Erkin Şeker, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a fully paid invitation to attend the National Academy of Engineering‘s annual Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium. The event will take place Oct. 26-29, 2014 at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif.
All invited participants have been asked to outline their innovative teaching methods on posters displayed during an expo-style symposium, where attendees will circulate and listen to informal presentations from each speaker. Participants also will meet during smaller thematic sessions and panels, in order to collaborate and discuss different educational tools and strategies.
Şeker’s methodology, titled “Employing Fellowship Proposal Development to Teach a Biomedical Device Engineering Course,” addresses the need to expose students to the essential tools needed to facilitate the pursuit of a specific idea with a multidisciplinary scope. This work builds on a graduate-level course that Şeker developed and taught: “Micro- and Nano-Technology in Life Sciences.” Şeker’s collaborative approach encourages students to become motivated by the practicality of a proposal — such as an end-product for submission as a fellowship application — while engaging in lectures and assignments that more effectively strengthen their technical knowledge base.
Şeker completed his undergraduate work in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech in 2002, then obtained both a master’s degree (2004) and PhD (2007) in the same field at the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville (UVA). He subsequently spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at UVA, then served as a research associate at the Harvard Medical School’s Center for Engineering in Medicine. He joined the UC Davis College of Engineering faculty in 2011, where he leads a research group that focuses on engineering high-throughput, miniaturized screening platforms to study nano-scale material properties and their implications on electrical, biochemical, optical and biological properties.
The NAE’s Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium assembles some of the nation’s most engaged and innovative engineering educators, in order to recognize, reward and promote effective, substantive and inspirational engineering education. Symposium attendees participate in discussions and workshops that explore innovative approaches to classroom, laboratory, project, experiential, computer-based and other modes of preparing engineering students to work and lead in the 21st century.