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Design Thinking

Research in this area examines the development and assessment of design in engineering students and professionals. Current research projects include: 

Service learning and real-world client-centered student design projects - Christy, Ann

Best practices in engagement between an academic institution and the community are characterized by mutually beneficial relationships, clear inclusion of the community partner's voice, intentional reflection by the students on their experiences, and a longer length of commitment. Service learning is built upon a foundational educational theory of constructivism where students make practical connections between what they have learned in their engineering classrooms, what they have experienced in the past, and the service project itself. In addition, it enhances student motivation because students feel that they are making a positive difference in the world beyond their engineering studies.


1. Lima, M., and Christy, A.D. 2017. Service learning in biological and agricultural engineering: Journeys in community engagement. ASEE Annual Conference, American Society for Engineering Education. Paper No. AC 2017-20133. 7 p.
2. Hughes, Kerry L., Andy D. Ward, and Ann D. Christy. 2002. A new engineering course closes the education gap in applying natural channel concepts to engineering design. Ohio Journal of Science 102(1): A-34-35.
3. Christy, A.D., M. Lima, and A.D. Ward. 2000. Implementing real-world problem solving projects in a team setting.  National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal 44(3): 72-77.
4. Christy, Ann D., Julie Weatherington-Rice, and Andy D. Ward. 2000.  Use of a Superfund site as a hands-on learning laboratory for engineering design students.  Ohio Journal of Science 100(1): A-27.
5. Christy, A.D., and M. Lima. 1999. Biological engineering student design projects with real clients. 1999 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, American Society for Engineering Education. 7p. (Peer reviewed).

Implementing an Open-Ended Game Software Design Project in First-Year Engineering - Kecskemety, Krista

End-of-semester software design projects in first-year engineering courses that teach computer programming should engage students with the material learned. This study examines using game design and creation as a way to increase student engagement and learning outcomes.


1. Kecskemety, K.M., Theiss, A.H., and Kajfez, R.L., (2015). Enhancing TA Grading of Technical Writing: A Look Back to Better Understand the Future. 122nd American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, June 14-17, Seattle, WA.

2. Kecskemety, K.M., Theiss, A.H., and Kajfez, R.L., (2015). Enhancing TA Grading of Technical Writing: Developing a New Tool Based on Feedback. First Year Engineering Experience Conference, Aug 2-4, Roanoke/Blacksburg, VA.