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Dr. Walter Lee

Associate Professor
Walter Lee 1932-2
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 Educational 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 underrepresented or underserved 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 Assistant Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.  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

  • Foundations of Engineering I (ENGE 1215)
  • Foundations of Engineering II (ENGE 1216)
  • Research Methods in Engineering Education (ENGE 5604)
  • Foundations of Engineering Education (ENGE 5014)
  • Engineering Education Graduate Seminar (ENGE 5704)
  • Diversity for Engineering (ENGE 6714) 

Selected Awards & Honors

  • 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

  • Apprentice Faculty Grant, ASEE-ERM, 2015

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, 2012

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 
  • EAGER: Student Support in STEM: Developing and validating a tool to assess the magnitude of college-level support provided to undergraduate students, Sponsor: National Science Foundation (HRD), Amount: $257,372, Level of Responsibility, PI (50%), Co-investigators: David Knight (PI), Dates: 05/15/2017 – 04/30/2020 (estimated). | Abstract