Building bridges to future engineers

Teachers seeking to share ideas about improving and inspiring engineering education will gather at a regional conference hosted by NAU in Flagstaff.

“Continuous Improvement in Engineering Education,” the Pacific Southwest Regional Conference for the American Society for Engineering Education, is March 27-28 at the Radisson Woodlands Hotel.

“As a nation we face many challenges in recruiting, educating and retaining students in engineering fields,” said Debra Larson, professor and chair of NAU’s civil and environmental engineering. “This conference is an important venue for faculty to exchange ideas, present and publish their work and grow connections that will help increase the number of students pursuing engineering degrees.”

Larson expects about 75 engineers from around the West to attend the conference, which will include lectures as well as concurrent presentations about engineering education topics, such as teaching sustainability in building design, engineering with biology, and steps that can put younger students on the path to becoming engineers.

Larson, along with Barry Lutz, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and Linda Shadiow, director for NAU’s Office of Faculty Development, will introduce the conference and speak on various topics.

Don Carter, director of e-Learning at NAU, will introduce the audience to emerging technologies in higher education. NAU professors will lead conference breakout sessions, including John TesterDieter Otte and David Scott.

Attendees will compete for awards for best technical paper and presentation and will tour NAU’s LEED Platinum rated Applied Research and Development building and Gold rated Engineering building.

Information about the conference is online, or call Lisa Hardy at (928) 523-1447 or e-mail