people attending a workshop

Engineering Education Innovation Academy

The Engineering Education Innovation Academy (EEIA) offered by the Leonhard Center provides the opportunity for individual faculty to implement innovative changes in engineering courses in close collaboration with the faculty of the Leonhard Center. EEIA begins with a two-day, interactive workshop to introduce faculty members to best practices in instructional design, fundamentals of classroom assessment, and best practices in engineering education based on research. The interactive workshop provides a foundation to ensure that the enhancements being implemented in the classroom are well grounded in best practices in educational design and assessment, and that they are based on appropriate literature. Following the initial workshop, faculty members continue work to complete their education and assessment plans. They meet with Leonhard Center faculty to share their plans and receive feedback. It is an expectation of the program that the plans will be implemented during the following academic year and that results of the assessment will be shared with the Leonhard Center and at the Leonhard Center showcase event.

The EEIA received external funding for 2020 and 2021 to refocus into the Entrepreneurial Mindset for Innovative Teaching (EMIT) Academy, which was modeled after the NSF-funded Innovation Corps (iCorps) experience. In iCorps, faculty work through a curriculum to help bring technology concepts to market. In the EMIT Academy, faculty will apply similar entrepreneurial principles and processes as iCorps to teaching innovation and evaluation. Faculty will create a revised version of a business canvas model, made more applicable to the teaching context, and be asked to participate in various entrepreneurship-related activities, including customer (student) discovery. Using an attribute-focused perspective of entrepreneurial mindset, principles relating to curiosity, empathy, growth mindset, and other attributes will be woven into the workshop curriculum, both in terms of how these attributes relate to effective teaching as well as how to promote them in students.

The EMIT Academy was funded by the Kern Family Foundation through the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) as a subcontract from the ASU Mentorship 360 project.

Past Participants in the EEIA


  • Saurabh Basu
    Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
  • Griselda Conejo Lopez
    Computer Science & Engineering
  • Ali Demirci
    Agricultural & Biological Engineering
  • Sean Knecht
    Engineering Design & Innovation
  • Reuben Kraft
    Mechanical Engineering
  • Martin Nieto-Perez
    Nuclear Engineering
  • Adomas Povilianskas
    Engineering Science & Mechanics
  • David Stabler
    Architectural Engineering
  • Michelle Vigeant


  • Jake Langelaan
    Aerospace Engineering
  • Pansy Leung
    Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechteld Hillsley
    Chemical Engineering
  • Andrea Ragonese
    School of Engineering Design and Innovation (SEDI)
  • Sandra Allain
    School of Engineering Design and Innovation (SEDI)
  • Mike Janik
    Chemical Engineering
  • Somayeh Asadi
    Architectural Engineering
  • Tong Qiu
    Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • Gary Aurand
    Chemical Engineering
  • Gregory Huff
    Electrical Engineering
  • Jude Liu
    Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Alfonso Mejia
    Civil Engineering
  • Lucas Passmore
    Engineering Science and Mechanics
  • Charlie Purdum
    Industrial Engineering
  • John Regan
    Civil Engineering
  • Sarah Root
    Industrial Engineering
  • Parisa Shokouhi
    Engineering Science and Mechanics


The Academy was not held in 2019.


  • John Gershenson
    Design Your Own Adventure – A First Year Seminar in defining a personal, problem-based path to Engineering for Humanity
  • Ilgun Guler
    Inquiry Based Learning in Civil Engineering
  • Jason Moore
    ME 340 Project Development for Community Engagement with State College School District
  • Elizabeth Sikora
    Engineering for Community Engagement (redesign of existing ESC 097 FYS)
  • Ryan Solnosky
    Enhancing Real Structural Systems’ Exposure in a Steel Design Class via Technology & Classroom Flip
  • Alan Wagner
    Using Social Impact Model to Foster Ethical Thinking in Engineering


  • Rachel Brennan
    Motivating Inquiry, Creativity, and Innovation through Incentive-Based Design Projects in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Vikash Gayah
    Personalized Learning Plan for Pre-requisite Material
  • Swaroop Ghosh
    Self-Learning Cybersecurity Training (CST) Kit for Cybersecurity Education
  • Tim Kane
    Freshman Seminar Project-based Experience, collaborative with student chapter of IEEE
  • Frank Koe
    Applying Entrepreneurial Principles within Medium-to-Large Companies
  • Andrew Zydney
    Strengthening Problem-Solving Skills in CHE 210 – Introduction to Materials Balances


The Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education was established in 1990 by an endowment from William and Wyllis Leonhard. Its mission is to catalyze the changes that are crucial to maintaining world-class engineering education at Penn State. In 2006 the Leonhard Center became the home for two other major programs that support teaching and learning in the College - the Office of Assessment & Instructional Support and Programs for Engineering Writing & Speaking.

The Leonhard Center

201 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-4020