Gregory Thompson, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, has been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s fourth Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium.

Chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants, Thompson was nominated by the dean of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Gene Cilento.

“For the third straight year, a member of our faculty has been selected to participate in this prestigious symposium,” said Cilento. “Their participation in this type of event helps to advance their careers and the education agenda of our College.”

Thompson will join 71 other young educators representing a variety of engineering disciplines at the conference on Oct. 14-17 in Irvine, Calif. Participants are selected based on recently implemented innovations in their classes. Attendees participate in discussions and workshops focused on applying teaching methods to student learning of engineering fundamentals, as well as the development of personal, interpersonal and professional skills.

Participants will also have multiple opportunities to share their innovations with others, learn from best practices and network with colleagues.

“The Frontiers of Engineering Education program creates a unique venue for engineering faculty members to share and explore interesting and effective innovations in teaching and learning,” said NAE President and WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources alumnus Charles M. Vest. “We want FOEE to become a major force in identifying, recognizing and promulgating advances and innovations in order to build a strong intellectual infrastructure and commitment to 21st-century engineering education.”

Thompson, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from WVU, chairs MAE’s undergraduate curriculum committee and has been a leader in the development of a new curriculum to provide students with the skills needed to solve present and future societal needs. Specialty tracks have been identified to leverage state and regional needs in the areas of design and manufacturing, energy, material engineering, controls and robotics and bioengineering.

“I am excited to be selected to go to the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in October to discuss pending curricular changes that the Department plans to make,” said Thompson. “I look forward to discussing these pending changes and make adjustments to maximize the students’ future learning.”

“Gregory Thompson has made great contributions to improving and assessing our undergraduate curriculum, serving as chair of both our mechanical engineering curriculum committee and the College’s undergraduate academic affairs committee,” said Jacky Prucz, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “He is leading our efforts to align WVU’s undergraduate education in mechanical engineering with the emerging changes that are envisioned by the National Science Foundation, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and other national organizations to reshape engineering education in the U.S. in the next 10-20 years.”

This year’s program will focus on innovations in the context, curriculum and delivery of engineering education.

“It is absolutely critical that U.S. engineering educators learn how to become more effective in the classroom, utilizing technology and pedagogy in creative ways in order to produce more innovative graduates who have the ability to address the complex problems of the 21st century,” said Larry Shuman, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and Distinguished Service Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, and the chair of the FOEE planning committee. “To do otherwise will cede the nation’s place as an educational leader to other, more aggressive countries. At FOEE these outstanding faculty will learn about the newest educational developments ranging from MOOCs (massive, open, online, courses) to online publishing.”



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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon