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Dr. Natalie Van Tyne, M.S., M.B.A., P.E.

Associate Professor of Practice
Natalie Van Tyne
344 Goodwin Hall (MC 0218)
635 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061


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)

Teaching/Courses Taught

Virginia Tech

Foundations of Engineering I
Foundations of Engineering II

Colorado School of Mines

Design Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence (I & II)

Teaching Statement

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.

Research Interests

  • 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

Career Highlights

Academic Experience

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

Industrial Experience

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.

Professional Affiliations

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

Selected Publications

Van Tyne, N.C.T. (2017). Electronic portfolio published on Wix website:

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.

Service Activities

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)