Richard A. Layton is professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He retired from teaching in May, 2020, having taught at Rose-Hulman for 20 years. For the past dozen years, he has collaborated with Matthew Ohland, Susan Lord, Michelle Camacho, and others in research using the MIDFIELD database to study undergraduate engineering students. His focus in this work has been creating graphics to explore data and present findings. He led the software development of two R packages, “midfieldr” and “midfielddata,” that provide open-source tools, a practice dataset, and tutorials specialized for this type of longitudinal research (https://midfieldr.github.io/midfieldr/). In the MIDFIELD Institute (https://midfieldr.github.io/workshops/) Layton leads the “learn R” portions of the workshop. His interests in communication extend beyond data graphics; with Richard House, Jessica Livingston, and Sean Moseley, he is co-author of the “Engineering Communication Manual” (2017, Oxford Univ. Press). With Ohland and others, he helped develop the CATME SMARTER Teamwork system for preparing students to function effectively in teams and supporting faculty as they manage their students’ team experiences. At Rose-Hulman, he is a past director of the Center for Practice and Scholarship of Education. He earned his Ph.D. (1995) and M.S.M.E (1993) at the University of Washington. A native Californian, he earned the B.S.E. (1991) at California State University, Northridge. He is a guitar player and songwriter; before the pandemic, he could be found every now and then at a local open mic. For the present, online offerings will have to do (https://soundcloud.com/richardlaytonmusic/). On retiring, he plans to spend more time songwriting and data visualization consulting (https://www.graphdoctor.com/).
About the award
This award, sponsored by the Journal of Engineering Education editorial review board, recognizes the author(s) of the best paper published in ASEE’s scholarly research journal during the previous January to October. It is named in honor of the distinguished engineer, educator, philosopher, administrator, and humanitarian who throughout his career devoted himself to the personal and professional development of younger members of the engineering fraternity. His wisdom and leadership so infused the monumental “Report of the Investigation of Engineering Education, 1923–1929” that it has been popularly referred to as the Wickenden Report ever since. His publication, The Second Mile, has helped thousands of young engineers form a sound conception of engineering as a career. Awardees receive a commemorative plaque.