Geoffrey Herman

Research and Reform: Creating change in engineering education

About Me

Mission Statement and Current Objectives

KatKissMy career mission statement is to create systemic change in engineering education. To achieve this mission, I am currently working to build my capacity as an education researcher while coordinating and leading innovation efforts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About Me

I earned my PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while conducting engineering education research. I was co-advised by Michael Loui and Craig Zilles to develop an understanding of how students learn topics in computer engineering and then develop a learning assessment tool called the digital logic concept inventory.

I completed two postdocs: one with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education at the University of Illinois (iFoundry) and one at Purdue’s School of Engineering Education. With iFoundry I piloted reform projects that centered on improving students’ intrinsic motivation to learn engineering. At Purdue, I worked with Ruth Streveler (in partnership with Shane Brown at Oregon State University and Holly Matusovich at Virginia Tech) to develop a theory of “hot cognition” in engineering – a theory which argues that cognition can be fully understood only by understanding how cognition is directed by motivation.

I am now back with iFoundry and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction to catalyze change in engineering education at the University of Illinois. I lead core college-based change initiatives while continuing my research in students’ conceptual understanding and change about engineering concepts. A list of my project are below.

Contact Info

Teaching Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Research Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
3213 Siebel Center
201 N. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Contact E-mail

Research Interests

  • Sustainable education reform
  • Students’ conceptual change in engineering subjects
  • Measurement and assessment
  • Holistic engineering
  • Intrinsic motivation to learn


Innovation in Engineering and STEM Education
SIIP_WIDER network
Conceptual Change for Engineering Concepts
Sketch Tools for Engineering Problem Solving (STEPS)
Collaborative Sketch Tools for Engineering Problem Solving (C-STEPS)
Conceptual Assessment Tools for Cybersecurity
Documenting Barriers to Integrated Engineering Mathematics
Redesigning Introduction to Electronics
Intrinsic Motivation Course Conversions