Chair in Engineering Education

Brian Frank

Brian Frank

Brian Frank is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the DuPont Canada Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. He works on engineering curriculum development, program assessment, and developing educational technology.

He is involved in several higher education research and development initiatives, including the Bay View Alliance, a consortium of research universities carrying out applied research on the leadership of cultural change for increasing the adoption of evidence-based teaching methods at universities. He is the co-primary investigator of the HEQCO-funded Learning Outcomes Assessment Consortium project at Queen's, primary investigator on the project Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Large Classes using Model Eliciting Activities, and co-investigator on a project to pilot the Collegiate Learning Assessment at Queen's University. He was co-chair of the Physical Sciences panel of the HEQCO Sector-based Tuning project, developing proposals for learning outcomes in physical sciences, social sciences, and life and health sciences in Ontario.

He is a co-founder of the Canadian Engineering Education Association whose mission is to "enhance the competence and relevance of graduates from Canadian Engineering schools through continuous improvement in engineering education and design education." He is currently coordinating the Engineering Graduate Attribute Development Project, working with National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, to develop national guidelines and resources for outcomes assessment in engineering education. He was co-chair of the Queen's University Student Learning Experience Task Force.

From 2004-2006 he was an Educational Development Faculty Associate in the Instructional Development Centre, now the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL). He has received the Queen's Engineering Society's Golden Pillar award, given "to faculty [or] staff members who have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of students' education." In 2011 he received the Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award.

His teaching interest is project based courses, and he currently coordinates APSC-100, a 3-module core course for all undergraduate engineering students in engineering design and practice. This course includes a semester-long team client-based design project for all first year engineering students. Most of the projects are service learning projects developed in collaboration with local community groups used as the primary vehicle for problem-solving and professional skill development. He has also been working with the faculty-wide Curriculum Renewal Committee to develop a four-year Engineering Design and Practice Sequence.

Publications related to higher education/engineering education

Workshops

  • B. Frank, S. Dore, “Continuous Program Improvement”, invited workshop, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, December 2014
  • B. Frank, “The Big Picture: Continuous Program Improvement Processes”, invited plenary presentation, British Columbia Institute of Technology Graduate Attributes Symposium, Burnaby, BC, May 2014
  • B. Frank, “Assessment for course and program improvement”, invited workshop, British Columbia Institute of Technology Graduate Attributes Symposium, Burnaby, BC, May 2014
  • B. Frank, “Resources and Training for Continuous Program Improvement Processes in Canada”, MS&T Elizabeth Judson Memorial Symposium, invited presentation, Montreal, QC, Oct 2013
  • B. Frank, P. Ostafichuk, “Creating Useful Indicators”, invited workshop, Canadian Engineering Education Association Annual Conference 2013, Montreal, QC
  • B. Frank, “Engaging Learning outcomes across a discipline and in institutions”, invited panellist, Key Issues in Ontario Higher Education: A Policy Research Symposium, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, May 2013
  • B. Frank, S. McCahan, P. Wolf, “Using learning outcomes for collaborative program improvement”, Symposium on Learning Outcomes Assessment: Practically Speaking, Council of Ontario Universities, April 2013
  • B. Frank, S. McCahan, P. Wolf, “Leading a process to use learning outcomes for program improvement”, Symposium on Learning Outcomes Assessment: Practically Speaking, Council of Ontario Universities, April 2013
  • B. Frank, “Modeling, critical thinking, and problem solving in first year engineering: Why It’s Important, And How We Are Working To Improve It”, Queen’s University Physics Colloquium invited presentation, Feb 2013
  • B. Frank, S. McCahan, P. Wolf, “Graduate attribute processes for program improvement”, invited 1-day workshop for York University, Feb 2013
  • Continuous Program Improvement Processes, University of Ottawa, October 2012
  • Graduate Attribute Assessment as a Course Instructor, Canadian Engineering Education Association 2012, Winnipeg, MB
  • Creating Useful Indicators, Canadian Engineering Education Association 2012, Winnipeg, MB
  • Graduate Attribute Assessment Workshop, Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)¬† Conference 2011 and 2010
  • Graduate Attribute Assessment Workshop, customized workshops run for University of Windsor (February 2012), Canadian Heads of Electrical and Computer Engineering (May 2011), Concordia University (February 2011), Royal Military College (November 2010), Dalhousie University and associated universities (May 2010), The Association of Canadian Chairs of Chemical Engineering at Queen's (May 2010), and National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (April 2010)