For those of you interested in what a professor does during “summer vacation,” I thought I’d give a quick update. Here are a few of the things I’ve done this summer (sorry, no good videos).
Right after graduation, I went to the 5th International Symposium on Computational Wind Engineering to present a research paper about wind effects on vertical, cylindrical pressure vessels (used in petrochemical plants).
The first week of June, I helped coordinate the Future Civil Engineers Summer Institute. In conjunction with the Texas Transportation Institute, the summer institute hosted 16 middle school students on our campus. Kids built balsa wood bridges, mixed concrete, visited the Corpus Christi office of the Texas Transportation Institute, and enjoyed other activities as they learned about careers in engineering.
For the rest of June and first part of July, I worked on writing projects. A particularly interesting one was an ABET report. Our architectural engineering program is going up for its initial ABET accreditation this fall, and I helped write the self-study report. The self-study report is the first step in the process of accrediation; our next step will be a site visit this November. Three engineers will be sent by ABET to poke and prod our program until they are sure our kids are getting a good, quality education. Attending an ABET accredited program has important ramifications for future engineers. To read more about this organization, check out: http://www.abet.org
Finally, in mid-July I went to Boulder, Colorado, to attend the ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) workshop. This teaching workshop is focused on improving the quality of civil engineering education. Over twenty civil engineering professors attended to learn about educational theory, get tips for improving classroom presentations, and have our teaching evaluated by our peers. It was a long, long week packed with activities.
So, that should give you an idea of what a professor does in her “off-time.” I’ve also advised several graduate students on their research projects and have some new research about to get started, etc., etc., etc. It’s been a very busy summer! Right now, I plan to take a few weeks off to be with my family and get some rest before the fall semester.
by Dr. Bailey from the blog Dr. Bailey