Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

A. Susan Jurow

Second Advisor

Kevin O’Connor

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Dutro

Fourth Advisor

Joe Bryan

Fifth Advisor

Rogers Hall


This three article dissertation is an investigation into the ontology of learning insofar as learning is a process of becoming. In each article I explore the general questions of who is learning, in what ways, and with what consequences. The context for this research is undergraduate engineering education with particular attention to the construction of gender in this context. The first article is an examination of the organization of freshman engineering design. The second article draws on Lefebvre’s spatial triad as both a theory and method for studying learning. The third article is an interview study of LGBTQA students creating their futures as engineers.