Engineering | The Polytechnic School

Ann McKenna

Ann F. McKenna, Ph.D.
School Director and Professor

6049 S. Backus Mall
Sutton Hall 140J (Map)
Mail Code: 2080

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Learn about the Ph.D. in Engineering Education Systems and Design Program

Expertise: Cognitive and social processes of design, design teaching and learning

Profile Ann F. McKenna is the director of the Polytechnic School, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering located at the Polytechnic campus at Arizona State University.

Prior to joining ASU she served as a program director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education, and was on the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. McKenna received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

McKenna is active in her professional community and is currently serving as a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education, the leading research journal in the field of engineering education. She recently completed a two-year term (2011-2013) as a Director of the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She was a member of the Advisory Board for the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium (2011-2013), as well as a Panel Member for Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Chairs in Design Engineering (CDE) program (2011-2014).

McKenna’s research focuses on understanding the cognitive and social processes of design, design teaching and learning, the role of adaptive expertise in design and innovation, the impact and diffusion of education innovations, and teaching approaches of engineering faculty.

She has twice been the recipient of the ASEE best overall paper award (1998 and 2011), as well as the recipient of the outstanding paper award from the IEEE/ASEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) conference (1997). Her work in the area of design education has been nationally recognized by being a best paper finalist for three consecutive years, 2009, 2010, and 2011 in the Design in Engineering Education Division of ASEE (winning the award in 2011). McKenna works across the disciplinary lines of engineering, education and design and has published in diverse disciplinary venues including Science, the Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Computer, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, and Teaching in Higher Education.

Education Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley B.S., M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Drexel University

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