Alexandra Coso Strong

Alexandra Coso Strong

Visiting Associate Professor
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
246 Olin Hall
Systems Engineering

Biography

Alexandra Coso Strong works and teaches at the intersection of engineering education, faculty development, and complex systems design. She joined Cornell University in 2024 after co-founding the School of Universal Computing, Construction and Engineering Education at Florida International University (FIU). As an assistant professor at FIU, she co-developed two degree programs, a Ph.D. in Engineering and Computing Education and a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Engineering. In addition, she held appointments in the STEM Transformation Institute, the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and the Department of Teaching and Learning. 

Strong completed her doctorate in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech in 2014. While a doctoral student, Strong was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow and a member of the Cognitive Engineering Center. The goal of her doctorate research was to improve students’ abilities to think more broadly about complex systems design and to take into account stakeholder-related considerations within their design projects. Prior to attending Georgia Tech, Strong received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from MIT (2007) and a master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia (2010). For her master’s degree work, she developed a mixed methods research design to examine undergraduate engineering students’ prior knowledge about interdisciplinary approaches to design and problem-solving. Strong continued her educational and professional journey as a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and a faculty member at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts (2015-2018). 

Grounded in the growing complexity of ongoing global challenges, Strong’s research focuses on identifying and developing approaches to (a) sustainable change with the systems we inhabit and interact with and (b) how we, as educators, can prepare the next generation of engineers and change agents to develop solutions to these challenges. In recognition of her research accomplishments and future vision, Strong earned an NSF CAREER Award in 2023 to identify, learn from, and amplify the stories of educators who have developed transformational curricular designs while facing barriers that have impeded change in other contexts. Within the field of engineering education, she was appointed to the the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Presidential Task Force on Graduate Education (2019 – 2021) and elected to serve as a Director of ASEE’s Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division (2016-2018). She currently serves as an Associate Editor for Studies in Engineering Education (2020-Present).

Research Interests

Together, with a diverse group of emerging scholars, we established the Research on Engineering, Design, and Educational Systems (REDES) team. As a team, we aim to create inclusive and equitable educational and work systems by examining critical structures and transition points within engineering education and engineering practice. Towards this aim, we have conducted a diverse array of projects, including but not limited to, 

  • exploring student and faculty experiences in undergraduate engineering courses (e.g., Statics, Capstone Design), 
  • studying how practicing engineers engage in cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration, 
  • examining the perceptions and experiences of graduate program directors and graduate students in engineering,
  • amplifying the voices of engineering instructional faculty as they seek to positively impact engineering education, and
  • investigating student and faculty experiences at Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

Teaching Interests

Strong has extensive experience teaching design and systems analysis courses at the undergraduate-level (e.g., human-centered design, educational systems design, modeling and simulation, quantitative engineering analysis, senior design). At the graduate-level, her teaching has focused on education research methods and pedagogy.  

    Selected Publications

    • Bracho Perez, V. and Coso Strong, A. (2023) “Exploring the Effects of Learning Assistants on Instructional Team-Student Interactions in Statics.” International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/03064190231166323
    • Coso Strong, A., Faber, C. J., Lee, W., Bodnar, C., Smith-Orr, C., and McCave, E. (2023). “In Pursuit of Impact: Toward a Contextualized Theory of Professional Agency of Engineering Education Scholars.” Journal of Engineering Education, 112(1), 195-220. https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20496
    • Cutler, S. and Coso Strong, A. (2023). “The Overlooked Impact of Faculty on Engineering Education.” In Johri, A. (Ed.), International Handbook of Engineering Education Research. (1st ed.) Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Chapter 14., p. 286-311. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003287483-17
    • Coso Strong, A., Kendall, M., & Henderson, G. (2022). “Voices of Engineering Faculty at the Margins: Supporting Professional Agency through Faculty Development.” In Linder S.M., Lee, C.M., Stefl, S.K., and High, K.A. (Eds.), Handbook of STEM Faculty Development. Information Age Publishing, Charlotte. Chapter 2. https://www.infoagepub.com/products/Handbook-of-STEM-Faculty-Development
    • Coso Strong, A., Stockman, T., Heale, T., Meyer, S., and Meyerson, E. (2022) “Persuasive communication in cross-boundary engineering decision-making.” Engineering Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/19378629.2022.2144738

    Selected Awards and Honors

    • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2023
    • Florida International University’s College of Engineering and Computing Faculty Service Award, 2021
    • Apprentice Faculty Grant, Educational Research & Methods Division, American Society for Engineering Education, 2015
    • Professional and Organizational Development Network Committee on Graduate and Professional Student Development’s Award, 2014
    • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2010

    Education

    B.S. (Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007

    M.S. (Systems Engineering), University of Virginia, 2010

    Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering), Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-2015

    Websites