Engineering Education at Virginia Tech
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Natalie Van Tyne, P.E.
Associate Professor of Practice

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103 Surge
Blacksburg, Va 24061

M.S., Environmental (Ecological) Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

M.B.A., Lehigh University

M.S., Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Rutgers University

B.A., Russian Language, Douglass College (Rutgers University)

Research Interests:
  • Reflective learning in first year engineering courses
  • Development of critical thinking skills in early college students
  • Team dynamics in project-based learning
  • "Real-world" design project development and implementation

My major goal at Tech is to adapt my teaching and administrative experience to the challenges brought by its first year students in the expansion of student learning, while introducing them to the engineering profession in ways that tangibly show them that they have made a great choice for their career. The relevance of engineering knowledge to everyday life is a particular concern and emphasis in my teaching, coupled with effective and meaningful communication skills, reflective learning, and critical thinking development and practice. The instructional and academic sides of our department should continue to recognize and implement the fact that each can contribute to the success of the other by collaborating in course improvement through informed research and scholarship, combining rigor with reality.

Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado, #32209


I joined the Engineering Education faculty in 2015 as an Associate Professor of Practice, with emphasis on the first year program. I teach ENGE 1215 and ENGE 1216, and I'm also involved in the development of a combined 1215/1216 course for transfer students, as well as producing a textbook for use in the first year courses. Prior to Virginia Tech, I taught in the Design Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence (Design EPICS) program at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) from 2002 to 2015, and served as its director from 2009 to 2014. While at CSM, I was promoted from adjunct professor (2002-2008) to Teaching Associate Professor (2008-2105) and Teaching Professor (2015). I am also a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado.

The family photo that you see above contains our four daughters and three sons-in- law, along with my husband, Professor Chester Van Tyne of the Colorado School of Mines. Among all of us, we hold one associate's, 12 bachelor's, 6 master's , 5 PhD's and one LLD degree. We also live in Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and Spain.


  • Summer 2011: N. Van Tyne, C. Van Tyne and K. Van Tyne, "Gender Differences in Individual and Teammate Performance Evaluations by Students on Engineering Design Teams." Proceedings of the 2011 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 24-28, 2011.
  • Summer 2012: N. Van Tyne, J. Wong, K. Godel-Gengenbach and K. Van Tyne, "Service Learning from Start to Finish: Building a First-Year Playground Design in South Africa." Proceedings of the 2012 First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, August 10-12, 2012.
  • Summer 2013: N. Van Tyne, R. Knecht and K. Van Tyne, "It's a Balancing Act: The Influence of Non-Self- Selected Project Team Formation on Team Satisfaction in a First-Year Engineering Design Course." Proceedings of the 2013 First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, August 8-9, 2013.
  • Summer 2014: N. Van Tyne and M. Brunhart-Lupo, "Ethics for the "Me" Generation- How "Millennial" Engineering Students View Ethical Responsibility in the Engineering Profession." Proceedings of the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, June 15-18, 2014.
  • Summer 2014: N. Van Tyne and J. Wong, "Make Learning More Real: An Introduction to Reflective Learning in a First-Year Engineering Design Course," in Proceedings of the 2014 First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, College Station, TX, August 7-8, 2014.

Engineering Education at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
Engineering Education (MC 0218)
345 Goodwin Hall
635 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, Va 24061
(540) 231-6555
Fax (540) 231-6903