Ahmet (Can) Sabuncu Named 2023 Engineering Unleashed Fellow, Joining 2022 Fellow Gbetonmasse Somasse


Marketing Communications

Ahmet (Can) Sabuncu, assistant professor of teaching in mechanical engineering, has been named a 2023 Engineering Unleashed Fellow. This prestigious designation recognizes Sabuncu’s outstanding leadership in undergraduate engineering education and his significant contributions to the greater Engineering Unleashed community. The program is supported by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a partnership of more than 55 colleges and universities across the country.  

The 2023 Engineering Unleashed Fellows class is composed of 30 faculty members representing 24 higher education institutions. According to the website, “each Fellow has demonstrated their commitment to advancing the field of engineering education through their participation in the Engineering Unleashed Faculty Development workshops.” 

Sabuncu’s Fellowship Project consists of a model Problem Solving Studio activity that uses a physical Stirling engine with failures that students investigate iteratively. The project is a creative method of teaching troubleshooting and has widespread application in a variety of courses—engineering- and design-related alike. Sabuncu published an ASEE paper this past year describing this activity and the use of concept maps to help students organize domain knowledge; he plans to continue developing the activity for low-resource settings. 

This is the second consecutive year a WPI professor has been selected an Engineering Unleashed Fellow. Gbetonmasse Somasse, associate professor of teaching in social sciences and policy studies, was named to the Class of 2022. Somasse’s work presented students with an open-ended problem where they are asked to explore the given situation through the lens of Mankiw's Ten Principles of Economics while considering the 3C's of engineering mindset-curiosity, connections and creating value. This activity is fundamental to helping students understand what creating value means beyond dollars and cents.