Fortenberry, Norman L.
National Academy of Engineering

Norman L. Fortenberry
National Academy of Engineering
Director
Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education

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Dr. Norman L. Fortenberry is the founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He is responsible for designing and developing the programs, organizational linkages, and personnel required to implement an ambitious new effort to leverage the NAE's prestige and influence in pursuit of a vision of continuous improvement in engineering education. His specific responsibilities include strategic planning, development and implementation of a research agenda, program planning, resource development, building and sustaining collaborative efforts, public representation, and management of internal operations.

Prior to joining NAE in October, 2002, Dr. Fortenberry held managerial positions within the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) including Senior Advisor and Division Director. Dr. Fortenberry's programmatic responsibilities included undergraduate education as well as broadening access and participation in science and engineering at all levels by underrepresented populations and institutions. He coordinated the Directorate's program planning and evaluation, providing a central focal point for the formulation of the Directorate's goals, objectives and priorities and integrating the scientific and technical priorities into effective policies, strategies, programs and budgets. Dr. Fortenberry was also responsible for identifying, seeking out, and engaging other parts of the NSF as well as other federal, state, non-profit, and private entities with the capacity to contribute to the attainment of EHR's goals, objectives, and priorities.

Prior to returning the NSF as Division Director in November, 1996, Dr. Fortenberry served as Executive Director of the GEM Consortium, an NSF Program Director, and as a member of the mechanical engineering faculty at the Florida A&M University/Florida State University College of Engineering in Tallahassee, Florida.

Dr. Fortenberry was awarded the S.B., S.M., and Sc.D. degrees (all in mechanical engineering) by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His specialization was Applied Mechanics and Design.

In my last years at NSF and in my current position, I have become deeply concerned about the education research base that underlies efforts to improve teaching and learning. I have sponsored studies of this topic by distinguished organizations and participated in workshops and conferences on this topic. I have become increasingly convinced that the STEM community must become committed to bringing the same rigor to research that they bring to their regular research efforts.