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Dayton Engineer

Leaders in Engineering Education Named as Fellows 2021 by Kern Family Foundation

By Karen Updyke, School of Engineering

Dr. Timothy Reissman, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Dr. R. Kirk Pirlo, assistant professor, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, at the University of Dayton were named Engineering Unleashed Fellows 2021 by the Kern Family Foundation.

The designation recognizes “leadership in undergraduate engineering education,” according to the Foundation. The Foundation’s congratulatory letter to the University states that Reissman and Pirlo are “truly ambassadors of excellence for the University and are distinguished through a Fellows Project and through interactions with the greater Engineering Unleashed community.”

“This fellowship will allow deeper assessment of how hands-on learning approaches or ‘maker opportunities,’ are translated to readying our students for 21st century engineering. Additionally, it will allow this work to be published for everyone to see, via open-access. I thank the Foundation for their continued support towards teaching innovation,” said Reissman.

"I've implemented a lot of things I learned from the KEEN workshop,” said Pirlo. “However, the continued engagement with KEEN coaches throughout the following year who advised and encouraged me to structure my implementations into a module that others could use has unexpectedly been the most valuable part of the experience for me."

The process begins with the fellow’s initiative to participate in an Engineering Unleashed Faculty Development Workshop designed and delivered by a collaborative group of faculty members at more than twenty-five institutions. The workshops focus on development and application of an entrepreneurial mindset either through teaching and learning, research, industry, or leadership.

Following the Engineering Unleashed track: “Teaching and Learning,” Reissman's workshop title from August 2020 was Making with Purpose.

Pirlo also followed the "Teaching and Learning" track and his workshop title from June 2020 was Integrating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Working with peer coaches for up to a year, the fellow completes the work and contributes to the Engineering Unleashed community through an online publication shared on Peer coaches nominate the fellow, and the application is recognized by an independent review committee of past fellows. 

Fellowships are honored with

  • an announcement of accomplishment on Engineering Unleashed website and a notification letter to the the fellow's university/institution;
  • an opportunity to further advance their project/module, develop a new project/module, participate in conferences and promote their work;
  • a $10,000 grant through their university/institution to advance their project/module, pay for part of their salary, develop a new product/module, participate in conferences or support undergraduate student assistants; and
  • an event for the community where the fellows virtually meet, share and learn about projects.

The Engineering Unleashed community has 3,800 faculty members from 340 higher education institutions who share a mission to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset equipped to create societal, personal and economical value. 

Congratulations Engineering Unleashed Fellows: Dr. Timothy Reissman and Dr. Kirk Pirlo! 

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