CEAS Welcomes New Engineering Education Department Head

PK Imbrie

CINCINNATI, OH (AUGUST 29, 2016)— P.K. Imbrie, PhD, joins the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science as Department Head of Engineering Education, as well as Professor in the Departments of Engineering Education and Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Imbrie comes to us from Texas A&M University where he was an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution.  Imbrie brings his expertise in engineering education having also served as the director of undergraduate education and interim director of undergraduate engineering education and innovation at Texas A&M. Imbrie holds a BS, MS, and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M.

In 2000, Imbrie joined the Freshman Engineering Department faculty (later called First-Year Engineering)  at Purdue University, where he participated in the creation and implementation of the first-of-its kind School of Engineering Education.  He co-led the creation of the program’s Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Learning Laboratory, a design-oriented facility that engages students in team-based, socially relevant projects.

Prior to leaving Purdue to return to Texas A&M in 2012, he served as the Director of the College of Engineering Honors Program. Directly building on the enhancements to the first-year experience, he led the College program toward an enabling environment that attracts and retains the highly motivated and academically successful student with a broader and more enriched educational experience promoting scholastic achievement, breadth of knowledge, global awareness, and leadership development.

At Texas A&M, he held the rank of Associate Professor and served as the Director of Undergraduate Engineering Education and most recently the Interim Director of the Institute of Engineering Education and Innovation. He helped vision and design the Zachry Engineering Education Complex; a renovation and expansion of a state-of-the-art undergraduate engineering education facility that was approximately 280,000 GSF and will be 550,000 GSF, making it the largest academic building in the state of Texas at the time of completion. The overall facility represents a significant departure from traditional educational facilities. The design builds upon current learning space research and will serve as a living laboratory for future research. The facility will make use of a new laboratory paradigm for undergraduate students that will enhance their experience while simultaneously significantly improving laboratory use efficiencies through a series of ten common laboratories (e.g., fluids, materials, controls) that will operate 24x7. In addition, the facility will house eighteen one-hundred person state-of-the-art learning studios configured for active/collaborative learning, as well as remote education and fourteen forty-eight person learning studios similarly configured. Lastly, the facility will house a 30,000 ASF Design Center (i.e., maker space), as well as numerous other informal learning spaces

Throughout his academic career, Imbrie has built a strong record of research, teaching, and service in the fields of engineering education and aerospace engineering.  Imbrie conducts both traditional as well as educational research in experimental mechanics, piezospectroscopic techniques and is a strong advocate for using research-based approaches to inform engineering education practice, curricular reform and student retention; conducting cyber-enabled research on student success, in contexts including modeling, assessment, team effectiveness, conceptual understanding, and global competencies. Imbrie was the recipient of the 2015 William Elgin Wickenden Award of the American Society for Engineering Education for his work (and colleagues) using modeling to determine and change admissions bias to engineering.

Imbrie has published extensively in the area of engineering education in journal and conference papers.  He helped establish the scholarly foundation for engineering education as an academic discipline through lead-authorship of the landmark 2006 JEE special reports “The National Engineering Education Research Colloquies” and “The Research Agenda for the New Discipline of Engineering Education.” He has also published in the area of aerospace engineering.  His sponsored research grants as a PI or co-PI total in excess of $9.1 million from government and industry.

“The combination of Dr. Imbrie’s academic, administrative, research, teaching, scholarship, and service background made him the ideal candidate for the leadership role within our College.  We warmly welcome him and together, we look forward to bringing the College to its next plateau of success,” says Teik C. Lim, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

by Ashley Duvelius