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Transforming outcomes, practices, and cultures through STEM education research

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Date: Monday 5 June 2017
Venue: BA403 (Business and Arts Building), Hawthorn Campus

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Join the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology for this special public seminar featuring Dr Joachim Walther, Director, Engineering Education Transformation Institute, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.


A rapidly changing world has brought STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education to a crossroads: The fields can rise to the challenge of preparing researchers and practitioners to play a key role in addressing the grand challenges of our time or risk becoming irrelevant in a globally connected, socio-technical, and complex world. Fundamental STEM education research can provide the evidence base and the cultural drivers necessary for such a transformation.

In this talk, Dr Jo Walther will draw on examples from his engineering education research program and experiences in leading institutional change, to illustrate the multiple, interconnected opportunities for fusing fundamental education research with teaching innovation and cultural change in STEM.

More specifically, the talk will present interdisciplinary research projects, for example, between engineering and social work around the role of empathy in student formation, and share strategies from building community and shared capacity around the scholarship of teaching and learning in a college of engineering at a large public research university in the US.

About the speaker

Dr Joachim Walther, Director, Engineering Education Transformation Institute, University of Georgia, USA
Dr Joachim Walther is an Associate Professor of engineering education research at the University of Georgia. He holds engineering degrees from the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany and a PhD in engineering education from the University of Queensland.

Dr Walther is the Founding Director of the Engineering Education Transformations Institute at the University of Georgia (UGA), an innovative unit that fuses high quality STEM education research with systematic educational innovation.

Dr Walther’s research group, the Collaborative Lounge for Understanding Society and Technology through Educational Research (CLUSTER), is a dynamic interdisciplinary team that brings together academics, PhD and undergraduate students from engineering, art, educational psychology, and social work in the context of fundamental educational research.

The recipient of over $2 million of engineering education research funding, Dr Walther has published numerous articles in prestigious engineering and STEM education research journals and at international conferences in the field. His research has been recognized through the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the US government upon Engineers and Scientists in the early stages of their careers.

Contact Information: Elizabeth Chapman