The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Jonsson School Hosts ASEE Conference

Jonsson School Hosts ASEE Conference

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science recently hosted the 2017 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Gulf Southwest Annual Regional Conference.

Over 100 attendees participated in the conference and shared their experiences on a wide range of topics related to engineering education. Dr. Robert Hart, clinical associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, served as the conference chair for the event.

“This is the first time for UT Dallas to host the conference,” Hart said. “It was an honor to have a body of influential engineering educators to challenge and push the envelope in terms of what we practice here in the Jonsson School. The ASEE Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference has always been an excellent forum for sharing ideas to improve engineering education. This year, we named the conference ‘Shaping the Future of Engineering,’ and I suspect a number of innovations will emerge from this conference.”

The conference featured 16 technical sessions. Eight of these sessions focused on faculty-led research related to engineering education. The remaining sessions were devoted to undergraduate and graduate research work.

The keynote address, “Who We Are and Where We are Going” was given by Dr. Bevlee Watford. Dr. Watford is a professor of engineering education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, a Fellow of ASEE and the ASEE President-elect. She discussed the current status of ASEE, what the organization has been doing and what is being planned for the future. She also presented her preliminary plans for her term as President and beyond.

The conference also featured research facilities tours where attendees visited three of the dedicated interdisciplinary research buildings on campus. The first stop featured the newest and the largest building on campus, the Bioengineering and Sciences Building, which houses programs in bioengineering and neuroscience, as well as research space for related programs in biology and chemistry. The second stop included the Natural Science and Engineering Research Lab; and the third stop showcased the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, which hosts innovative research at the intersection of engineering and the arts.

Founded in 1893, the American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. In pursuit of academic excellence, ASEE develops policies and programs that enhance professional opportunities for engineering faculty members, and promotes activities that support increased student enrollments in engineering and engineering technology colleges and universities. ASEE also fulfills its mission by providing a valuable communication link among corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions.

Dr. Bevlee Watford

Dr. Bevlee Watford, associate dean and academic affairs director for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at Virginia Tech University, gave the keynote address.