Evaluation and Rewards for Faculty Involved in Engineering Design Education

Robert H. Todd and Spencer P. Magleby
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602, USA
E-mail: todd@byu.edu

Abstract:
One of the challenges of engineering education concerns the evaluation and reward of faculty who are primarily involved in design-related teaching and scholarship. Some engineering educators find themselves involved in creative synthesis or design activities that may be more difficult to measure or that are less readily accepted in academia than traditional analysis-oriented scholarly activities. Engineering faculty are often interested in teaching and doing research in the design aspects of engineering, yet there are limited methods for traditional peer review of these activities. As a result, some faculty may choose to take the route of teaching design, but, in the scholarly portion of their stewardship, as in the sciences, may choose to do analysis activities which are more readily accepted and more easily evaluated. If engineering design is to advance as a viable academic discipline, there must be an increased awareness of issues and practices associated with the scholarly evaluation of design-oriented faculty. A survey of methods used by mechanical engineering departments to evaluate scholarship of design faculty was conducted. Some principles and practices for evaluation of engineering design faculty are identified and conclusions are drawn.

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