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UI Engineering Professor Chosen as One of the Most Innovative Educators in Nation

October 12, 2015

UI Chemical and Materials engineering faculty member Soumya Srivastava has been selected by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) as one of 70 of the nation's most innovative, young engineering educators.

Srivastava’s research focuses on electrokinetic simulations and design of microfluidic systems for medical diagnostic applications along with educational research including enhancing student engagement and learning. She currently teaches courses in bioengineering, process analysis and controls, and engineering thermodynamics and heat transfer.

Srivastava will take part in the National Academy of Engineering's seventh Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium Oct. 25-28 in Irvine, California.

Srivastava operates the Microfluidics and Electrokinetics bioSeparation and Analysis (MESA) Laboratory, which studies microfluidic transport phenomena and the design of fluidic devices with health care applications. Srivastava’s MESA lab supports the research and education of two graduate students and three undergraduate research assistants. One of the lab’s goals is to design commercially viable microdevices for clinical diagnostics.

“My approach to teaching involves active student engagement and enhancing learning through short activities to develop discussions on the practical applications of course content,” Srivastava said. “I ask students for regular feedback by incorporating it into biweekly class assignments.” 

FOEE brings together faculty members who are developing and implementing innovative educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines to share ideas, learn from research and best practices in education, and leave with a charter to bring about improvement in their home institution.

"I'm hoping to learn additional skills at FOEE to keep my students actively engaged, impart critical thinking, incorporate problem-based learning and most importantly find new ways to teach them time management," Srivastava said. “I am also interested in learning new approaches for retaining quality students in our programs."
FOEE attendees were nominated by NAE members or deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

“The Frontiers of Engineering Education program brings together top university faculty to explore preparing engineers for the world’s great engineering challenges,” said NAE President Dan Mote. “It is a no-holds-barred look at the front-edge of engineering education for the 21st Century."“The World of Engineering Education is rapidly changing from traditional classroom approaches to focusing more on learning modalities, pedagogy, and strategies.  

In addition, advances in technology is allowing us to implement a variety of active learning strategies including online, collaborative and blended approaches.  As a consequence, faculty not only need to update their course content but also their delivery approach so as to better engage today’s students”, said Darryll J. Pines, Nariman Farvardin Professor and Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at University of Maryland and Chair of the FOEE Advisory Committee.

Contact:
Rob Patton
College of Engineering
rpatton@uidaho.edu
(208) 885-7511


About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu