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ECE Distinguished Seminar Series

Enhancing learning and inclusivity in Electrical Engineering

Prof. Susan LordChair and Professor, Integrated Engineering; Professor of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of San Diego
1200 EECS BuildingMap
Susan Lord


How can we educate students to be the most effective engineers when they graduate? What does it take to attract a broader range of students to electrical and computer engineering?  What curricular efforts could support both of these goals? These are important questions for the discipline. As part of an NSF-funded Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant, “Developing Changemaking Engineers,” the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering (SMSE) at the University of San Diego (USD) is working to address these questions.

In this talk, I’ll begin with a study that explores a large, multi-institutional, longitudinal dataset of engineering undergraduates. I’ll describe who is currently attracted to engineering and will highlight how the field of electrical engineering fares compared to other engineering disciplines. Then, I’ll describe one promising approach to change the demographics of the electrical engineering student body and to increase the learning that happens in the undergraduate curriculum. The approach entails reframing electrical engineering from a purely technical discipline to one which is socio-technical, and I’ll present modules we’ve developed for Circuits that accomplish this.


Susan M. Lord is Professor and Chair of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego (USD).  She received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her research focuses on the study and promotion of diversity in engineering including student pathways and inclusive teaching.  Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord and Dr. Michelle Camacho are among the first to study Latinas in engineering and coauthored The Borderlands of Education:  Latinas in Engineering. Dr. Lord is a Fellow of the IEEE and ASEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference and President of the IEEE Education Society.  She is Co-Director of the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI). Dr. Lord is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education (ToE) and the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE).  She and coauthors have received best paper awards from JEE and the IEEE ToE. She spent a sabbatical in 2012 at Southeast University in Nanjing, China.  Dr. Lord is currently on the USD team implementing “Developing Changemaking Engineers”, an NSF-sponsored Revolutionizing Engineering Education (RED) project.  Dr. Lord is the 2018 recipient of the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Dr. Lord's lecture included here for those that couldn't attend.

Sponsored by

ECE Division


Ann Stals

Faculty Host

Cindy Finelli Director & Grad Chair, Engineering Education Research