2020 Annual Virtual Conference: June 22-26


Even with all the chaos this year we had an outstanding amount of participation from our division members:

For 2020, here were our numbers:





Abstracts Submitted



Papers/Posters Submitted



Papers Accepted/Presented


Drop-off due to Virtual Conference Concerns

Diversity-Related Papers



Technical Sessions



Special Sessions


2 removed due to Virtual Concerns



1 removed due to Virtual Concerns

Panel Sessions


4 removed due to Virtual Concerns

Distinguished Lectures


Submitted 2; one not accepted

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society (LEES) Division

The Liberal Education/Engineering & Society (LEES) Division invites abstracts for papers
and proposals for partial or full sessions, panel discussions, and innovative session formats
for the ASEE Annual Conference, June 21-24, 2020, Montréal, Québec, Canada. LEES
provides a diverse and dynamic forum for those concerned with integrating the humanities,
arts, and social sciences into engineering education and practice. The division is dedicated
to helping understand and improve the processes that contribute to engineers’ development
of essential skills in communication, teamwork, local and international cultural
understanding, ethical and professional responsibility, and lifelong learning. LEES scholars
explore social, historical, political, and cultural contexts co-constituted with technological
development. As stated in the bylaws, LEES seeks to:

  1. Promote the concept that the humanities and social sciences are an integral and significant
    part of engineering education, as well as being inherently important in themselves as
    branches of learning.
  2. Provide ways for people who teach the humanities and social sciences in engineering
    programs to share their ideas and concerns.
  3. Provide ways for people in humanities, social sciences, and engineering to interact – in the
    discovery and development of scholarly and curricular relationships.
  4. Express its concern for and involvement in engineering education on an international scale.

LEES welcomes papers on any topic pertaining to the broader division goals, but is especially
encouraging papers pertaining to the following specific themes for the 2020 conference. Please
notify the program chair if you are submitting a paper for a specific thematic session.

Theme 1: Minoritization Processes in Engineering Education: There is a critical need for
additional work on minoritization processes in engineering education. LEES would like to
include papers with (but not limited to) the following domains: (1) experiences of disabled
people, LGBTQ communities, or low-income and first generation students; (2) intersectional
approaches to identity; (3) discriminatory formulations of intellectual capacity and the
categorization of “soft skills” (note that LEES does not condone the usage of this term); (4) the
implications of prevailing framings of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ for research and practice.

Theme 2: Communication Across Divisions Initiative: Issues surrounding communication
are addressed across ASEE’s divisions. As in the past several years, we plan to coordinate joint
sessions on engineering communication with a range of other divisions. As part of this initiative,
LEES would like to strongly consider that researchers consider LISTENING as perhaps one of
the most important yet neglected dimensions of communication. Many other divisions use
listening as a core skill (e.g., to build empathy for human-centered design or for community
engagement) yet take it for granted without much theorizing about it or thinking how it can be
taught and learned in engineering curricula.

Theme 3: Integration of Engineering & Liberal Arts in International Engineering Contexts:
This theme calls for studies on efforts to integrate engineering and liberal arts in international
engineering programs, including, but not limited to, papers on (1) humanitarian engineering-type
efforts outside of the US that have significant HU/SS elements; (2) different ways to teach social
responsibility than the models we currently find in the US; and (3) on educational efforts
addressing global climate- or immigration-related challenges.

Theme 4: Personal and Institutional Experiences with Integrating Liberal Arts in
Engineering: This theme calls for authors to share their personal accounts with integrating the
liberal arts into engineering curriculum in specific institutional settings. Many instructors may
need to overcome a fear of co-optation (selling out) in our teaching and research as we apply
the liberal arts to contexts wherein it is under-valued. Papers pertaining to this theme will bring a
much-needed critical perspective to engineering education, and will showcase both challenges
and success stories.

Theme 5: International Perspectives and Initiatives Integrating United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals into Engineering Classrooms: This theme will focus on
the call from numerous national and international organizations to increase the inclusion of
sustainability concepts and topics within engineering education. While a variety of sustainability
frameworks have been adopted by educators, the United Nations has endorsed a holistic set of
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is intended to provide cross-cutting principles
adaptable across disciplines, recognizing that unified sustainable development
requires convergent approaches that include diverse perspectives. Papers are requested that
document how educators are integrating the SDGs into engineering education and how this
integration might be challenging the boundaries between engineering and the liberal
arts. Papers that focus on the SDGs as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion,
convergence (i.e., multidisciplinary approaches), and power skills (e.g., teamwork,
communication) are especially encouraged as are those that emphasize strategies of Canadian
and other international organizations. Please note that presenters with papers accepted that are
aligned with this theme may be asked for PechaKucha style presentations.

For Further Information and Guidance

The complete programs from the 2018 and 2019 conferences are available on the LEES
website (https://sites.asee.org/lees/annual-conference). For each technical session we have
also provided a brief summary and a list of possible topics for future papers and collaborations.
We welcome submissions that address topics and questions other than those included on this
website, but we hope the material posted there will be helpful both for those who are new to
LEES and those seeking broader collaborations within LEES.

Submission Guidelines and Deadlines

All paper submissions are publish-to-present. Papers submitted to technical sessions are peer
reviewed through the LEES Division process, and those accepted will appear in ASEE
Proceedings. The first step in proposing a paper is to submit an abstract to the ASEE paper
management by Monday, October 14, 2019. Abstracts for papers should be approximately 500
words long and will be peer reviewed. Once your abstract has been accepted, the first draft
paper deadline is Tuesday, February 3, 2020. Paper submissions may include research
reports, classroom applications, or other frameworks. We encourage review papers that
synthesize and identify trends in research of interest to the division. Papers published through
LEES in the conference proceedings are typically 10-15 pages and include a substantial
literature review.  The review deadline for papers is February 24.

In addition to technical papers, we also welcome proposals for partial or complete sessions. If
you are proposing a paper as part of a partial or complete session (including but not limited to
the themes listed above), please inform the Program Chair, Justin Hess, by email at
jhess@purdue.edu and provide the names of all authors intended to make up this partial or
complete session. All paper abstracts, including those proposed as parts of such planned
sessions, will be reviewed on an individual basis.