Educational Qualifications

Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology (1963)


Through the years, I have been fascinated by the challenges of engineering education and my primary interest is developing programs that teach college engineering instructors to be effective educators. Few universities offer courses in teaching at the college level because the prevailing philosophy is that graduate teaching experience and knowledge of a subject are sufficient preparation. They are not. Graduate teaching assistants limited to helping with a laboratory course or leading a discussion group for a large lecture class do not gain broad experience in effective educational practices; many engineering instructors enter the teaching field largely unprepared for their new careers. Structured training in educational philosophy and technique gives graduate students critical preparation for a teaching career, the opportunity to examine the field of engineering education closely-and to choose a career in it more wisely.

  • I helped develop the National Effective Teaching Institute to provide training for engineering educators and it is now in its eleventh year. We designed the Institute so participants can improve their teaching skills, return to their respective universities and initiate on-site programs to teach others. The Institute’s program embraces a wide range of philosophical and practical topics, from how to teach creative thinking to negotiating tenure hurdles. “Microteaching” gives educators an opportunity to gain awareness of their strengths and weaknesses-after presenting a short lesson, each person is critiqued by his peers; a videotape of the presentation provides valuable feedback.
  • I taught a graduate course in college teaching at UT every summer for 25 years. The participants were engineering students who were considering whether or not to embark upon an academic career, and the course dealt with the philosophy and practices of engineering education in considerable detail. Many of the students opened up and became more effective communicators. Communication skills are extremely important for engineers, whether they choose careers in education, industry or private practice.

Awards & Honors

Distinguished Alumnus, The University of Arkansas (1995)

Outstanding Teaching Awards (1977, 1979, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1996)

Board of Directors, ASEE (1983-85, 1990-92)

UT Center for Teaching Effectiveness: Founder (1973), Director (1973-89)

Chester F. Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Teaching, ASEE (1984)

Western Electric Fund Award for Excellence in Engineering Teaching (1981)

General Dynamics Teaching Excellence Award (1980)

Selected Publications

  • Rugarcia, A., R.M. Felder, D.R. Woods & J.E. Stice, “The Future of Engineering Education I. A Vision for a New Century,” Chem. Eng. Ed., 34 (1), 16-25 (2000)
  • Felder,R.M., D.R. Woods, J.E. Stice & A. Rugarcia, “The Future of Engineering Education II. Teaching Methods that Work,” Chem. Eng. Ed., 34(1), 26-39 (2000)
  • Woods,D.R., R.M. Felder, A. Rugarcia & J.E. Stice, “The Future of Engineering Education III. Developing Critical Skills,” Chem. Eng. Ed., 34(2), 108-117 (2000)
  • Stice, J.E., R.M. Felder, D.R. Woods & A. Rugarcia, “The Future of Engineering Education IV. Learning How to Teach,” Chem. Eng. Ed., 34(2), 118-127 (2000)
  • Felder, R.M., A. Rugarcia & J.E. Stice, “The Future of Engineering Education V. Assessing Teaching Effectiveness and Educational Scholarship,” Chem. Eng. Ed., 34(3), 198-207 (2000)
  • Felder, R.M., J.E. Stice & A. Rugarcia, “The Future of Engineering Education VI. Making Reform Happen,” Chem. Eng. Ed., 34(3), 208-215 (2000)
  • Handbook for National Effective Teaching Institute, Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, Yearly (with R. M. Felder)
  • ” Developing critical thinking and problem-solving abilities,” No. 30 in the New Directions for Teaching and Learning Series. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, CA (1987) (Ed.).
  • ” Process control simulation: An interactive computer program for tuning feedback controllers,” Proceedings of the XVIII Chemical Engineering Fundamentals Congress: The Use of Computers in Chemical Engineering, Giardini Naxos, Italy, 235 (1987) ( with P. Quintana) .