Henderson receives NSF CAREER Award

The prestigious grant will support Assistant Professor Trevion Henderson as he investigates and seeks to improve sociotechnical engineering education.
Assistant Professor Trevion Henderson.

Assistant Professor Trevion Henderson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his work iterating and improving on engineering design education. The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program supports exceptional early-career faculty who have the potential to drive innovative advances in research while serving as academic role models and leaders.

The sociotechnical approach to engineering education acknowledges the impact of social, political, and cultural factors on the engineering process. Henderson’s work aims to refine and enhance the quality of sociotechnical education. He plans to approach this goal in three distinct steps. First, he will focus on faculty and conduct interviews and group pedagogical reviews to better understand how context shapes their curriculum decision making. Then, he will turn his attention to students and complete classroom observations to see how faculty decisions impact student learning. Finally, he plans to synthesize the knowledge gained from the first two steps to develop a Sociotechnical Design Toolkit and disseminate best practices. 

The work will be shared across five institutions to give a wider reach to the results. Henderson hopes to make the Sociotechnical Design Toolkit an open-source resource for anyone to use and intends to offer training for educators in a Sociotechnical Design Institute. Based on real-time classroom observations and input from students and faculty, Henderson seeks to clearly define methods to implement a sociotechnical approach in engineering design education, which in turn will make it easier for educators to use in their own curricula. 

Trevion Henderson earned his PhD in Higher Education from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. He received his MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, where he also earned his BS in Computer Science and Engineering. At Tufts, Henderson holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Education and is on the steering committee for the Institute for Research on Learning and Instruction (IRLI). He teaches courses on engineering design education and engineering education research methods.

Learn more about Assistant Professor Trevion Henderson

The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Science Foundation. Research reported in this article was supported by the National Science Foundation under the following award number: 2340238