Welcome

Welcome! If you are looking for information related to my current courses, check the Teaching section. Office hours are found here.

I am a faculty member in Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. My responsibilities are focused on our undergraduate program, from course instruction and design to academic advising. My expertise is in mathematical modeling of chemical and environmental processes, and as such, much of my course work involves programming of some kind - from computer projects in entry-level courses to controls experiments in our senior laboratory sequence.

I believe that our education system is reaching a turning point, where I hope across the country we reflect and decide to improve undergraduate education so that our students are better prepared for life beyond college, whether that is further education, service, or work in industry, government, or anywhere else!

What is this site?

This portfolio serves two major purposes: (1) to highlight my academic history and outline my plans for the future, and (2) to include a small set of resources and serve as a reference for my students who are creating their own electronic portfolios. Some of this work originated at the University of Notre Dame, where I served as a course instructor. While some of the material on portfolios, and especially my sample portfolio, may make explicit reference to CBE 20255, a course in the chemical engineering sequence, I believe the template can easily be adjusted for any interested in creating their own electronic portfolio.



A little history...


I received my PhD from the University of Notre Dame in the spring of 2010. As a graduate student, I performed research in chemical engineering and applied mathematics, seeking verified (mathematically and numerically guaranteed) solutions to systems of ordinary differential equations. My work specifically investigated the propagation of probability distribution bounds (called "p-boxes," short for probability boxes) through nonlinear dynamic models. Using the Verified Solver for Parametric Ordinary Differential Equations developed by Dr. Youdong Lin, I developed a way to pass probabilistic information about inputs and parameters through ODE systems to describe the probabilities of the outputs of these models. I investigated numerical models related to four different fields of study: chemical engineering (mostly chemical reaction kinetics), physiology (biochemical processes and control), population ecology (material balances) and population epidemiology. These four fields use a lot of the same underlying mathematics and are actually very similar when viewed through the lens of a computational chemical engineer!

Also while a graduate student, I was an active member of the university's Graduate Career Advisory Council, a set of representatives from many departments whose primary aim is to improve the visibility and effectiveness of the University Career Center's programs for graduate students. I was a part of this council from its inauguration in the fall of 2007, and served two years as secretary to the group. I also worked from 2007 to 2010 for the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning as a Graduate Associate, where I was responsible for the organization and implementation of workshop series targeted to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members. I revamped their workshop series on "professional development" (obtaining a career in academia) for graduate students, and I conducted a number of workshops related to pedagogical practices.

For the 2010-2011 academic year, I was an instructor for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the College of Engineering at Notre Dame. In the College of Engineering, I worked with the First-Year Engineering program and its associated projects, and the Kaneb Center, where I have volunteered as a reading group leader and am a member of the emerging Serious Games Learning Community. In the spring of 2011, I became interim director of the First-Year Engineering program, being promoted to assistant teaching professor. I managed a team of faculty and graduate students in conducting the second semester of the engineering sequence, taught a course in chemical engineering computational methods, co-taught a course in chemical process control, and directed an independent study project in engineering ethics education. My personal goal for the 2010-2011 academic year was to continue work on research related to engineering education as I assembled my plans for work in future years. I was grateful for the opportunity to "give back" to the Notre Dame community through my new position and responsibilities.


Site Organization

This website is broken down into four major areas.

  • I include links for contact information and my online journals. One is a joint effort with other collaborators in Notre Dame's Serious Games Community, and the other includes my personal reflections and observations, in part to serve as a model for students in my courses that require reflective writing.
  • In the Teaching section, I list my experiences with college instruction and take some time to reflect on my abilities and plans for the future. I include a more generic "Past" section to chronologically highlight my work while still at Notre Dame, where I had the privilege of working in a number of courses, through assistantship, mentored co-instruction, and the execution of my own course. In the other sections I highlight my current and future projects.
  • In the Research section, I summarize my PhD work in the Past section, and discuss the new directions I am pursuing in the coming years. In the Future section, I lay out my plans for research I hope to begin as opportunities arise.
  • The final major section is the E-Portfolio section. While this entire site is my personal portfolio, I include more instruction and observation in this section. Also included here is a subsection that serves as a much more specific template for chemical engineering students at Notre Dame, who complete a portfolio as part of one of their sophomore courses (and hopefully continue to develop it as they go on).
I also include on this site a copy of my curriculum vitae.

Thanks for taking the time to explore my site! I hope you find all that you are looking for.



Contact:

Joshua Enszer, Ph.D.
Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
(410)455-8157
enszer@umbc.edu