Research Projects

Scholarly paper:

  • Jobs Satisfaction and Lecturers’ Job Performance: A comparison of Liberian public and private Universities. Unpublished master’s thesis. October 2013
    • The research purpose was to understand the differences between Liberian public and private universities lecturers/faculty job satisfaction, especially in their salaries, supervisory process, and working conditions and to determine how this was impacting their job performance. The research was conducted among faculty and administrators at four of Liberia’s major universities including 2 public and 2 private. The results showed a significant difference between the salaries, supervision process, and working conditions of faculty with faculty in the public sector scoring highly than those in the private. The results also showed no statistical significant difference of job performance at both sets of institution, however, a significant relationship in the differences of these variables with job performance was realized with public universities faculty having more chance of performing than those in private universities
  • Factors Influencing Course Withdrawal in Fundamental Engineering Courses in a Research 1 University. Conference Paper, American Society for Engineering Education 2019, (Author 1 of 4 authors; joint-paper)
    • Paper Abstract: Engineering students develop competencies in fundamental engineering courses (FECs) that are critical for success later in more advanced courses and in engineering practice. Literature on the student learning experience, however, associates these courses with challenging educational environments (e.g., large class sizes) and low student success rates. To address this concerns, we are  studying why students are not succeeding in large foundational engineering courses by collecting data on the reasons students give for choosing to withdraw from FECs. Findings point to unsatisfactory grades, not understanding the professor, and finding the course challenging among the top reasons cited. We provide analysis by different departments and across specific courses.
  • Understanding International Students’ barriers in their first year at a U.S. University. Conference Paper (pending approval), European Society for Engineering Education 2019, (Author 3 of 3 authors; joint-paper)
    • Paper Abstract: International students in the United States face several challenges when attending transitioning into college. The purpose of this paper is to understand how international students perceive the barriers they face in their first year attending college in the United States and to learn about the resources international students are utilizing for support. Data were collected qualitatively through individual interviews with 6 first-year international students. Data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis procedures. Results suggest that the barriers international engineering students face when attending college in the United States are complex and are summarized in terms of academic challenges, social and emotional adaptability, cultural clashes, and relationship with domestic students. Our findings provide implications for engineering education research, on how to study international students’ barriers, for practice on how to make first year classrooms more inclusive, and for advising on how to provide support that is required for international students.  

Ongoing Research Project (IRB approved):

  • Industry-driven Curriculum Development: Developing programs to promote competencies required by industry, (Co-investigator).
    • Project Overview: Research suggests some missing links between industry expectations from engineers and the preparation of students in terms of the competencies developed by the curricula. As a result of this gap, students do not adequately match up with skills required to function in the professional setting after graduation. This creates a two prong deficit: 1) students find it difficult in adapting to the professional setting, and 2) the industry experience inadequacies in the functioning of their workforce and productivity at-large. Part of the problem is that engineering programs have been teaching in the same ways for decades despite research in engineering education suggesting that the traditional form of education is not the most efficient in forming engineers able to adapt to the contemporary context. In addition, there is a lack of communication between industry and academia making it difficult for universities to be up-to-date regarding industry requirements. Hence, the purpose of this project is to develop effective curricular and pedagogical interventions by better understanding industry requirements of engineering graduates in terms of their competencies and to also develop a manufacturing curriculum that will develop engineers that meet industry needs.