Kathryn A. Neeley

Associate Professor: Science, Technology & Society

Kathryn Neeley
Kathryn Neeley has been on the faculty of the School of Engineering & Applied Science since 1979 and might be best described as a recovering English major who found her calling in the most unexpected of places: engineering. She began her career as a writer, editor, and producer who worked on research teams in materials science and chemical engineering and developed print and video materials to promote SEAS research programs. These experiences provided her with both a broad view and a first-hand knowledge of engineering research, design, and culture. She is inspired by the potential of technology to promote human flourishing and by an understanding of engineering as a potentially ideal combination of practicality and vision. For her full CV, please click here.


email: neeley (at) virginia.edu
phone: 434-924-6117
office: A224 Thornton Hall


Ph.D., English Literature, Language, and Pedagogy, University of Virginia, 1989
M.A., English, University of Virginia, 1979
B.A., English, University of South Carolina, 1976

Research Areas

Cultural history of science and technology; gender, science, and technology; human behavior in sociotechnical systems; creative problem definition in engineering; public understanding of science, technology, and engineering; the role of STS and, more broadly, the humanities and social sciences in closing the gap between technical innovation and the successful implementation of new technology

Awards and Distinctions

Seven Society Teaching Recognition, 2015 and 2006
Harold S. Morton Award for Teaching, 2010
Henry St. George Tucker Award for Dedication to the Honor Committee, 2007
Raven Society Faculty Award, 2006; elected to membership 1993
Sterling Olmsted Award for Innovative Contributions to the Liberal Arts in Engineering Education, 2003
Virginia Engineering Foundation Faculty Fellow, 2002-2007
Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia Executive Committee, 1998-2002
University of Virginia Diversity Roundtable on Curriculum and Pedagogy Co-chair 2001-2002
Visiting Scholar, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, 1998
Post-Doctoral Fellow (Spring 1992) and Program Director (Fall 1992-Spring 1993) Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change, University of Virginia
President, Beta of Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1991-1993

Recent Courses

STS 1500: Technology and Democracy
STS 2500: The Curious History of Wine in Virginia
STS 2500: Jefferson in France, 1787: Culture, Agriculture, and Commerce
STS 4500: STS and Engineering Practice
STS 4600: The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility

Selected Publications

Technology and Democracy: A Sociotechnical Systems Approach (2010)

Liberal Education for 21st Century Engineering: Responses to ABET 2000 (2003) with David Ollis and Heinz Luegenbiehl

Mary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female Mind (2001)

“Engineering Leadership as Principled Nonconformity” (2015)

“Communication as Both the Ultimate Interdisciplinary Subject and a Field of Specialization Encompassing More Than Technical Writing” (2015)

“Study Abroad as a Means to Achieving ABET Criterion 3 Outcomes: A Case Study in Course Design and Assessment” (2014)

“Problem Framing as a Teachable Skill: A Practical Approach to Teaching Leadership Communication” (2014)

“The Humble History of the Bullet” (2011) with Michael Alley

“Challenging the Common Practice of PowerPoint at an Institution: Lessons from Instructors” (2009) with Michael Alley, Christin Nicometo, and Leslie Srajak

“Rethinking the Design of Presentation Slides: A Case for Sentence Headlines and Visual Evidence” (2005) with Michael Alley