M. David Burghardt--Biography
Dr. Burghardt, P.E., C.Eng., Professor of Engineering, co-Director of the Center for Technological Literacy and former Chair of Engineering and of Computer Science, is the author of twelve texts in thermodynamics, diesel engines and engineering fundamentals. He is a community activist, believing that engineers should seek leadership roles in our technologically sophisticated society. A former Mayor, Village of Kensington, he led the creation of an inter-municipal environmental committee, serving as its founding Chair, dedicated to improving the water quality of Long Island Sound.
In 1989 with the support of Dr. James M. Shuart, then President of Hofstra University, Dr. Burghardt created the Hofstra Center for Technological Literacy to enhance technological literacy of K-12 students on Long Island. The Center quickly extended its reach to include New York State and other parts of the country. With support and collaboration of local industry and the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the Center has hosted teacher workshops, engineering design competitions, and large-scale funded projects.
In collaboration with colleagues in the Hofstra University's School of Education, Dr. Burghardt helped create a graduate program in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) for elementary teachers and designed a course in Children's Engineering, ElEd 239, that places engineering and the design experience at the center of learning. The MA/STEM program is in its 15th year.
In the past 18 years, Dr. Burghardt working with colleagues in the Center for Technological Literacy, has won over $30 million of National Science Foundation grants in the area of STEM research. Much of the work has sought to bring engineering design to the foreground of teaching as a pedagogical strategy, making the E in STEM an essential element of good teaching practice. He received ITEEA’s 2011 Award of Distinction in Teaching, Scholarship and Research for his work. The focus of his current efforts are on interconnected learning in STEM, such as the re-instruction of math in science courses, understanding and applying the math in the context of science. Other projects are related to introducing informed engineering design in mathematics courses, using informed engineering pedagogy to improve student learning of mathematics.