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Washington State University
The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

Denny Davis

Denny Davis

Denny Davis, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor

Engineering education, design education and assessment, engineering entrepreneurship, engineering for K–12 education, pedagogies for innovation and professional development

The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
1505 Stadium Way, Room 105
P.O. Box 646515
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6515

Research Interests

Engineering education, engineering design learning and assessment, professional skills development and assessment, engineering applications in K-12 education.


  • BS Agricultural Engineering, Washington State University
  • MS Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University
  • PhD Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University

Awards/Honors Received

  • 2010–11 – Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Leadership
  • 2008 – Kauffman Award, Entrepreneurship Division, American Society for Engineering Education
  • 2002 – Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • 1999 – WSU Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching
  • 1995, 1996 – Boeing Outstanding Educator Award— national finalist with R.W. Crain Jr.
  • 1991 – WSU Counsel of Minority Presidents Award for Commitment to Minority Students
  • 1989 – EDUCOM/NCRIPTAL (National) Best Engineering Software Award
  • 1982 – A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award (American Society of Agricultural Engineers)
  • 1981 – C.E.C.C. Outstanding Professor Award (WSU College of Engineering)

Professional Experience

  • Visiting Professor – Engineering Education, Purdue University, 2008–2009
  • Co-Director/Director – Engineering Education Research Center, WSU, 2005–
  • Interim Director – Program in Bioengineering, WSU, 2001–2003
  • Chair – Department of Biological Systems Engineering, WSU, 2000–2001
  • Interim Director – Center for Precision Agricultural Systems, WSU, 1999–2000
  • Technical Education Consultant – The Boeing Company 1996–1997
  • Professor – Agricultural/Biological Systems Engineering, WSU, 1987–1992
  • Associate Dean – College of Engineering and Architecture, WSU, 1986–1998
  • Associate Professor – Agricultural Engineering, WSU, 1980–1987
  • Visiting Associate Prof. – Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University, 1982–1983
  • Assistant Professor – Agricultural Engineering, WSU, 1976–1980
  • Assistant Professor – Agricultural Engineering, University of Georgia, 1973–1976

Specific Research Projects

Project Name Funding Dates
CLEAR (Collaborative Learner-Constructed Engineering Articulation & Representation) NSF DLR 0530708 ($100,000) 09/01/2005–08/31/2007
CREAM (Culturally Relevant Engineering Applications in Mathematics) NSF DGE 0538652 ($1,540,800) 02/15/2006–07/31/2010
Malawi Treadle Pump (student project) NCIIA 334-06 ($12,500) 08/01/2006–08/31/2007
Initiation of Collaboration for Interdisciplinary STEM Education WSU Rsch/EERC ($5,000 + $5,000) 06/01/2007–12/31/2008
Malawi Treadle Pump (student project) NCIIA 334-06 ($8,000) 08/01/2007–11/01/2007
Capstone Engineering Design Assessment: Development, Testing & Adoption Research NSF DUE 0717561 ($549,850) 09/15/2007–08/31/2010
Inventory of Evaluation Tools for Engineering Education Projects NSF DUE 0839898 ($96,000) 10/01/2008–9/30/2009
IDEALS (Integrated Design Engineering Assessment and Learning System* NSF DUE 0919248 ($150,000) 09/01/2009–08/31/2011

Board Memberships

  • Board of Direcors, Washington Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, 1986–1998
  • Board of Directors, WSU President’s Teaching Academy, 2004: Chair, 2006–2008
  • Advisory Board, Iron Range Engineering Program, Minnesota, 2009–2010

Memberships in Professional Organizations

  • American Society for Engineering Education
    Officer positions held in BAE division: secretary-treasurer, vice chair, chair
    Pacific Northwest Section, chair (2006–2007)
    Member of national Merryfield Design Award Committee
  • Institute of Biological Engineering
    Councilor, 1999–2000
    Meetings Committee, chair, 2000
    Program chair and local arrangements chair for annual IBE conference
  • American Society of Agricultural Engineers
    Committee chairs: EPP-47, SE-304, P-413
    Meetings Council member
    ABET accreditation evaluator

Selected Publications

  1. Davis, D.C., M. S. Trevisan, M. Zhang, J. Lebeau, and D, Fairbrother. 2009. “Inventory of Evaluation Tools for Engineering Education Projects,” Project Report, NSF DUE 0839898, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
  2. Davis, Denny, Jay McCormack, Steven Beyerlein, Michael Trevisan, Howard Davis, Robert Gerlick, Phillip Thompson, Susannah Howe, Paul Leiffer, Patricia Brackin. (in press). “Assessing Team Member Citizenship in Capstone Engineering Design Courses,” Intl Journal of Engineering Education.
  3. Herron-Thorpe, Farren L., Jo Clay Olson, and Denny Davis. (in press). Shrinking your class. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.
  4. McCormack, Jay, Steven Beyerlein, David Feldon, Denny Davis, Howard Davis, Zachary Wemlinger, Robert Gerlick. 2009. “Methodology for Selection, Sequencing, and Deployment of Activities in a Capstone Design Course Using the TIDEE Web-Based Assessment System,” Proceedings of the Design Education Technical Conference of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, San Diego, CA, October 30–November 2.
  5. Davis, Denny. 2009. “Integrated Assessment Instruments for Engineering Design Education.” Invited keynote address, Good Practices of Capstone Engineering Design Education Symposium, Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE), Tokyo, Japan, March 7.
  6. Davis, Denny, Steven Beyerlein, Phillip Thompson, Jay McCormack, Olakunle Harrison, Michael Trevisan, Robert Gerlick, and Susannah Howe. 2009. “Assessing Design and Reflective Practice in Capstone Engineering Design Courses,” Proceedings of American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Austin, TX.
  7. Gerlick, R., D. Davis, S. Beyerlein, J. McCormack, P. Thompson, O. Harrison, and M. Trevisan. 2008. “Assessment Structure and Methodology for Design Processes and Products in Engineering Capstone Courses,” Proceedings of American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.
  8. Davis, D., S. Beyerlein, O. Harrison, P. Thompson, and M. Trevisan. 2007. “Assessments for Three Performance Areas in Capstone Engineering Design,” Proc American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI.

Research Highlight

The Prevention through Design educational modules present safe design considerations pertaining to Biomedical and Bioengineering Design. These modules present principles of Prevention through Design and give illustrations of common chemical, biological, mechanical, and electrical hazards in bioengineering workplaces. THe writers address the motivations for safe design and present ways to design hazards out of bioengineering. Read more about Prevention through Design