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NSF-funded Engineering Research Visioning Alliance names AAAS program director as executive lead

Jennifer Carinci, Ed.D., PMP, to operationalize first-of-its-kind effort for engineering research

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Jennifer Carinci, Ed.D, PMP, ERVA executive director

The Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) has named a veteran of STEM research and innovation to lead the organization as its inaugural full-time executive director. Jennifer Carinci, Ed.D., PMP, will take on the role beginning today.

ERVA was launched by the National Science Foundation in April 2021 to unite the voices of the diverse engineering community, and enable processes to effectively identify bold and societally impactful engineering research directions. It is an engaged, inclusive, multi-sector partnership, designed to leverage a diverse array of voices to elicit future research topics and support the nation’s leadership in engineering innovation and discovery. Funded with a five-year, $8 million award from the NSF, the initiative convenes, catalyzes and empowers the engineering community to identify nascent opportunities and priorities for engineering-led innovative, high-impact, cross-domain, fundamental research that addresses national, global and societal needs.

“Dr. Carinci brings a unique mix of strategic insight and boots-on-the-ground experience bringing communities together to solve shared challenges,” said Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, Ph.D., ERVA’s principal investigator (PI) and Lowber B. Strange endowed chair in engineering, vice president for knowledge enterprise (interim) at The Ohio State University. “Partnering with stakeholders across the engineering research community — from government, industry, education, and nonprofit sectors — is a core characteristic of our approach. She has successfully launched and driven innovation programs forward to achieve results, based on intentional collaboration and stakeholder engagement.”

Carinci comes to ERVA from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she was program director for STEM education research, managing and advancing NSF-funded national initiatives. She previously served in positions to advance evidence-based educator preparation as director of research, engagement and accreditation for the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Johns Hopkins University, with a focus in teacher development and leadership.

“Problem-solvers are what we need now more than ever — and this is what engineers do best,” Carinci said. “ERVA’s role is to facilitate connections within the engineering ecosystem so we can leverage the power of interdisciplinary experts across sectors. We are putting engineers in the driver’s seat, envisioning the research directions needed to tackle our nation’s most pressing challenges.”

Carinci will operationalize ERVA’s strategic plan and lead the ERVA staff to execute ERVA’s visioning events and crowdsourcing activities, including the ERVA Community Survey, which is currently in the field and open to engineers across the spectrum to offer ideas for future exploration and ideation. She will work closely with ERVA’s NSF collaborators in the engineering directorate, as well as with Grejner-Brzezinska and ERVA’s co-PIs: Anthony Boccanfuso, Ph.D., president and CEO of UIDP; Barry W. Johnson, Ph.D., the L.A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Virginia; Charles Johnson-Bey, Ph.D., senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton; and Edl Schamiloglu, Ph.D., distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate dean for research and innovation for the school of engineering at the University of New Mexico. Johnson has served as ERVA’s interim executive director since the effort was launched earlier this year.

ERVA’s founding partners are members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance; the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)/Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Foundation (EIF); and the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP). Everyone interested in the future of engineering is encouraged to engage by becoming an ERVA Champion, including the general public; students at all levels; researchers, faculty and deans in small and large college engineering programs; and professionals in industry, from engineers to CEOs.

Get involved with ERVA and learn about its upcoming visioning activities at and follow @ERVAcommunity and the hashtag #ERVAcommunity on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

About ERVA

The Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) is a neutral convener that helps define future engineering research directions. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering, ERVA is a diverse, inclusive and engaged partnership that enables an array of voices to impact national research priorities. The five-year initiative convenes, catalyzes and empowers the engineering community to identify nascent opportunities and priorities for engineering-led innovative, high-impact, cross-domain research that addresses national, global and societal needs. Learn more at




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