Two Professors Named Engineering Unleashed Fellows

Friday, September 22, 2023
Adel Alhalawani and Michelle Marincel Payne

As 2023 Engineering Unleashed Fellows, professors Adel Alhalawani, PhD, and Michelle Marincel Payne, PhD, will create classroom and lab experiences that instill today’s engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Professors Adel Alhalawani, PhD, and Michelle Marincel Payne, PhD, have been named 2023 Engineering Unleashed Fellows to create classroom and laboratory experiences that are instilling today’s engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset. 

Both are among 30 faculty members from 23 institutions across America selected by their peers in recognition of their contributions to engineering education and, in particular, entrepreneurial engineering. They have participated in the Engineering Unleashed faculty development national workshop program.

Each fellow will receive a $10,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to undertake educational projects that help students identify opportunities, be curious while solving problems, and create long-lasting value – enhancing the work engineers already do to become even more powerful agents of societal good.

Alhalawani, assistant professor of biology and biomedical engineering, will use the grant to pilot a Design Your Rose Life training workshop at Rose-Hulman. This workshop is expected to help students not only design a life that works for them but also get access to professors and professionals who can pave their pathway and offer the necessary mentorship throughout their college and professional careers. To achieve this, Alhalawani and members of Rose-Hulman’s student affairs and student success offices will visit Stanford University’s Life Design Studio in June 2024. They then plan to replicate many of the concepts learned in a workshop at Rose-Hulman in August 2024.

Over the last eight months, Alhalawani developed and implemented a new curriculum module in his Mechanics of Materials class. He integrated the entrepreneurial mindset, bio-inspired design, and arts concepts into classroom materials after attending a professional training workshop on “Entrepreneurially Minded Curriculum Development and SOTL Dissemination” at Purdue University.

Alhalawani has attended KEEN-organized workshops on such topics as Design Your Academic Life, Making with Entrepreneurial Mindset Across the Curriculum, and Integrating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial Mindset. He is facilitating a select group of national higher education instructors who are examining the entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurially minded learning concepts. The group also is exploring how these areas can be effectively integrated into the classroom in concise and impactful ways during the next decade to possibly transform students’ educational experiences. 

Meanwhile, Marincel Payne, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will use the grant to expand upon her efforts to use storytelling to promote learning and connection in her classes. She tells stories from her professional experiences to add authenticity to her teaching, and teaches a framework for students to learn to craft and tell their own stories as they head to the career fair and internships.  

Marincel Payne also will use the grant to teach students how to foster psychological safety and resolve conflict in teams, using storytelling as the baseline. This will allow students to connect and foster psychological safety while also enabling students to communicate outcomes. Applying storytelling in this way is an approachable tool for students to practice leveraging in the engineering classroom and beyond.  

To do this, Marincel Payne will expand on her work to teach teaming skills with Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head James Hanson, PhD; Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head Mario Simoni, PhD; electrical and computer engineering associate professor Deborah Walter, PhD; Director of Accessibility Services Patty Eaton; and Associate Director of Student Activities Kristen Merchant.  This team’s work will lead the conversation on teaching engineering students on how to effectively engage in teams.

Marincel Payne is planning to lead a workshop on the topic of teaching students how to foster psychological safety at the KEEN National Conference in February 2024.

Engineering Unleashed is a community of more than 3,500 engineering faculty and staff from diverse universities across the United States, like Rose-Hulman, with a shared mission to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so that they can create personal, economic and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work. 

Alhalawani teaches courses in engineering design, biomechanics, statics and mechanics of materials, biomaterials and design for manufacturing. His research has focused on bio-glass based adhesives for orthopedic applications. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pakistan’s Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, a master’s degree from University of Malaya in Malaysia, and a doctoral degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University) in Canada.

Marincel Payne teaches courses that include the areas of water resources engineering, water and wastewater treatment, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. She also leads research with undergraduate students to investigate the capacity of engineered wetlands to remove pollutants, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, from stormwater. Marincel Payne earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Missouri University of Science and Technology and her PhD from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.