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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - September 2021

By Mary Jane Chew

Engineering’s Berger steps into inaugural position to lead innovation

The Office of the Provost has announced that Edward Berger has been named the inaugural associate vice provost for learning innovation, and director of the Innovation Hub. 

In his new role Berger will report to Jenna Rickus, vice provost for teaching and learning, and will focus on the third pillar of Transformative Education 2.0 – enhancing student learning and classroom engagement at scale. In close collaboration with Gary Bertoline, senior vice president for Purdue Online and learning innovation, he will lead the Innovation Hub for teaching and learning innovation, translation and scale-up, as envisioned in Purdue Road Map for Transformative Undergraduate Education.   The hub is part of the Innovation College, funded by the Lilly Endowment.

“I am humbled by this appointment,” said Berger. “I plan to apply the lessons from my prior experience at other institutions as well as the National Science Foundation to accelerate innovation in teaching and learning at Purdue. We will create and promote transdisciplinary experiences for students that prepare them with the modern skills and ways of thinking expected of future leaders.”

Berger joined the Purdue faculty in 2014 and is a professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering and the executive director of the Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center (MEERCat) at Purdue. MEERCat focuses on research-to-practice projects that promote student success, including ongoing projects about student non-cognitive factors and propagation of teaching innovations (both funded by NSF).  

His research interests have evolved from tribomechanics, including dynamics of interfaces and structures with friction, to engineering education research. In 2008, he won a Commonwealth of Virginia state-wide teaching award for his integration of technology into undergraduate education.

Berger recently completed an assignment at the National Science Foundation, in the Engineering Directorate, Division of Engineering Education and Centers, where he oversaw a $15M annual budget for engineering education research and collaborated across the agency on programs including AI Institutes and Advanced Manufacturing. He recently began a two-year term as a Purdue faculty representative to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.