Alexandra Werth is a new professor in biomedical engineering education joining the faculty in Fall 2023. She holds dual bachelor's degrees in engineering and physics from Swarthmore College (2014) and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Princeton University (2019). Her doctoral research focused on developing a non-invasive, mid-infrared glucose sensor using quantum cascade laser spectroscopy for diabetes management. During her graduate studies, Dr. Werth founded a start-up based on her mid-infrared spectroscopic system, which achieved recognition through winning multiple pitch competitions, participating in two accelerator programs, and receiving the Innovation Grant from the New Jersey Health Foundation. Following her Ph.D., she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she studied STEM education, particularly the learning experiences of undergraduate instructional labs and research projects. Most notably, she played a key role in the development, implementation, and evaluation the first reported, large-enrollment, introductory physics course-based research experience (CURE).
Dr. Werth's primary research interest lies in investigating effective teamwork skills in engineering labs and other learning environments. She aims to address the challenge of fostering positive and productive teamwork for students, instructors, and advisors. Recognizing the need for a research-based assessment tool to evaluate students' teamwork knowledge, skills, and abilities, her work centers on developing an widely accessible assessment tool using evidence-centered design, specifically tailored to evaluate teamwork outcomes in engineering labs.
More broadly, Dr. Werth is interested in studying the effectiveness of engineering laboratories, clinics, research, and other authentic learning environments. Her research revolves around three fundamental questions: 1) What knowledge, skills, and abilities do we value as engineers, specifically in the field of biomedical engineering (axiology)? 2) How can we best teach these knowledge, skills, and abilities to engineering students (pedagogy)? 3) How can we assess whether students have gained the intended knowledge, skills, and abilities (assessment)? To address these questions, she employs a multifaceted approach, combining mixed-methods research, assessment development, and innovative pedagogical design.
Dr. Werth brings her expertise and dedication to advance engineering education at Cornell University and beyond. Her research aims to enhance the effectiveness of engineering labs and develop novel authentic learning environments through evidence-based methods to benefit students and shape the future of engineering education.
- K. A. Oliver, A. Werth, H. J. Lewandowski, “Student experiences with authentic research in a remote, introductory course-based undergraduate research experience in physics.” Phys. Ed. Res. (2023) 19: 1.
- N. Sulaiman, A. Werth, and H. J. Lewandowski, “Students’ views about experimental physics in a large-enrollment introductory lab focused on experimental scientific practices.” Phys. Rev. Phys. Ed. Res. (2023) 19: 1.
- A. Werth, K. Oliver, C. G. West, and H. J. Lewandowski, “Student engagement with teamwork in an online, large-enrollment course based undergraduate research experience in physics.” Phys. Rev. Phys. Ed. Res. (2022) 18: 2.
- A. Werth, J. R. Hoehn, K. Oliver, M. F. J. Fox, and H. J. Lewandowski, “Rapid transition to remote instruction of physics labs during spring 2020: Instructor perspectives.” Phys. Rev. Phys. Ed. Res. (2022) 18: 2.
- A. Werth, C. G. West, and H. J. Lewandowski, “Impacts on student learning, confidence, and affect in a remote, high-enrollment, course-based undergraduate research experience in physics.” Phys. Rev. Phys. Ed. Res. (2022) 18: 1.
Selected Awards and Honors
- Postdoctoral Teaching Award, University of Colorado Boulder, 2021, Boulder, CO
- Innovation Grant, New Jersey Health Foundation, 2018, Princeton, NJ
- First Place Winner, Princeton Entrepreneurs’ Network Startup Competition, 2018, Princeton, NJ
- Best Poster Award, NJEN’s Poster, Pitches, and Prizes at Princeton, 2018, Princeton, NJ
- First Place Winner, BEN Health Innovation Pitch Competition, 2018, New Brunswick, NJ
B.A. (Physics), B.S. (Engineering), Swarthmore College, 2014
M.A. (Electrical Engineering), Princeton University, 2016
Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Princeton University, 2019
Postdoc (Physics Education Research), University of Colorado Boulder, (Advisor: Dr. Heather Lewandowski) 2019-2023