REU Site Program in Engineering Education
Utah State University

About This Program

This ten-week summer program provides undergraduate students in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline with intensive experience in engineering education research, such as how learners' experience, background, and perception play a role when they learn engineering knowledge and skills. The program provides Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and is not an internship. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted by Utah State University (USU) in Logan, Utah, a beautiful city nestled between two mountain ranges.

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Education Research

Learn how students' experience, background, and perception play a role in their education.

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Great Mentoring

You'll work closely with, at least, two mentors who are experts in the educational research.

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Learn how people (and you) self-regulate themselves to deal with everyday and academic challenges.


  • (Under Review) I. Villanueva, B. Campbell, and S. Jones. (2016) Puzzling the Pieces: Using heuristic cues for engineering student design idea generation. American Educational Research Association.
  • Fang, N., Lawanto, O., Villanueva, I., Goodridge, W., & Becker, K. (2016). A Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site Program on Engineering Education Research. International Journal of Engineering Education, 32(5), pp. 1836-1846.
  • Fang, N., Lawanto, O., Goodridge, W., & Villanueva, I. (2016). Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) on Self-Regulated Learning in Engineering Education. In ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference Annual Conference, Erie, PA.
  • Fang, N., Lawanto, O., Goodridge, W., & Villanueva, I. (2016). Self-Regulated Learning in Engineering Education: A Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site Program. In American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Nahar, N., Call, B., Goodridge, W.H., and DeVitry, J. (2016). Creativity Enhancement via Engineering Graphics: Conceptual Design Blending Approach. In 123rd Annual Conference Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education, New Orleans, LA. 10.18260/p.26594
  • B. Fronhofer received the first Prize in Math and Science Education Oral Presentation Category at the 2016 Emerging Researchers Conference, Washington, D.C. Read more at .
  • B. Fronhofer, S. Schott, I. Villanueva, and M. Valladares. (2016). Design Heuristics: A Qualitative Research Study in Engineering Education. In 2016 Emerging Researchers Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • Bell, S., Goodridge, W. H., Call, B., & DeVitry, J. (2016). A New Instructional Technique within Engineering Graphics Education, and Its Effect on Spatial Ability. In 2016 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA). Washington, DC, USA.
  • Fang, N., Lawanto, O., & Becker, K. (2015). A REU-Site Program for Engineering Education Research on Self-Regulated Learning. Seattle, WA: American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference.
  • C. Ortiz received the 2014 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards. Read more at .
  • Ortiz, C., Pham, B., Lawanto, O., & Febrian, A. (2014). Developing a Survey Instrument to Measure Problem Perception, Task Interpretation, and Planning Strategies within Self – Regulated Learning, a Work in Progress. In 2014 SACNAS National Conference. Los Angeles, California, USA.

REU Students' Origin

Students' Origin

Selected 2016 Students' Testimonies

2016 REU Student group hanging out in a tree

2016 REU Students

From left to right, Jehremy, Rosa, Carlos, Elyse, Matt, Mikayla, Reed, and Megan were selected from fourty nine applicants as the 2016 REU students in Enginering Education at Utah State University. Their research adventure started in June 6 and ended in August 14.

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Rosamaria Diaz

Rosamaria Diaz (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)

"..I enjoy facilitating verbal protocol. It is great to listen to participant talk aloud as they are solving problems because you get insight on what they are thinking and what their mental processes are. I like learning about how differently people approach problems, but also going back and finding similarities in their approaches."

Tyler Reed Milliken (University of Tennessee)

"I learned that as an engineer, I can become too comfortable with quantitative data and focus too much on numbers. I see that it can fun to stretch your thinking, and I hope this REU continues to allow me to focus on qualitative data."

Tyler Reed Milliken
Megan Rose Cleary

Megan Rose Cleary (Keene State College)

" [the meeting with professors] really provided an in depth discussion to our research and I learned different ways to categorize, or code, my data. "

Elyse Danielle Hill (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

"...I learned about conceptual understanding, conceptual change, and the integration of those into SRL. As I read the [research] articles, I gained a greater understanding of the way I personally organize knowledge in my mind (which agrees mostly with the knowledge-in-pieces view). In addition, reading these articles has helped me to identify and give vocabulary to experiences I've had in school that I've never had words to express before."

Elyse Danielle Hill

Selected 2015 Students' Testimonies

2015 REU Student group outside

2015 REU Students

From left to right, Alia, Colleen, Eric, Kamyn, Sarah J.C., Sarah E.B., Nazmun, and Bethany were selected from fifty seven applicants as the 2015 REU students in Enginering Education at Utah State University. Their research adventure started in June 8 and ended in August 15.

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Alia Melvin (Lehman College)

"One valuable experience that I encountered was learning the process of research. This experience made me consider going into educational research after doing a few years of teaching. ... Another valuable experience that I encountered was learning about self-regulated learning. ... I also liked that we had to self-regulate ourselves during the process of doing the research."

Alia Melvin

Colleen Kretzer (University of Arkansas)

"I have learned an incredible amount about research in general, and specifically qualitative research, about myself, and about working with others on a team. Before coming here I had read many research papers for my physics and education studies, some qualitative and some quantitative, but I never understood what exactly qualitative research entailed. ... I loved being able to feel comfortable talking to [my mentors]. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had working with a professor. They were interest in me, my learning, and our research."

Colleen Kretzer

Nazmun Nahar (Lehman College)

"The process of educational research is very rigorous and systematic. It is very important to interpret the results and the findings of educational research within the context they were discovered... Being involved in a research project allows you to learn so much not only about your field but also about yourself."

Nazmun Nahar
Sarah Jane Schott

Sarah Jane Schott (Louisiana State University)

"I have realized that Educational Research is more than just observing how students learn. When I first arrived, I thought that I would be interviewing students in order to see how they learned a particular topic. Counter to my initial belief, Educational Research involves scrutinizing responses, and coming to a tough agreement with a research partner. It involves so much more communication than I previously thought."

Selected 2014 Students' Testimonies

2014 REU Student group outside

2014 REU Students

From left to right, Bao, Alex, Cory, Katie, Molly, David, Siham, and Deborah were selected from fifty seven applicants as the 2014 REU students in Enginering Education at Utah State University. Their research adventure started in June 9 and ended in August 15.

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Alexandra Abate

Alexandra Abate (Seattle Pacific University)

"My time spent this summer at Utah State University campus has been filled with many wonderful, incredible, and intelligent people. I have appreciated the experience of spending time with so many people from so many different backgrounds and cultures and with so much to offer. I have gained a new appreciation for the world of academia."

Bao Pham

Bao Pham (Louisiana State University)

"This project was one of the best learning experiences that I have encountered in my academic career. My previous research experience has been in the field of mathematics. I was dealing with formulas, equations, and theorems. This is the first time that I have worked with human subject and qualitative data. I realized how hard it is to work with human subjects."

David Reeping

David Reeping (Ohio Northern University)

"In the likely event that I pursue a graduate degree in Engineering Education, I believe that this project has given me vital experience in the field outside of the comfort of my home institution. I had already been certain that I would attend graduate school once I got my first start in this field. Now I believe I'm more confident in that path."

Katie Spendlow (Colorado State University)

"This project has introduced me to qualitative research. I have spent time working with quantitative research in the past, which led me to the decision to pursue research later in my life. However, I only had an interest in the areas quantitative research is capable of exploring; once introduced to qualitative research, I found a passion. Instead of telling a story with numbers and hard data, I can tell the stories of people."

Katie Spendlow

Important Dates/Events

Aug 14

Final Research Report

Send your final report (word format) by email to your faculty mentor.

Aug 05

REU Journey Map and Farewell Dinner

It is time to say good bye!

Aug 04

Research Group Presentation

Tell me everything: your research approaches/results; what you learned.

Jun 21

Seminar: Responsible Research

Attend Ben Call's (Graduate Mentor) presentation and ask a lot of questions.

Jun 17

Seminar: Educational Data Analysis with SPSS

Attend Dr. Ning Fang's (Faculty Mentor) presentation and ask a lot of questions.


Oenardi Lawanto

Oenardi Lawanto, PhD (

Ning Fang

Ning Fang, PhD (

NSF Logo

NSF Award # 1262806