Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
A champion of strong ethics and communication skills for STEM students, Douglas Ernie also never misses a chance to use technology to improve the student experience.
“I fondly remember him taking apart a smartphone … and describing how the components related to what we would be learning,” writes one former student. And in discussions, “he chose real-world problems, such as radio communications in submarines, for us to work on.”
He led his department in integrating courses in circuits, linear systems, and electronics, boosting motivation and knowledge retention. As director of UNITE Distributed Learning, he improved course delivery to distance learners and made lecture recordings available to on-campus students in more than 70 courses per semester.
I have always strived to place the learner at the center of my activities in teaching, research, and outreach. Our students require, and should expect, a well-designed curriculum that is relevant to our academic discipline.—Douglas W. Ernie
Ernie has devoted 16 years to two National Science Foundation–funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer programs at the University, including one he began in his department. He keeps a focus on gender and ethnic diversity and also shines as a mentor. For example, his mentees led the revitalization of the U of M student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
Most recently, with faculty colleagues and the University’s Learning Abroad Center, he developed a five-week experience in Kenya for undergrad engineering students.
“The field experiences he helped to set up and experienced with us … were second to none, educating me more comprehensively than any other college experience I’ve had thus far,” writes another student.