“We are facing enormous challenges in our society that require a revisioning of engineering research, including the still-emerging field of engineering education research. I feel tremendously privileged to be part of this team to inform the strategic investment of funds that can fuel the developments that are needed to sustain our future.”
Jennifer Case is professor and head of the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Prior to this appointment in 2017, she was a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she retains an honorary appointment.
Case was a pioneer in the nascent field of engineering education research , commencing her scholarship in the mid-1990s in the context of post-apartheid transformations in the system of engineering education in South Africa. With a unique synthesis of practically-grounded curriculum reform, drawing on research in higher education studies and focused clearly on advancing learning outcomes in engineering programs, she developed a strong international reputation in engineering education heading to the leadership role that she now occupies.
Her work has been widely published and well cited, with more than 50 journal publications and two monographs. She is a joint editor-in-chief for the top international journal, Higher Education.
She was a founder member and then director for the Centre for Research in Engineering Education at the University of Cape Town. She was the founding president of the South African Society for Engineering Education. During her career in South Africa, she achieved the highest national awards for both her teaching and her research, with the President’s Award from the National Research Foundation in 2006 and the National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award from the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa in 2013.
She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Stellenbosch and her master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town. She also completed a master’s in science education at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and earned a doctorate from Monash University in Melbourne. In 2011, she was a Mandela Mellon Fellow at Harvard University.
At Virginia Tech she leads a vibrant department with a prominent national and international reputation in engineering education. She continues to teach at both undergraduate and graduate levels and advises doctorate students in the context of a lively research group. She is a sought-after speaker and advisor in both engineering education and higher education both in the United States and abroad.