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Lab Director | Dr. David Knight

The vision of the Virginia Tech Data Enlightened Educational Practice (DEEP) Lab is to serve as one of the world’s leading research shops for promoting a systems view of engineering education with an explicit mission to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and inclusiveness of the field. Aligned with Virginia Tech’s Data Analytics and Decision Sciences Destination Area, the VT DEEP Lab uses large-scale quantitative data to diagnose problems, identify opportunities and solutions, and enact organizational change by connecting research to policy and practice.  Adopting this macro-scale, systems perspective to inform organizational decision-making has helped our team serve as active organizational change agents through collaborative projects locally, nationally, and internationally.


David Knight is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and affiliate faculty member with the Higher Education Program, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, and Human-Centered Design Program. At Virginia Tech, Knight manages the VT DEEP Lab - Data Enlightened Educational Practice - which is comprised of a collaborative team of Engineering Education doctoral students who work in interdisciplinary ways across the university. The group's research focuses on student learning outcomes in undergraduate engineering, learning analytics approaches to improve educational practices and policies, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, organizational change in colleges and universities, and international issues in higher education. Knight also directs Virginia Tech's Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, which is a collaborative effort between Virginia Tech and North Carolina A&T that incorporates a semester-long, on-campus learning experience with an international component in Europe to help students develop an awareness of the global nature of engineering. Knight earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Penn State University, two Master's degrees (Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Atmospheric Sciences and Urban and Environmental Planning), and a bachelor's of science in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. He also worked as a research assistant in the University of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and as a postdoctoral fellow in Engineering Education in the University of Queensland's School of Civil Engineering in Brisbane, Australia. Knight currently serves as PI on the NSF project Understanding and diversifying transfer student pathways to engineering degrees and PI for the VT portion of the NSF project Collaborative research: Variation in the awarding and effectiveness of STEM graduate student funding across teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships,

DEEP Lab Personnel

DEEP Lab Alumni