Dr. Natalie Van Tyne, M.S., M.B.A., P.E.
Ph.D., Engineering Education, Virginia Tech
M.S., Ecological (Environmental) Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
M.B.A., Business Administration, Lehigh University
M.S., Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Rutgers University
B.A., Russian Language and Literature, Douglass College (Rutgers University)
Foundations of Engineering I
Foundations of Engineering II
Colorado School of Mines
Design Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence (I & II)
I believe that problem-solving methodologies are vitally important to engineering expertise, and students need to learn how to solve problems by solving a lot of them over time. Many engineers aspire to be highly competent in the technical aspects of our disciplines, and some of us might expect our first-year students to attain a very high level of competence in what we are teaching them, even after much less than one semester’s exposure per topic, skill or tool. However, Ambrose, et al. asserts that people relate and organize their knowledge based on prior experiences, and students who encounter a technical skill for the first time may have little prior experience for recognition or relation, unlike our own. (Ambrose, 2010) For this reason, they need sufficient time and exposure to build the experience base necessary for their retention of specific skills and tools for later recall in their discipline-specific courses.
I currently serve Virginia Tech as an Associate Professor of Practice, Department of Engineering Education, First Year Program, where I bring my professional skills and perspective in the engineering field to engineering students as they begin their careers. I came of age during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, at the dawn of the feminist movement, where women became aware that professional opportunities previously perceived to be for men only were actually available to them as well. Therefore, I pursued everything that I was capable of pursuing, first majoring in chemical engineering, then working as a chemical engineering on the East Coast, then moving to Colorado and working in the nuclear and environmental disciplines, and transitioning to part time and full-time teaching of first year engineering design in the early 2000’s. I have been teaching on the university level for nearly 17 years, first at the Colorado School of Mines and now at Virginia Tech. I am also a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado.
- The role of reflection to improve student learning
- Perceptions of engineering ethics by first year students
- First year student design teams and teamwork
Awards & Honors
2018 Elected to Tau Beta Pi, Virginia Beta Chapter
2018 Thank a Teacher Award, Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, Virginia Tech
2017 Thank a Teacher Award, Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, Virginia Tech
2017 Outstanding Faculty Award, Panhellenic Council, Virginia Tech
2015-present Associate Professor of Practice, Virginia Tech
2015 Promoted to Teaching Professor, Colorado School of Mines
2009-2015 Director, Design EPICS Program, Colorado School of Mines
2011-2015 Teaching Associate Professor, Design EPICS Program, Colorado School of Mines
2009-2011 Senior Lecturer, Design EPICS Program, Colorado School of Mines
2008-2009 Lecturer, Design EPICS Program, Colorado School of Mines
2002-2008 Adjunct Instructor, Design EPICS Program, Colorado School of Mines
2002-2009 Senior Project Engineer/Engineer V, Shaw Environmental, Inc.
1999-2002 Engineer/Scientist IV, IT Corporation
1998-1999 Project Manager II, ICF Kaiser Corporation
1989-1998 Environmental Program Management/Engineering, Rocky Mountain Remediation Services, EG&G Rocky Flats, Rockwell International, Inc.
1978-1988 Sr. Supervisor/Research Engineer, J.T. Baker Chemical Company, Inc
Recent Professional Development Activities
Graduate Courses in Engineering Education
2019 Assessment Techniques in Engineering Education
2019 Graduate Seminar
2018 Special Topics in Systems Thinking
2018 Foundations in Engineering Education
2017 Research Methods II
2017 Practicum in the Engineering Classroom
2016 Research Methods I
Professional Development Workshops
2017 Reflection in Engineering Education, Center for the Promotion of Reflection in Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
2009-present American Society for Engineering Education
1975-present American Institute of Chemical Engineers
1975-present Society of Women Engineers
1975-present American Chemical Society
1972-2018 Institute of Food Technologists
1990-2012 Colorado Engineering Council
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2017). Electronic portfolio published on Wix website: https://nvantyne.wix.com/eportfolio.
Van Tyne, N.C.T., and St. Omer, I.L., (2016). A Foundation for Engineering. (textbook).
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2019). Reflection on the Road: How Recent First-Year Students Exhibit Reflection During a Short-Term Study Abroad Experience First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, State College, PA, July 2019.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2019). Testing a Reflective Judgement Scale for Suitability with First Year Student Reflective Responses. American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, Tampa, FL, June 2019.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2018). Work in Progress: Does Practice Make Perfect? How First Year Students Develop Reflective Learning First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Glassboro, NJ, July 2018.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2018). Where Should We Begin? Establishing a Baseline for First Year Student Awareness of Engineering Ethics. American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, June 2018.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2017). You Might (or Might Not) Know More Than You Thought: Student Self-Perception vs. Performance in First Year Engineering Graphics and Computer Programming First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Daytona Beach, FL, August 2017.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2017). A Sea of Variations: Lessons Learned from Student Feedback about the Role of Trust in First Year Design Teams American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2016). You See It Your Way, and I See It Mine: How All-Male and Co-Ed First Year Project Teams View Team Leadership First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Columbus, OH, August 2016.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2016). A Conversation About the Use of Reflection in the Classroom. Conference in Higher Education Pedagogy, Blacksburg, VA February 2016.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2015). Is This Real? Making the Study of Engineering Ethics Relevant to the Current Generation of First Year Students First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Roanoke, VA, August 2015.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2015). Gender Differences for Team Success. Hi-Five Session in Value Difference/Value Diversity. Women in Engineering Professional and Academic Linkage (WEPAN), Change Leaders Forum, Broomfield, CO June 2015.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2015). Why Think About Learning? The Value of Reflective Learning in First Year Engineering Design American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, June 2015.
Van Tyne, N.C.T., Brunhart-Lupo, M.E. (2014). Make Learning More Real: An Introduction to Reflective Learning in a First Year Engineering Design Course. First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, College Station, TX, August 2014.
Van Tyne, N.C.T., Brunhart-Lupo, M.E. (2014). Ethics for the “Me” Generation: How “Millennial” Engineering Students View Ethical Responsibility in the Engineering Profession. American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, June 2014.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2013). It’s a Balancing Act: The Influence of Non-Self-Selected Project Team Formation on Team Satisfaction in a First Year Engineering Design Course. First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, August 2013.
Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2012). Service Learning from Start to Finish: Building a First Year Playground Design in South Africa. First Year Engineering Experiences Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, August 2012.
Van Tyne, N.C.T, Van Tyne, C.J., Van Tyne, K.C.T. (2011). Gender Differences in Individual and Teammate Performance Evaluations by Students on Engineering Design Teams. American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 2011.
2014 Proposal for The Use and Misuse of Example Documents in Writing-Intensive “Cornerstone” Engineering Design Courses, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference, Georgia Southern University, declined.
2014-2015 SEED-PA Assessment of Student Ethical Development, funded.
2014 NSF proposal: Ethics Across the Campus to Cultivate Ethical STEM, not funded.
2014 Consent to participate in Pandemic game for student teambuilding development, in corresponding NSF proposal, declined.
2010 Proposal for Development of Critical Thinking Skills in EPICS and First-Year LAIS Courses, internally funded.
Educational Development and Assessment
2016-present Revised course materials and homework assignments in Foundations II course to provide better subject integration for more effective teaching and learning
2018 Improved Foundations II course material by incorporating Systems Thinking principles to project specifications, team dynamics, presentation hints, prototyping design status reviews and final reports.
2016 Co-Editor, A Foundation for Engineering (first year textbook)
2016 Developed and implemented Aesthetic Wind Turbine project for Foundations II course
2016 Initial developer for ENGE 2984 (now ENGE 1414) combined first year engineering course
2004-2014 Special topics workshops in engineering ethics, engineering profession, effective listening skills, codes and standards, information literacy, thinking like a client, abstracts, executive summaries and introductions
2009-2015 Standardized grading rubrics and example documents to demonstrate grading
2010-2014 Established and facilitated one-credit graphics course for non-traditional students
2013-present Reflective learning exercises in first-year courses to enhance metacognition
2010-2014 Conducted and assessed post-project surveys for Design EPICS II project clients against
course learning objectives and ABET student outcomes.
2010-2013 ABET Self-Study Narrative for Design EPICS Program
2019 18 student letters of recommendation written to date
2018 Faculty leader for Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, New Zealand track: 27 students, 5 major cities visited. Taught in Global Engineering Practices course in preparation for this trip.
2014-2015 Guidance to senior students for the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination
2011 Design EPICS I team to build their playground design, God’s Will Disabled School, Welverdiend, South Africa
2009 Design EPICS II team to NASA Great Moon Buggy Race, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
2008 Design EPICS II team to NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL)
2014-2015 Oriented, trained and guided new program director for Design EPICS Program.
2009-2014 Timely management of day to day operations and personnel issues for Design EPICS Program, including appropriate allocation of resources for students, budget preparation and management, recruitment and implementation of design projects and outside clients, requirements for student exemptions and transfer credit, permanent and adjunct faculty orientation and performance review process, class scheduling and teaching assignments for fall and spring semesters, organization of design exhibitions, and local coordination of summer courses and programs.
2012 Reported to the ABET Program Evaluation Team for engineering programs supported by the Design EPICS Program.
2011 Identified five major ABET student outcomes as directly applicable to the Design EPICS Program: (c), (d), (f), (g), and (k), in preparation for support to Self-Study Narratives. Later assessment revealed that 85% of students met at least 80% of these applicable outcomes.
2009-2014 Analysis of instructor course evaluations scores for all faculty to identify instructor teaching effectiveness with increased practice, and how this might be influenced by the assignment of teaching partners.
2009 Program dialogue with department heads about their current impressions of and recommendations for Design EPICS Program.
2019 Provided input to TransferVT Project, for more educationally compatible transitions to degree programs by transfer students
2018 Developed and recorded audio tutorial, User-Defined Functions, for first year online resources website
2018 Interviewee for Oral History Project for Pioneering Women Engineers, Clarkson University, with Dr. Laura Ettinger.
2016-2018 Course coordinator for Foundations of Engineering II course: wrote and revised classroom materials and homework sets, tests and grading rubric, facilitated completion of design prototypes, and interfaced with department administration to resolve issues.
2017 Evaluation for Promotion letter written and submitted for Dr. Gregory Bucks, Department of Engineering Education, University of Cincinnati
2017 Designed and delivered program-wide General Orientation and Training for departmental and visiting faculty for fall semester.
2017 “Rapporteur”/Program Critic for First Year Engineering Experiences Conference
2017 Orientation and training coordinator for F2017 ENGE 1215 and ENGE 1216
2015-2017 Faculty search committees for new teaching positions
2015 Final exam development committee, Foundations I course
2014-2015 CSM Faculty Senate, including its Undergraduate Council, Assessment and Parking Committees
2014 Reviewed 14 abstracts of engineering ethics cases for National Academy of Engineering database.
2013-2015 Reviewed student applications for Fulbright Fellowships and Goldwater Scholarships
2002-2015 Facilitated Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review Course for senior students: recruited and scheduled instructors, advised students as to requirements and conditions, reserved facilities and assisted instructors where needed.
2002-2015 Fundamentals of Engineering Exam on campus, twice yearly: reader, proctor and Chief Proctor, successively. Organized and facilitated exam in accordance with all rules and directives from National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
2012-present Reviewer and session moderator for ASEE Annual Conference (ASEE) and First Year Engineering Experiences Conference (FYEE)