacts,” or what effect 20 or 40 big offshore facilities would have on the East Coast. The authors write that, while plans should carefully consider the impacts of future wind farms along the Eastern Seaboard, that “does not justify blocking the first utility-scale wind farm now.” Vineyard, they argue, will provide valuable data on the impact giant wind turbines will have on marine ecosystems.
Meanwhile, the 1920 Jones Act states that only U.S.-registered ships can move cargo between the country’s ports, and that now applies to turbine construction. Special vessels are needed to install more turbines, but the United States doesn’t have any, and the law makes relying on European vessels difficult. The first U.S.-made vessel is currently under construction in Texas—but several more will be needed, the authors note.

The easing of regulatory hurdles in Europe has allowed the cost of offshore wind to reach just $50 per megawatt hour. If the administration’s approach allows U.S. farms to reach similar low costs, it will be competitive, Baker and Lackner say. It could also be a job-creator: The White House expects the fledgling industry to employ 44,000 by 2030.





Image courtesy of Tesla


As anyone who has ever driven one can attest, Tesla’s standard Model S sedan is one peppy car. But earlier this month, at an event outside Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., owner Elon Musk unveiled the new Model S Plaid—sticker price starts at $130,000— which he bragged is the fastest production car ever, BusinessInsider reports. The Plaid can reportedly go from zero to 60 m.p.h. in two seconds and has a top speed of 200 m.p.h., all thanks to three electric motors pumping out more than 1,000 horsepower. The Plaid has an estimated range of 390 miles.

Whatever one thinks of Musk, who is prone to brash statements and eyebrow-raising antics, Tesla has pushed electric vehicles into the mainstream. Every global automaker is now fully or partially committed to electrification. Plaid is, in part, Tesla’s response to its rivals’ high-performance EVs, including Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and Porsche’s Taycan. As BusinessInsider notes, if you drive on highways instead of race tracks, you don’t need a car this fast. But Musk claims super high-performance EVs are necessary to show that they can hold their own against the gasoline-fueled Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world. “We’ve got to show that an electric car is the best car—hands down,” he says. “It’s got to be clear [that] sustainable-energy cars can be the fastest cars, can be the safest cars, can be the most kick-ass cars in every way.”





Job-hunting? Here are a few current openings:

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2. Department Head - 1 opportunity

3. Physics - 1 opportunity

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The title ASEE Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon ASEE members with outstanding qualifications and experience in engineering or engineering technology education or an allied field. In addition, these members have made appropriate and important individual contributions to engineering or engineering technology education, as well as considerable individual contributions to ASEE. 

Congratulations to ASEE’s new Fellows:

• Ronald J. Bennett, University of St. Thomas
• Carlotta A. Berry, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
• Bobby 'Grant' Crawford, Quinnipiac University
• Elliot P. Douglas, University of Florida
• Keith V. Johnson, East Tennessee State University
• Sharon Jones, University of Washington Bothell
• Donna C. Llewellyn, Boise State University
• Gary S. May, University of California, Davis
• Beena Sukumaran, Miami University



Calling all new engineering faculty members! Are you looking for ways to improve your classroom practice and navigate the responsibilities of your position, university, and discipline? Join us this August for the DELTA New Faculty Institute, a four-part, instructor-led online program for new faculty. $750 for ASEE members. Don’t miss out–sign up today.



Check out the updated conference schedule on this easy-to-follow grid. Reminder that all times for the conference are Pacific Time (you're welcome, West Coasters). And don't forget your interactive friend for navigating the conference, the Online Session Locator. Get the advance rate of $445 through July 1 by registering here.  



ASEE and other entities are partnering on the creation and distribution of educational materials developed for educators, community groups, and the public, with support from NSF. The project’s video modules explain vaccine safety and address vaccine hesitancy. The videos can be used by academics to help explain to their students why they should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch and share the video modules.



ASEE’s Prism magazine welcomes essay submissions for our Last Word page. These should be about 700 words plus a short bio paragraph and present an argument that generates discussion. Topics should be of interest to engineering educators, but are otherwise left up to the authors. Articles are chosen based on the importance or timeliness of the issues raised, clarity, and quality of presentation. Please email your submission either with a Word attachment or in the email text, not as a PDF, and allow at least 12 weeks for your submission to complete the review process. Every article submitted to Prism is carefully reviewed by the magazine's editorial staff. During this time, your article should not be submitted elsewhere or be under consideration by another publication. Once your submission has completed the review process, we will notify you of your acceptance or rejection for publication.

Please email submissions to Prism editor Eva Miller at



ASEE’s Prism magazine seeks a new student columnist to add their fresh perspective to its pages! The columnist should be a clear writer with strong opinions who, ideally, has at least two years left in school. The columnist will write two columns per year and receive $500 for each published article.

To apply, please email a resume, brief cover letter, and any writing samples you may have (newspapers, magazines, blogs, papers, etc.—published is preferred but not required!) to by July 19, 2021.

Check out the latest column from our graduating student columnist, Amman Asfaw, to see what a column looks like.



The next stage of engineering awaits! The new Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship, known as eFellows, places early-career engineering Ph.D.s in university research postdoctoral fellowships. In addition to hands-on academic research with a faculty advisor, each fellowship cohort will participate in professional development and mentoring activities designed to prepare them for future research careers.

The eFellows program is administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) with funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Program benefits include a salary of $75,000 per year, for two years. Upon selection, ASEE will issue subawards to host institutions to cover salary, benefits, and up to $3,000 for travel expenses per fellow.

Applications are open now until July 6, 2021. Fellowship appointments start September 7, 2021.

Please visit the eFellows site or contact for more information.



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