Engineering Education at Virginia Tech
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Donna Riley, Ph.D.
Professor & Interim Dept Head

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349 Goodwin Hall
Blacksburg, Va 24061


Ph.D. Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 1998
M.S. Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 1995
B.S.E. Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1993


Research Interests:
  • Engineering and social justice
  • Engineering ethics
  • Social inequality in engineering education
  • Liberal education of engineers
  • Critical pedagogies

Riley's research interests include engineering and social justice; engineering ethics; social inequality in engineering education; and the liberal education of engineers. In 2005 she received a National Science Foundation CAREER award on implementing and assessing critical and feminist pedagogies in engineering classrooms. Students in Riley's research group are pursuing interests including culturally inclusive pedagogies; understanding faculty motivations and approaches to teaching engineering ethics; connections between critical thinking and engineering ethics pedagogies; engineering education policy; and public participation in engineering projects impacting communities.

Riley currently teaches an undergraduate course for non-engineers, Citizen Engineering, which explores the meanings of engineering in society and how members of the public can influence large engineering projects as well as undertake their own engineering projects in their communities, redefining what engineering can and should be.


Biography

Donna Riley is Professor of Engineering Education and Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech. From 2013-2015 she served as Program Director for Engineering Education at the National Science Foundation. Riley spent thirteen years as a founding faculty member of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a U.S. women's college, and one of very few engineering programs in a liberal arts context. Riley's research interests include engineering and social justice; engineering ethics; social inequality in engineering education; and the liberal education of engineers. In 2005 she received a National Science Foundation CAREER award on implementing and assessing critical and feminist pedagogies in engineering classrooms.

Riley is the author of two books, Engineering and Social Justice and Engineering Thermodynamics and 21st Century Energy Problems, both published by Morgan and Claypool. She served two years as Deputy Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, and is one of the founding Editors of the International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace. In 2010 Riley received the Educator of the Year award from the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, and in 2012 received the Sterling Olmsted Award from the American Society of Engineering Education "for distinguished contributions in the development and teaching of liberal arts in engineering education." Riley earned a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy. She is an avid hiker, knitter, and distance runner.


Awards & Honors

  • NSF CAREER award for Liberative Pedagogies in Engineering, 2005
  • Benjamin Dasher Award, Frontiers in Education Conference, 2006
  • Educator of the Year Award, National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, 2010
  • Sterling Olmsted Award, American Society of Engineering Education, 2012


Publications

  • Riley, D.M. Engineering and social justice. San Rafael, CA: Morgan and Claypool, 2008.
  • Riley, D. What's Wrong with Evidence? Epistemological Roots and Pedagogical Implications of "Evidence-Based Practice" in STEM Education. ASEE Annual Conference, 2014.
  • Riley, D. Hidden in Plain View: Feminists doing engineering ethics, engineers doing feminist ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 19(1): 189-206, 2013.
  • Riley, D. We've Been Framed! Ends, Means and the Ethics of the Grand(iose) Challenges. International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace, 1(2): 123-136, 2012.
  • Claris, L. and Riley, D. Situation Critical: Critical Theory and Critical Thinking in Engineering Education. Engineering Studies, 4(2): 101-120, 2012.
  • Nieusma, D. and Riley, D. Designs on Development: Engineering, Globalization, and Social Justice. Engineering Studies 2(1): 29-59, 2010.
  • Riley, D., Pawley, A.L., Tucker, J. and Catalano, G.D. Feminisms in Engineering Education: Transformative Possibilities. National Women's Studies Association Journal (now Feminist Formations), 21 (2):21-40, 2009.
  • Riley, D.M. and Claris, L. Developing and Assessing Students' Capacity for Lifelong Learning. International Journal of Engineering Education 24 (5): 906-916, 2008.


 
Engineering Education at Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech
Engineering Education (MC 0218)
345 Goodwin Hall
635 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, Va 24061
(540) 231-6555
Fax (540) 231-6903