Richard Aleong


School of Engineering
Office: EME 4269

Research Summary

Engineering education research; Interdisciplinary learning and practice; Human-centered design and systems thinking; Qualitative research methods; Educational development for engineering education transformation

Courses & Teaching

Engineering Communication
Technical Communication for Engineering Research
Engineering Leadership
Materials Selection and Design


Richard J. Aleong is an engineering education researcher and interdisciplinary design educator who cares about helping all learners discover themselves, their world, and how they can contribute in meaningful ways. Dr. Aleong earned his PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue University, where he was recognized for outstanding research, teaching, and service by the School of Engineering Education. His dissertation research investigated the ways that educational developers experience disciplinary perspectives in their work as interdisciplinary professionals. In support of his dissertation research, he was awarded the Donnan Fellowship by the College of Engineering. His research and teaching focuses on interdisciplinary engineering learning, human-centered design and collaboration, and educational development for engineering education transformation. Dr. Aleong earned his MASc and BScE in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. Dr. Aleong is committed to designing learning systems and experiences that support all learners in their personal and professional growth.


PhD (Engineering Education) - Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
MASc (Mechanical & Materials Engineering) - Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
BScE (Mechanical & Materials Engineering) - Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Research Interests & Projects

  • Interdisciplinary learning, practice, and collaboration
  • Ways of experiencing disciplinary perspectives for problem framing, integration, and design
  • Diversifying engineering knowledge and knowing
  • Design-based learning for science teacher education
  • Educational development and the scholarship of teaching and learning

Dr. Richard Aleong conducts research and development in the areas of engineering education, interdisciplinary collaboration and practice, and qualitative methods for human-centered design and educational research. Dr. Aleong draws on diverse perspectives of design cognition, situated learning theory, and socio-technical systems thinking to investigate social phenomenon related to human experience, interdisciplinary learning and work, and professional competency development. Specifically, Dr. Aleong’s scholarly activities focus on the formation of interdisciplinary professionals through integrated curriculum and identity development.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Journal Papers

Aleong, R. J., Goldstein, M. H. (2020). Balancing curriculum design trade-offs for larger learning goals: A synthesized model. International Journal of Engineering Education, 36(2), 556-567.

Aleong, R. J., Joslyn, C., Adams, R. S. (2018). Capitalizing on surprise and doubt in design experiences. International Journal of Engineering Education, 34(2B), 558-566.

Adams, R. S., Aleong, R. J., Goldstein, M., Solis, F. (2018). Rendering a problem frame as an unfolding co-inquiry process. Design Studies, 57, 37-74.

Conference Papers 

Aleong, R. J. (2021). Lessons learned: Designing for complexity and ambiguity in total course development from conception to delivery. Proceedings of the 2021 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Long Beach, CA.

Aleong, R. J., Adams, R.S. (2020). A situative understanding of the NGSS science and engineering practices (fundamental). Proceedings of the 2020 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Montreal, QC.

Aleong, R. J., & Strong, D. S. (2015). The development of life-long learning competencies: Positioning students for self-regulation. Proceedings of the 2015 Canadian Engineering Education Association Annual Conference, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.

Workshops and Presentations

Aleong, R. J., (2021, June). Exploring different ways of experiencing: The integration of qualitative methodology, design methods, and interdisciplinary approaches. Presentation at the 12th Annual International Science of Team Science Conference, Virginia Tech, VA

Aleong R. J., Missingham, D. (2019, June). Beyond active learning techniques: Thinking critically for developing active learning experiences. Workshop presented at the Canadian Engineering Education Association Annual Conference, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.

Aleong, R. J., & Adams, R. S., (2018, October). Being at the border: Fostering cross-cutting frameworks for interdisciplinary collaboration. Roundtable session presented at the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference, Detroit, MI.

Selected Grants & Awards

Hugh W. and Edna M. Donnan Fellowship, College of Engineering, Purdue University

Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, School of Engineering Education, Purdue University

Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, School of Engineering Education, Purdue University

Outstanding Service Scholarship, College of Engineering, Purdue University

Ross Fellowship, The Graduate School, Purdue University


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