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National Advisory Board

The National Advisory Board was assembled in early 2009 to lead early development of the IRE model. These five leaders and experts from across engineering education were chosen because of their knowledge in learner-centered teaching, assessment, accreditation, learning, and engineering education reform. All five members of the board have served since the beginning. They have transitioned from their roles as early developers to advisors during early implementation, and now as evaluators coming to IRE, witnessing the learning, and making valuable recommendations for further improvement.

Advisory Board Members

Dr. Denny C. Davis, PE

Dr. Denny Davis is professor of Bioengineering at Washington State University, where he has been a faculty member for 35 years. He has served as Chair of the Biological Systems Engineering Department and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs for the College of Engineering and Architecture. He directed the Bioengineering Program during the period in which this program was developed and launched. He established the Engineering Education Research Center, which he directed for six years, leading the four-fold expansion of engineering education scholarship at Washington State University.

Dr. Davis’ scholarly contributions over the past two decades have focused on engineering design learning and assessment, engineering curricular innovation, and engaging graduate students in developing curricular materials for high school mathematics classes. This work has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Davis has received numerous local and national awards for outstanding teaching. He received the premier (Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award) recognition at Washington State University on two separate occasions, first for Teaching and later for Leadership. He is a Fellow in the American Society for Engineering Education.


Dr. Jeffrey E. Froyd

Jeffrey E. Froyd is a TEES Research Professor and the Director of Faculty Climate and Development at Texas A&M University. He served as Project Director for the Foundation Coalition, an NSF Engineering Education Coalition in which six institutions systematically renewed, assessed, and institutionalized their undergraduate engineering curricula, and extensively shared their results with the engineering education community. He co-created the Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, which was recognized in 1997 with a Hesburgh Award Certificate of Excellence. He has authored or co-authored over 70 papers on engineering education in areas ranging from curricular change to faculty development.  He is collaborating on NSF-supported projects for (i) renewal of the mechanics of materials course, (ii) improving preparation of students for Calculus I, (iii) systemic application of concept inventories.  He is currently an ABET Program Evaluator and a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal on Engineering Education.


Dr. Edwin C. Jones, Jr.

BSEE, West Virginia University, 1955; Diploma Imperial College (DIC), University of London, 1956, PhD Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1962. Faculty, University of Illinois, 1962-1966. Faculty, Iowa State University, Assistant Professor to Professor in 1972, University Professor in 1995. Director, Engineering Distance Education 1986-2000, Associate Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering 1997-2001. Retired 2001 as University Professor Emeritus. 3M Fellow and Adjunct Professor, School of Engineering, University of St Thomas, 2006-date. Industrial service: General Electric, Westinghouse, and U S Army. Fellow IEEE (citation: “for contributions to engineering education”), AAAS, ASEE, ABET. Received ABET’s 2001 Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award. Member Joint Advisory Board of Texas A&M-Qatar, 2009-2012. Member, External Advisory Board, Iron Range Engineering Program, Minnesota. Some of his former students at Iowa State University have created a scholarship in his name in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.


Dr. Thomas A. Litzinger

Thomas A. Litzinger is Director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State.  His work in engineering education involves curricular reform, teaching and learning innovations, assessment, and faculty development. In addition, he conducts research on the effects of alternative fuels on the production of hazardous air pollutants and particulate emissions.  He has received the Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching at Penn State as well as the Premier and Outstanding Teaching Awards from the Penn State Engineering Society (PSES) and the Alumni Teaching Fellow Award. He serves as an Associate Editor for Advances in Engineering Education and on the Advisory Board for the Journal of Engineering Education.  He was selected as a Fellow of ASEE in 2008. He holds a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Penn State, an M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from RPI, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton.

Dr. Litzinger has made substantial research contributions in engineering education with more than 50 publications; he was lead author for an invited article in the 100th Anniversary issue of JEE and for an invited chapter on translation of research to practice for the first edition of the Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research.  His work in combustion, funded by major US corporations, including Cummins and Texaco, and by all of the major research offices of the Department of Defense, has produced more than 150 publications.  In conducting this research, he has guided more than 40 graduate students to the completion of their degrees. As Director of the Leonhard Center, Dr. Litzinger has responsibility for directing approximately $500,000 annually to fund projects that will substantially enhance the education of engineering undergraduates at Penn State.  Over the course of his time as Director, he has established partnerships with every department in Penn State's College of Engineering, which have resulted in enhancements that affect thousands of students each year.

Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard, PE

Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design-related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on fracture mechanics and applied finite element analysis, and on how people become engineers.  From 1999-2008 she was the Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching principally responsible for the Preparations for the Professions Program (PPP) engineering study, the results of which are contained in the report Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field.  In addition, she served as Chair of Stanford's Faculty Senate in 2006-2007, and is currently Associate Vice Provost of Graduate Education. Dr. Sheppard is co-principal investigator of a National Science Foundation (NSF) STEP grant to expand innovation and entrepreneurship offerings for engineering undergraduates (2011-2016).  She was co-principal investigator of the NSF Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), along with faculty at the University of Washington, Colorado School of Mines, and Howard University (2003-2009) and co-principal investigator with Professor Larry Leifer on a multi-university NSF Coalition grant that critically looked at engineering undergraduate curriculum (Synthesis).  From 1997-1999 Sheri served as co-director of Stanford's Learning Lab.

Sheri is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). She was awarded the 2004 ASEE Chester F. Carlson Award in recognition of distinguished accomplishments in engineering education, and the 2005, 2008 and 2011 ASEE Wickenden Best Journal of Engineering Education Paper Award. In 2010 she was recognized with Stanford's highest teaching recognition, the Walter J. Gores Award.   Before coming to Stanford University, she held several positions in the automotive industry, including senior research engineer at Ford Motor Company's Scientific Research Lab.   Dr. Sheppard's graduate work was done at the University of Michigan.