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Russ Meier, Ph.D., FIEEE - Milwaukee School of Engineering. Milwaukee, WI, US

Russ Meier, Ph.D., FIEEE

Professor, Program Director | Milwaukee School of Engineering


Dr. Russ Meier is an educational expert focused on how computational thinking impacts student enculturation to the engineering profession.

Education, Licensure and Certification (3)

Ph.D.: Computer Engineering, Iowa State University 1998

M.S.: Computer Engineering, Iowa State University 1994

B.S.: Computer Engineering, Iowa State University 1992


Dr. Meier is the undergraduate Computer Engineering Program Director and a professor in the ECBE Department. His computer engineering specialty is Computer Architecture. He is a member of IEEE, IEEE-HKN, and the IEEE Computer, Education, and Professional Communications societies. He joined IEEE as a student and has an extensive history of membership and service. He also has a professional service record as a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and its Educational Research and Methods Division (ERM), Electrical and Computer Engineering Division (ECE), and First-Year Engineering Education Division (FYE).

Dr. Meier grew up on a farm on a Sioux Indian reservation in Nebraska. Agricultural machines fascinated him. He loved examining and fixing tractor engines, augers, combines, automatic livestock feeders, and other equipment. He liked solving problems using tools and determination. While in high school, the personal computer era dawned and fantastic new machines running software changed the world. These machines used ceramic chips and electricity to do cool things! The Apple II and TI-99/4a were simple compared to modern computers, but they became his platforms to explore automation and control using the BASIC and Pascal programming languages. He quickly discovered his passion for computing and enjoyed helping his classmates learn about how computer hardware and software work. By the end of high school, it was clear that a professional career in engineering and engineering education was his future. He enrolled as a first-generation college student and had an amazing freshman year because he got to learn Fortran, a language he stills writes programs in today.

At MSOE, he mentors future engineers in digital logic, computer architecture, digital electronics, and computer networking. His 30-year history of teaching excellence has been recognized with multiple teaching excellence awards. The IEEE elevated him to Fellow for contributions to global online engineering education. The International Society for Engineering Education awarded him the title International Engineering Educator Honoris Causa for outstanding contributions in the field of engineering education.

His engineering education research focuses on computational thinking, first-year experience, and enculturation to the engineering profession. His technical research interests focus on computer architecture, embedded systems, and evolvable hardware.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Engineering Enculturation

First-Year Experience

Evolvable Hardware

Higher Education

Electrical Engineering

Computer Engineering

Embedded Systems

Computer Architecture

Engineering Education

Computational Thinking

Accomplishments (11)

Meritorious Service Award

American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), Electrical and Computer Engineering Division, 2022

Meritorious Service Award

Learning with MOOCs Conference (LWMOOCs), 2022


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), For contributions to global on-line engineering education, 2018

USA Regional Professional Leadership Award

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2015

Oscar Werwath Distinguished Teacher Award, MSOE


International Engineering Educator Honoris Causa

International Engineering Education Society (IGIP), For outstanding contributions in the field of engineering education and for dedicated work as an engineering educator, 2012

Edwin C. Jones Jr. Meritorious Service Award

IEEE Education Society 2011

Distinguished Chapter Leadership Award

IEEE Education Society, 2011

Meritorious Service Award

Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2010

Young Engineer of the Year Award

Engineers and Scientists of Milwaukee, 2009

Ronald J. Schmitz Meritorious Service Award

ASEE/IEEE FIE Conference 2009, 2022

Affiliations (9)

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) : Member
  • IEEE: Fellow
  • IEEE Computer Society: Member
  • IEEE Education Society: Member
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) : Member
  • ASEE Electrical and Computer Engineering Division: Member
  • ASEE Educational Research and Methods Division: Member
  • IEEE Professional Communications Society: Member
  • ASEE First-Year Programs Division: Member


Event and Speaking Appearances (8)

Applying for a First Time Tenure Track Position – Making your Case as a Candidate

IEEE Academic Career Toolbox Webinar Series  Online, 2022

Making Labs Effective with Remote Learning

IEEE Effective Remote Instruction Webinar Series, Available on-Demand at https://tinyurl.com/ieee-remote-instruction  Online, 2020

Using eLearning to Support Distance Learning

IEEE Educational Activities Board Webinar  Online, 2020

Opening Comments

ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Opening Day Luncheon  El Paso, Texas, October 2016

IEEE Division VI Impact

International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS 2019)  November, 2019

Opening Comments

IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON)  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 2016

Professional Societies as a Vehicle for Continuing Education for Teachers of Engineering

IEEE Teaching, Assessment, and Learning in Engineering Education Conference (TALE)  Bangkok, Thailand, December 2016

Opening Comments

IEEE Teaching, Assessment, and Learning in Engineering Education Conference (TALE)  Bangkok, Thailand, December 2016

Research Grants (5)

Computational Thinking in the Formation of Engineers, a Multi-institution Initiative

National Science Foundation $463,000

June 2019 Mendoza, N., Meier, R., and Trytten, D.

ICCD Detector Readout Development Project Extension

U.S. Department of Energy $229,567

July 2000 Sobering, T.J., Meier, R.D.

Post-delivery Support for ICCD Detector

U.S. Department of Energy, $25,000

April 2001 Sobering, T.J., Meier, R.D.

Matching the LSI Logic and Microsoft Gifts for the Microcontrollers Laboratory

Kansas State University Student Equipment Fees $10,000

Meier, R.D.

Microsoft Sponsored Grant for Software Licenses

Microsoft Incorporated $47,800

July 2000 Meier, R.D.

Selected Publications (5)

A Comparative Analysis of Worldwide Trends in the Use of Information and Communications Technology in Engineering Education

IEEE Access

Martin, S., Lopez-Martin, E., Moreno-Pulido, A., Meier, R., Castro, M

2019 This paper forecasts learning technologies that are predicted to impact the practice of engineering education according to the perceptions of engineering education researchers and practitioners. These forecasts were derived from three worldwide surveys carried out in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The responses were analyzed to know the technologies that will have an impact in the short, medium and long term. In turn, differences in forecasts according to area of specialization and geographical region were studied. Moreover, this paper applies social analysis (Google Trends) and bibliometric analysis (Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science) to these predictions in order to discover which technologies were successful and really impacted in engineering education, and which ones failed to have the predicted impact and why.

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Do MOOCs Sustain the UNESCO’s Quality Education Goal?


Tovar, E., Tabuenca, B., Alzaghoul, A., Kloos, C.D., Sluss, J., López-Rey, Á., Ruiz, E., García-Loro, F., Sancristóbal, E., Artacho, M.R., Martin, S.

2019 The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of UNESCO establishes goals and targets in areas of critical importance for humanity. Recently, members of the eMadrid network have organized the Conference Learning with MOOCs (LWMOOCS 2018), the leading worldwide global conference, inspired by this year's theme “MOOCs for All - A Social and International Approach”. This paper analyzes the main outcomes of this conference organized around the “Quality Education”, the Sustainable Development Goal 4.

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The Impact of Prior Programming Experience on Computational Thinking in First-Year Engineering Experience

Proceedings of the 2022 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD) Conference

Mendoza Diaz, N. V., Trytten, D. A., Meier, R., and Moore, J. M.

2022 This paper contributes to the literature by showing how computational thinking can exacerbate existing equity problems in engineering by allowing students with privilege to accrue additional advantages that ease the transition into engineering early in their academic programs. These accrued advantages may diminish the opportunities for success of students with less privilege, who may incorrectly view themselves as having less merit.

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An Engineering Computational Thinking Diagnostic: A Psychometric Analysis

IEEEProceedings of the 2021 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)

N. V. M. Diaz, D. A. Trytten, R. Meier and S. Y. Yoon

2021 This research-track work-in-progress paper contributes to engineering education by documenting progress in developing a new standard Engineering Computational Thinking Diagnostic to measure engineering student success in five factors of computational thinking. Over the past year, results from an initial validation attempt were used to refine diagnostic questions. A second statistical validation attempt was then completed in Spring 2021 with 191 student participants at three universities. Statistics show that all diagnostic questions had statistically significant factor loadings onto one general computational thinking factor that incorporates the five original factors of (a) Abstraction, (b) Algorithmic Thinking, (c) Decomposition, (d) Data Representation and Organization, and (e) Impact of Computing. This result was unexpected as our goal was a diagnostic that could discriminate among the five factors. A small population size caused by the virtual delivery of courses during the COVID-19 pandemic may be the ex

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Computational Thinking Growth During a First-Year Engineering Course

Proceedings of the 2020 Frontiers in Education Conference

N. V. Mendoza Diaz, R. Meier, D. A. Trytten and S. Yoon Yoon

2020 This full research-track paper demonstrates growth in computational thinking in a cohort of engineering students completing their first course in engineering at a large Southwestern university in the United States. Computational thinking has been acknowledged as a key aspect of engineering education and an intrinsic part of multiple ABET outcomes. However, computing is an area where some students have more privileges (e.g. access and exposure to meaningful use of computers) than others. Integrating computing into engineering, especially early in the curriculum, may exacerbate existing experiential disadvantages students from excluded social identities experience. Most introductory engineering programs have a component of programming and/or computational thinking. A comprehensive literature review showed that no existing computational thinking framework fully met the needs of students and professors in engineering and computer science. As a result, this team created the Engineering Computational Thinking.

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