One of UAH’s own selected to attend prestigious symposium

Phil Farrington

Dr. Phillip A. Farrington was one of just 77 educators invited to take part in the Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium.

Michael Mercier | UAH

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is pleased to announce that Dr. Phillip A. Farrington, professor in the College of Engineering, has been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's sixth Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium. Dr. Farrington is among just 77 invitees to the symposium, all of whom were nominated to and selected from a highly competitive pool of their peers.

"The Frontiers of Engineering Education program brings together top university faculty to explore preparing engineers for the world's great engineering challenges," said Dr. Dan Mote, President of the National Academy of Engineering. "It is a no-holds-barred look at the front edge of engineering education."

The symposium will be held Oct. 26-29 in Irvine, Calif. Attendees, who were selected based on their "innovative educational approaches," will share ideas, learn from research and best practice in education, and receive the tools needed to bring about improvement at their home institution.

Dr. Farrington, who joined the UAH faculty in 1991, earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management from Oklahoma State University. During his career, he has secured over $5.5 million in external research funding and published over 90 technical articles and papers.

I am looking forward to participating in the symposium, where I hope to increase the national profile of the IPT/InSPIRESS program, and to bringing back insights and ideas from the other participants.

But despite his strong credentials, he says the credit for his invitation belongs instead to three others: Dr. Bob Frederick, who originated UAH's Integrated Product Teams (IPT) class in the early 1990s; and Dr. P.J. Benfield and Dr. Matt Turner, from the UAH Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis, who conceived of and are expanding the Integrated Product Team/Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM Students program (InSPIRESS).

"I am honored at the selection but this is really recognition for their vision and leadership," says Dr. Farrington, who teaches in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management. "While I have supported the IPT/InSPIRESS program, it is their vision, drive, and leadership that made this opportunity possible. So I am looking forward to participating in the symposium, where I hope to increase the national profile of the IPT/InSPIRESS program, and to bringing back insights and ideas from the other participants."

Each year, the IPT program engages undergraduate engineering and science students in a multi-university project to design robotic spacecraft for a mission of interest to the NASA Discovery/New Frontiers Program. Included within it is InSPIRESS, which challenges high school students to design science payloads to ride on the spacecraft(s). The goal of both is to provide a broad impact by establishing foundations for a highly integrated design program that links undergraduate and high school education, with participants gaining experience designing large-scale systems with a better understanding of the role of STEM disciplines in that process.

"IPT/InSPIRESS is an exciting and innovative program that is impacting significant numbers of high school and college students every year and increasing awareness of STEM careers and the role they play in achieving NASA's mission," says Dr. Farrington. "Participating in this symposium will further expand that awareness."