Transdisciplinary Faculty Team from HUA, Engineering, & Undergraduate Studies Wins Best Paper Award at ASEE


WPI Today

“The Theatre of Humanitarian Engineering,” a paper presented at the 124th Annual Conference & Exposition of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), has been named one of five outstanding papers at ASEE’s 2017 annual conference.

The paper, written by a transdisciplinary team of WPI faculty and staff about an experimental course they have taught for two years, was named the best paper (from among 259 papers presented) in Professional Interest Council 3, one of five Professional Interest Councils within ASEE.

Curtis Abel, John Bergendahl, Kris Boudreau, David DiBiasio, Leslie Dodson, Glenn Gaudette, Paula Quinn, Laura Robinson, and John Sullivan collaborated on development and delivery of the course, Humanitarian Engineering Past and Present, which was itself developed based on the work of two HUA Inquiry Seminar student teams. In their paper, the faculty and staff involved in developing, teaching, and assessing this course described their experiences and findings for other engineering educators. Because of the PIC 3 award, “The Theatre of Humanitarian Engineering” is now one of only five (of the 1,765 papers presented at the conference) papers eligible for the best overall paper at ASEE 2017.

For the authors, WPI’s project-based curriculum and collaborative approach to teaching offer rich opportunities for encounter, integration, creativity, and discovery, often in ways that are difficult to imagine or predict from within the disciplines.