Professor Duncan Fraser was elected to the first Governing Board of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) in 2009. He later became chair in 2011. Duncan’s home institution was the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he was the founding member of the Centre for Research in Engineering Education. His research in engineering education was internationally acknowledged and he was recognized for his achievements in his appointment as President-Elect to the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES). He retired from the UCT Chemical Engineering Department in 2011 and continued to be involved as an Emeritus Professor. He was also a founding member of the African Engineering Education Association (AEAA) and had been its Secretary-General since its formation in 2006. For more insights on Duncan Fraser, please visit his Engineering Education Pioneer Profile.


The Duncan Fraser Award

This award is in recognition of  ’emerging scholars’ and is presented to the student author(s) of the best paper at REES. The award is presented to honor the memory of Professor Duncan Fraser, who was a leader in engineering education research and an inspiration to many young educators and researchers.

The call for applications for this award is announced as part of each REES conference.


  • Author of the paper must be a postgraduate or undergraduate student

  • Paper may be co-authored, but the student being considered for the award must be the lead author

  • Students will self-select to be considered after draft papers have been reviewed and tentatively accepted

The REES technical committee adjudicates on the award. The criteria considered includes:

  • Does the paper deal with issues related to equity, inclusion, student engagement and/or curriculum development?

  • Does the paper include an element of taking risks?

  • Does the paper break new ground and look at new areas?

The award will be presented at the symposium dinner. Attached to the award is a monetary prize.


Past Awardees


  • Jillian Seniuk Cicek – University of Manitoba: ‘The role of action research in influencing a senior engineering professor’s pedagogical understanding and creating a community of practice for students.’

  • Farshid Marbouti – Purdue University: ‘Predictive modeling for identifying at-risk students using course performance data.’


  • Michael Brewer – University of Georgia: ‘How do students meaningfully interpret the role of empathy in engineering? A social phenomenological study.’


  • Claudio de Freitas and Zachary Beyer: Purdue University: ‘EngStarter: An Open-Hardware and IoT Integrated Education Kit for Increasing Community-Developed Solutions.’


  • Hellen Agumba- ‘Rural knowledge practices and engineering study: A case study from South Africa’