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Dr. Walter Lee

Associate Professor
  • Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs
Dr. Walter Lee
373 Goodwin Hall (MC 0218)
635 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Ph.D. Engineering Education, Virginia Tech, 2015
M.S. Industrial & Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2013
B.S. Industrial Engineering, Clemson University, 2010

Research Interests

  • Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
  • STEM Learning Environments
  • Co-curricular Support
  • Student Success

Research Statement

Dr. Walter Lee is broadly interested in inclusion, diversity, and educational equity—particularly as it relates to students from groups that are historically marginalized or underrepresented in engineering. His research is focused on answering the following questions: 1) How can we better support engineering students with diverse backgrounds? 2) How can we make engineering more equitable, accessible, and inclusive? 3) How can we broaden participation in engineering? (4) How can we educate engineering students and faculty about diversity? Collectively, Dr. Lee aligns his research, teaching, advising, and service towards moving the engineering education community closer towards having answers to each of these questions. This goal also inspired the creation of his research group GUIDE, or Growing in our Understanding of Inclusive Diversity in Engineering.


Walter Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University, an M.S in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. His career vision is to be a driving force in the national effort to diversify engineering and ensure that institutions provide students with the necessary support to succeed regardless of their background.

Teaching/Courses Taught

  • Diversity for Engineering (ENGE 6717)
  • Graduate Student Success in Multicultural Environments (ENGE 5304)
  • Graduate Seminar (ENGE 5704)
  • Research Methods in Engineering Education (ENGE 5604)
  • Assessment Techniques in Engineering Education (ENGE 5404)
  • Foundations of Engineering Education (ENGE 5014)
  • Foundations of Engineering I (ENGE 1215)
  • Foundations of Engineering II (ENGE 1216)
  • First Year Galileo Seminar (ENGR 1054) 

Selected Awards & Honors

  • "NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award, 2020

  • Outstanding Mentor Award (College of Engineering), Virginia Tech Graduate School, 2019

  • 20 High-achieving Researchers and Educators under 40, PRISM Magazine, 2018

  • Outstanding New Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech College of Engineering, 2018

  • Outstanding Young Alumni, Clemson College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Science, 2018"

Selected Publications

Selected Grants

  • The Virginia Tech Network for Engineering Transfer Students, Sponsor: National Science Foundation (S-STEM), Amount: $5,400,582, Level of Responsibility, co-PI (33%), Co-investigators: Bevlee Watford (PI) and David Knight, Dates: 06/01/2017 – 05/31/2022 (estimated) | Abstract

  • Collaborative Research: Pushing Students Away: Developing a Research Agenda for Broadening Participation of African Americans in Engineering and Computer Science, Sponsor: National Science Foundation (EEC), Amount: $281,127, Level of Responsibility, PI (75%), Co-investigators: Bevlee Watford, Dates: 01/01/2017 – 12/31/2019 (estimated) | Abstract 

  • CAREER: Responsive Support Structures for Marginalized Students: A Critical Interrogation of Navigational Strategies. Sponsor: National Science Foundation (EEC), Amount: $344,136, Level of Responsibility: PI (100%), Dates: 05/01/2020 - 04/30/2025 (estimated). | Abstract