Carla B. Zoltowski is an assistant professor of engineering practice in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and (by courtesy) the School of Engineering Education, and Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program within the College of Engineering at Purdue. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue.
Dr. Zoltowski played a leadership role in establishing Purdue ECE’s VIP program as a College-wide program. As the inaugural director of the CoE’s VIP Program, Zoltowski has developed and expanded the program enrollment by 210% in the past three years. She also established the VIP learning communities for the Fall 2019 – Spring 2020 academic year which facilitated the participation of first-year students in VIP and continues to serve as a learning community instructor. Prior to her joining ECE, Zoltowski was Co-Director of EPICS, where she was responsible for teaching design, developing design curriculum and assessment tools for the EPICS program, and conducting workshops for faculty and teachers. She has mentored hundreds of student design and research teams in EPICS and VIP, high-impact programs which provide extended and authentic team-based research and design project experiences which allow for the integrated development of both technical and professional knowledge and skills, as well as the development of an awareness of the cultural, social, and ethical context in which they are practicing. She has led the expansion of the professional development curriculum in VIP which supports student participation and success on their project, teams, and/or careers.
Dr. Zoltowski’s engineering education research impacts undergraduate education more broadly through her focus on the professional formation of engineers and how to make engineering, and specifically Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), more diverse and inclusive. Her engineering ethics research has provided insights on the ethical issues experienced by practicing engineers, student design teams, and undergraduate students and how they are impacted by their role and industry sector or program.