Through LEaPP, students will increase their knowledge of important industry topics outside of their classrooms and labs. Through information and presentations from strategic industry partners, students will get a head start in transitioning from the university to the professional engineering world. It is a value-added program for all involved.”

-Christopher Day

Vice President, Stanley Consultants, Inc.

From improving quality of life through advances in 3D printing to flood mitigation and space exploration, Iowa engineers are bringing groundbreaking innovations to life.

Students and faculty face an increasingly competitive and challenging engineering environment that reflects several important societal changes such as globalization, increasing demands for multi-disciplinary collaboration, and the fast pace of technological advancements. These factors affect what students need to learn and how they learn it—and what faculty need to teach and how they teach it.

With your support for our Leadership, Ethics, and Professional Pathways (LEaPP) Academy, we can ensure that Iowa Engineering students become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

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Our LEaPP Academy is designed to reinforce a student’s matriculation through college to become a practicing engineer and to build upon our mission of helping them become “an engineer and something more.”  This academy gives our engineering students the knowledge, skills, and perspectives they need to achieve long-term success, become valued professionals, and develop into ethical and globally aware world citizens.

Through LEaPP, we will provide meaningful experiential learning that students can tailor to their interests and professional goals. Examples of possible experiences include:

  • Exploring a variety of ethical engineering case studies borrowed from real-world events
  • Conducting research—with our talented faculty—that addresses the 21st century’s grand challenges
  • Attending interactive workshops about inclusive and ethical leadership practices
  • Participating in micro-internships that will enhance their industry experience


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In their book about engineering ethics and technology, authors Ibo van de Poel and Lamber Royakkers point out that “one of the main differences between science and engineering is that engineering is not just about better understanding the world, but also about changing it—in this sense, engineering is an inherently morally motivated activity.”

Through the LEaPP Academy, the UI College of Engineering has established a framework to connect leadership, ethical thinking, and professional development.

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Ethical Thinking credential

Ethical Thinking 

Professional credential badge

Professional Development 

Within this framework, students chart their own path through three stages of competency—emerging, developing, and rising. Credentials will be earned and visible with a set of badges.

A hallmark of the program will be the close mentoring and coaching our students will receive from faculty fellows and practicing engineers on their journey to becoming responsible engineering leaders.

The Goal


The goal is to develop co-curricular experiences and collaborative learning opportunities that will help our students become leaders and our college a force for good.

The LEaPP Academy is designed as a scalable and sustainable “flywheel” that will produce the energy to continually elevate our college. We also will rely on our experienced researchers and practitioners to gather quantifiable data measuring LEaPP’s success. Such rigorous reporting will allow us to demonstrate how this new initiative benefits students—and why it ensures our place as a premier destination for engineering studies.

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We know you share our commitment to educating future generations of engineers, and we hope you will invest in our LEaPP Academy’s vital work. Together, we can position our engineering students as knowledgeable and responsible citizens of the world.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact:

Harriet in the library

Harriet B. Nembhard


Roy J. Carver Professor of Engineering College of Engineering


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Nicole M. Grosland

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

College of Engineering


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Alyssa Burks

Assistant Director of Leadership Development

College of Engineering


Cole Bowermaster headshot

Cole Bowermaster

Director of Development

University of Iowa Center for Advancement


Matt Kuster portrait

Matt Kuster

Executive Director of Development

University of Iowa Center for Advancement


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Contact the LEaPP Academy