Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Assistant Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering Kosta Popovic, PhD, is among a select list of higher education STEM educators who are creating classroom and laboratory experiences that are instilling today’s engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset.
He has been named a 2021 Engineering Unleashed Fellow by a group of his peers and in recognition of his contributions to engineering education and, in particular, entrepreneurial engineering. This year’s fellows include 27 faculty members from 22 institutions across America, all of whom participated in the Engineering Unleashed faculty development national workshop program.
Each fellow has received a $10,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to undertake educational projects that help students identify opportunities, be curious while solving problems, and create long-lasting value – enhancing the work engineers already do to become even more powerful agents of societal good.
Popovic will use the grant to expand efforts with Physics and Optical Engineering Assistant Professor Dan Marincel, PhD, to infuse more hands-on activities and Entrepreneurial Minded Learning (EML) opportunities for first-year students in introductory physics studio courses. Those efforts were previously supported through a $15,000 program transformation grant from the Kern Family Foundation that also involved Maarij Syed, PhD, professor of physics and optical engineering.
“Implementing EML lessons in first-year science courses are invaluable building blocks for all engineering students. That’s why we need to keep experimenting and assessing the impact of these educational practices so that we can make them readily available for instructors at Rose-Hulman and other STEM-oriented institutions,” said Popovic. In terms of prolonged impact, he also is “excited to learn from other Engineering Unleashed Fellows on ways to further promote EML into our courses.”
Engineering Unleashed is a community of more than 3,500 engineering faculty and staff from diverse universities across the United States, like Rose-Hulman, with a shared mission to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so that they can create personal, economic and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.
A member of the Rose-Hulman faculty since 2015, Popovic strives to promote students’ mastery of scientific material through introductory level lecture- and lab-based courses that engage and challenge students. He also is a research/development-oriented physicist who has more than 10 years of experience in medical device academic research. Popovic earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Virginia after completing bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from Hamilton College in New York.