Vanderbilt engineer to participate in NAE’s first Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium


A Vanderbilt University engineering professor has been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) first Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium Nov. 15-18 in Herndon, Va.

Xenofon Koutsoukos, associate professor of computer science and computer engineering, is one of 49 engineering researchers and educators who were chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants nominated by fellow engineers or deans.

Engineering faculty members in the first half of their careers who are developing and implementing innovative educational approaches in a variety of disciplines will come together and share ideas, learn from research and best practice in education, and leave with a charter to bring about improvement in their home institution.

The program will focus on effective ways to ensure that students learn the engineering fundamentals, the expanding knowledge base of new technology, and the skills necessary to be an effective engineer or engineering researcher.

Koutsoukos excels in undergraduate and graduate teaching, according to Dan Fleetwood, chair of the electrical engineering and computer science department. He has developed and significantly updated undergraduate courses, and a computer engineering module he created for the School’s survey course required of all first-year students has help build enrollment in the computer engineering program, Fleetwood said.

Also, Koutsoukos is regarded as a highly effective, caring mentor to graduate students.  He has served on a number of thesis committees and has supervised more than 10 undergraduate research projects. His student ratings are among the highest in the School.

“In our increasingly global and competitive world, the United States needs to marshal its resources to address the strategic shortfall of engineering leaders in the next decades,” said Edward F. Crawley, Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT, and chairman of the first FOEE.  “By holding this event, we have recognized some of the finest young engineering educators in the nation, and will better equip them to transform the educational process at their universities.”

Koutsoukos, also a Senior Research Scientist in the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS), received the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, a Best Paper Award at SenSys — a major conference on embedded network sensor systems — in 2007, and he is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2004.  He has published more than 120 refereed journal and conference papers and he is co-inventor of four U.S. patents. His research interests include hybrid, embedded and cyber-physical systems, and sensor networks.

“The Frontiers of Engineering Education program will create a unique venue for engineering faculty members to share and explore interesting and effective innovations in teaching and learning,” said NAE President Charles M. Vest. “We intend for FOEE to become a major force in identifying, recognizing, and promulgating advances and innovations in order to build a strong intellectual infrastructure and commitment to 21st-century engineering education.”

Koutsoukos received a diploma in electrical and computer engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. His graduate education at the University of Notre Dame includes masters degrees in electrical engineering and in applied mathematics, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.


Xenofon Koutsoukos National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education