Professor Bielefeldt conducts research related to engineering education, including the trajectories of students and professional engineers. The goal is to improve how students are educated to address the complexities that they will encounter as practicing engineers. Topics that her group explores include sustainability, social responsibility, ethics, and diversity. The research methods include quantitative surveys, rubric assessment of student work, and qualitative approaches including interviews. Visit Prof. Bielefeldt’s website here!
Also note that Professor Javernick-Will is also active in researching engineering education topics.
- How do different engineering disciplines consider sustainability in their designs? To what extent are sustainability rating systems such as ENVISION, LEED, and GoodGuide helpful or limiting in the ways that students seek to incorporate sustainability considerations into their designs? To what extent do students believe that sustainability is an important design consideration?
- What experiences do working professionals encounter in regards to macroethical issues as they work with communities, such as design for sustainability and social justice? In what ways did their education prepare or fail to prepare them to navigate these complex issues?
- How do engineers communicate risk, uncertainty, resilience, and sustainability issues to the stakeholders during the public information stages (such as the Environmental Impact Statement) of large infrastructure projects? How are these processes similar to and different from the methods used in formal higher education? What best practices can be distilled?