STEM Engineering Education for All Learners:

The Education and Outreach Program for a
National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center;

The Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG)


Picture of Dr. Wilhelmina Savenye, Keynote Speaker
Dr. Wilhelmina Savenye, Professor, Arizona State University, USA


In the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded a new Engineering Research Center, the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), made up of four universities. The Center’s purpose is to develop this new field of biogeotechnics, within Civil Engineering, and ensure that the university research is transferred to industry, education, and society. Of critical importance to the NSF and our Center’s mission is to develop STEM learning, with a particular focus on biogeotechnical engineering. Wilhelmina Savenye, Education Director, is leading a highly interdisciplinary team developing a full suite of education, outreach and diversity goals, strategies, and activities for young students from Kindergarten to 12th grade, as well as for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral learners in higher education, and working engineers. Highlights of our design, development and evaluation results from our first two years, along with key findings and “lessons learned” for this NSF-funded, multi-university, highly interdisciplinary center, will be presented.


Dr. Wilhelmina (Willi) Savenye is a Professor of Learning Design and Technologies / Educational Technology in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She is also the Education Director for an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center, the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics

Her research includes work on instructional design; evaluation and assessment; cognitive and affective learning in student-centered learning environments; interactive online learning systems; multi-model environments for learning in the arts, media and engineering; pedagogy of technology integration into teaching; informal science learning; innovations in qualitative research methods; learning in museums; and international perspectives on learning systems.

Dr. Savenye’s instructional design, evaluation and online learning work has been conducted in such diverse settings as public school districts, museums, botanical gardens, zoos, universities, corporations and Army tank maintenance settings.

Dr. Savenye has also served on the education faculty at The University of Texas at Austin and San Diego State University, and been an adjunct faculty member of Instructional Design and Distance Education at Nova Southeastern University. She began her career in instructional media, serving on the staff of what is now Seattle Pacific University, as well as North Seattle and Bellevue Community Colleges, and the Bellevue (WA) School District. She has also had the pleasure of working with Texas State University, San Marcos, Instructional Technology staff in leading Technology Integration Summer Workshops for faculty. She earned her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Technology from ASU, as well as an AA in Media Technology and BA in Anthropology (University of Washington.)

Dr. Savenye has published over 70 articles, chapters, and monographs related to instructional design and evaluation of technology-based learning systems. She serves as Editor of the Journal of Applied Instructional Design (, and served as Associate Editor for the recent Encyclopedia of Educational Technology (Sage). She has served on the editorial boards of several journals, including Educational Technology: Research and Development and the Quarterly Review of Distance Education. She also serves as a manuscript reviewer for several additional journals and has served as guest editor for several special issues of educational technology journals. She has held several elected conference leadership positions. She has also made over 140 presentations at international, national and regional conferences and workshops.  She has been awarded numerous federal and foundation grants in these areas. She has designed and produced numerous digital media products and programs.