Elliot Douglas inducted as an ASEE Fellow

Since its inception, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has inducted 430 of its members as Fellows of the organization, including six members who have served as faculty of the University of Florida – Timothy J. Anderson (2006), Jennifer Curtis (2010), Daniel C. Drucker (1983), Raymond W. Fahien (1985), L. E. Grinter (1983) and Winfred M. Phillips (1987).

In 2021, Elliot P. Douglas, professor and undergraduate coordinator in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences within the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment (ESSIE), and affiliate professor in the Department of Engineering Education, will join this august body of engineering educators. The classification of Fellow is one of prestigious professional distinction and is conferred by the Board of Directors upon an ASEE member with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications, and experience in engineering or engineering technology education or an allied field, and with exemplary ASEE contributions.

“ASEE has been an important community to me,” Dr. Douglas said. “Early in my career it was a place where I received tremendous support and encouragement. Later I felt it was important to give back to that community and pay it forward to others. Being named an ASEE Fellow alongside the engineering educators I have looked up to is a highlight of my career.”

After gaining a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering and a B.S. in Engineering (Materials) and Humanities (Music) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Dr. Douglas worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory before taking a position in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Florida in 1996. After serving as associate chair of MSE (2010-2012), he became the Dean’s Fellow for Engineering Education (2012-2015). From June 2015 until December 2017, he served as the program director for Engineering Education at the National Science Foundation, before returning to UF to join ESSIE in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

Dr. Douglas’s current research interests follow two major threads in engineering education. He uses critical approaches to question issues of power and privilege related to engineering practice. Specifically, he is investigating cultures of inclusion in the engineering workplace and ethics of community engagement by engineers. This thread includes an investigation of the experiences of Black engineers in the workplace and work to incorporate social justice into engineering ethics education.

His second research field considers cognitive aspects of engineering learning, particularly problem solving and critical thinking. Dr. Douglas’s current work is focused on understanding ambiguity in engineering problem-solving in order to better prepare students for open-ended workplace problems. He also conducts work on qualitative methodologies in engineering education research.

Dr. Douglas has been active in the Educational and Research Methods Division of the ASEE, acting as chair from 2013-2015. He also served as associate editor (2011-2013) and deputy editor (2013-2015) of the Journal of Engineering Education.

Dr. Douglas will be honored with an award presentation during the 2021 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition being held July 26 – 29, 2021.

Read more about Dr. Douglas’s award here.

Written by Reba Liddy

ESSIE Marketing & Communications Specialist