Dean Nieusma – 2018 Sterling Olmstead Award Winner

Sterling Olmstead Award
Liberal Education/Engineering and Society Division
American Society for Engineering Education


Dr. Dean Nieusma is active in the American Society for Engineering Education’s Liberal Education/Engineering and Society Division and the Society for Social Studies of Science.  He is a founding member of the Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace international network focused on local level empowerment and overcoming engineering practices that are undemocratic, oppressive, and violent.  Dean Nieusma helped found the open-source, peer-reviewed International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace and has served as editor.

Nieusma’s research, teaching, and educational reform efforts have earned him numerous awards, including a Fulbright Award (Sri Lanka), the Faculty Project of the Year Award in Peace Studies, the Class of 1951 Outstanding Teacher Award, the David M. Darrin Counseling Award, and the Rensselaer Founders Award.

Dean Nieusma’s sch0larship has spanned a diversity of subjects:

He is currently the Director of the Colorado School of Mines Engineering, Design and Society Division.  Dean’s work has always included elements of the social and technical dimensions of engineering.  His work at both Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Colorado School of Mines brings both his scholarly acumen and pedagogical innovation together.  He has advocated for project-based learning as a means of developing design expertise that weaves together the technical challenges with enduring social and environmental problems.