Professor awarded 2 NSF grants for engineering education research

Jablokow2013Kathryn Jablokow, Ph.D., associate professor, mechanical engineering and engineering design, is the principal investigator for two grants recently awarded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Engineering Directorate through the Engineering Education Program.

The grants are focused on different aspects of the engineering learning experience in support of the National Science Foundation's strategic goals for educating the future engineering workforce.

"With these collaborative projects, I will be working with colleagues at Purdue, Michigan, and Iowa State universities to investigate the creative diversity of engineers from several perspectives," says Jablokow.

"Identifying and Assessing Key Factors of Engineering Innovativeness" explores the factors that contribute to an engineer's capacity for bringing an idea from concept to implementation across the stages of the innovation process. Following an interview-based grounded theory study, a new assessment instrument for engineering innovativeness will be validated and benchmarked for multiple engineering populations, including students and working professionals.

"Investigating Impacts on the Ideation Flexibility of Engineers" investigates the impact of three factors (cognitive style, ideation techniques, and teaming) on students' idea generation (ideation). As an outcome of this project, new curricular materials will be disseminated that will enable engineering educators to support the ideation of students in the classroom.

"These projects build on my previous research to construct more detailed models of how engineering creativity operates and how it can be enhanced through a better understanding of individual differences," says Jablokow.