Teaching and Engineering Education
Research for Frank Fisher
According to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Engineering Criteria 2000, "engineering programs must be designed to
prepare graduates for the practice of engineering at a professional level."
This suggests that in addition to engineering skills and content knowledge
engineering schools should strive to develop additional skill sets in their
students which will better prepare them to utilize what they have learned
in school in industry.
In an effort to better understand the types of cognitive skills required
of engineers, general work in the cognitive and learning sciences in the area
of "adaptive expertise" was studied and adapted specifically with
the practice of engineering in mind. In this context the adaptive expert was
defined as an individual who possesses the content knowledge of an expert,
but who in addition displays specific cognitive dispositions that augment
and enhance their ability to effectively utilize and extend their content
knowledge. Through this review four constructs that have been identified (multiple
perspectives, metacognition, goals and beliefs, and epistemology) as forming
the foundation of adaptiveness in this context of engineering practice.
Data collection involving undergraduate engineering students using carefully
designed student surveys and a small number of in-depth student interviews
has shown that this paradigm may have useful implications in engineering education.
1. Preliminary results suggest a relationship between high adaptiveness and
high GPAs in undergraduate students
2. Adaptiveness increases as students progress through the undergraduate curriculum
3. Students scoring high in adaptiveness were able to recall specific instances
in their experience that led them to become "more adaptive." Typically
these experiences were related to design work, internships, and co-op experiences
led to increases across each of the four dimensions of AE.
For more information there is an slightly expanded discussion of adaptive
expertise here, or see:
Fisher, FT, and PL Peterson (2001). "A Tool to Measure Adaptive Expertise
in Biomedical Engineering Students" Multimedia Division(Session 2793) Proceedings
for the 2001 ASEE Annual Conference, June 24-27, Albuquerque, NM. (PDF
(This work was conducted in conjunction
with the VaNTH Engineering Research Center, The Biomedical Engineering Department
of Northwestern University, and the School of Engineering and Social Policy
of Northwestern University.)
- adaptive expertise
methods analysis of engineering student development and growth
- use of technology
to enhance teaching methods for undergraduate engineering
curriculum development to better prepare students for careers in industry
- web-based and
outreach programs for younger, under-represented, and disadvantaged students
STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Aug 1 2010 - current)
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Fall 2004 – July 31, 2010)
- ME 345 Modeling and Simulation: Junior level required course
for Mechanical Engineering students covers modeling and simulation strategies
including model-block building, logical and data modeling, validation, trade-off
analysis, decision-making, input and output statistical analysis, and process/system
optimization. The focus of the class is teaching higher-level abstract analysis
tools and strategies which are discipline and software independent. Examples
of these modeling and simulation strategies are demonstrated in a number of
areas, including solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics, thermodynamics,
heat transfer, and manufacturing. Several software packages, including CAD/CAE
software, are used in the class.
- NANO 600 Nanoscale Science and Technology: Co-developed and co-taught new core course for Nanotechnology Graduate Program (NGP) at Stevens. The objective of the class is to introduce students to the fundamentals of unique properties of nanostructures, their synthesis, and their applications in areas such as electronics, photonics, robotics, biotechnology, and environmental technology. Students will be able to gain important insights into when and why size matters, how the materials properties can be engineered through size control, how various nanostructures can be made, and what are the opportunities and challenges in realizing the projected potential of nanotechnology in a broad spectrum of engineering and sciences.
- NANO 525 Techniques of Surface and Nanostructure Characterization: (Assisted Svetlana Sukhishvili with the development and teaching of the course.) The goal of the course is to introduce students to the fundamentals, instrumentation, and applications of common analytical tools for surface and nanostructure characterization. The students will acquire the knowledge necessary for the selection of most suitable techniques and for the interpretation of the resultant information relevant to surface science and nanotechnology. The course consists of 60% lectures and 40% demonstrations and experiments in Stevens labs. Fisher has developed specific lectures on topics such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Nanomanipulation.
Instructor, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Fall 2003)
- Engineering Analysis III: System Dynamics, introducing
students to the analysis of mechanical and electrical systems, conservation
principles in Newtonian mechanics, and the numerical and analytical solution
of ordinary differential equations.
Followed the peer instruction paradigm of teaching, where concept questions
and group work are utilized to foster critical thinking and problem-solving
skills in students as they work to develop an understanding of the course
material. Incorporated several technological tools as part of the class instruction,
including daily Powerpoint slides and handouts of the lecture material, Blackboard®
asynchronous discussion boards, and multimedia modules and enhanced lectures
previously developed for the class.
- Guest lecturer for several undergraduate (Engineering Analysis II: Statics
and Dynamics, Mechanics of Materials) and graduate-level (Mechanics of Advanced
Materials, Introduction to Nanotechnology) for classes taught within the Mechanical
Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellow, Searle Center for Teaching Excellence (2000,
Teaching Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering (September 1997 –
Teaching Assistant, School of Education and Social Policy (Fall 2001)
- As a Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellow, designed and conducted workshops
to prepare new Teaching Assistants in engineering and science disciplines.
- Selected TA for pilot of Engineering Analysis II, part of the Engineering
First curriculum development project at Northwestern.
- Served as head TA for EA II for 2 years, responsible for coordinating the
efforts of all teaching assistants in addition to normal TA duties.
- Nugent Fellowship Recipient (Spring 1998) for Engineering Analysis III.
- TA for various classes in the Mechanical and Civil Engineering departments:
Continuum Mechanics, Introduction to Heat Transfer, Engineering Design and
Communication, and Engineering Mechanics.
- TA for graduate level class in the School of Education and Social Policy
(Interface Design for Interactive Learning Environments); responsible for
significant upgrades to the syllabus, including required readings and the
selection of software for student critiques.
ADVANCED STUDIES PROGRAM, ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL Concord,
Master Teacher (Summer 1998, Summer 1999)
- Developed and taught a five week class (20 hrs/week) entitled “Introduction
to Engineering” for gifted high school pre-seniors
- Course combined lecture, problem solving sessions, demonstrations, field
trips, and hands-on projects to introduce students to various fields of engineering
- Topics covered during the class included: statics and dynamics of rigid
bodies, conservation principles, vector calculus, computer programming, electrical
circuits, and web programming
National High School Institute - Summer Program Instructor (Summer 1996, Summer
- Initiated and designed a course to introduce high school students to the
field of mechanical engineering.
- Led independent research projects where students programmed a 3D particle
dynamics code, which they used to analyze drag force effects
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (September 1993 – May 1995)
- Prepared and led classroom recitation sections in college algebra and trigonometry
- Assisted in the development of a specialized "Computers in Calculus"
program introducing students to computer-aided mathematical analysis
- Conducted classroom training for future undergraduate teaching assistants
Back to Dr.
Frank Fisher's homepage.
Here is my CV
in PDF format (version June 2017).
and Nanomaterials Laboratory at Stevens)
to go to my teaching / engineering education web page.
Or maybe you would
like to visit my personal web page? If so, click HERE
June 26, 2017
Dr. Frank Fisher
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Stevens Institute of Technology
Castle Point on Hudson
Hoboken, NJ 07030