Quantum Thinker and Career Coach
Growing up in southern Illinois, Doug Tougaw always knew that he was going to be an educator like his parents. His father was a high school math teacher turned superintendent and then education professor, and his mother was a dietitian who helped educate diabetics about nutrition. “Even when I was a kid, my sister and I would always play ‘teacher’ instead of ‘firefighter’ or something like that,” he says. “It was not a question of whether I would be a teacher, but what subject.”
Tougaw developed a passion for electrical engineering, fascinated by the cutting-edge nature of the field—especially quantum computing. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Notre Dame University. These were rounded out by an M.B.A. from Valparaiso and and M.S. in higher education from North Park University.
Today, as department chair and professor of electrical engineering at Valparaiso University, Tougaw conducts research at the nanoscale level, using computer simulations to help predict how quantum devices will behave once they are constructed. “I love Valparaiso, but it is a strictly undergraduate school, so we can’t afford a $10 million semiconductor fabrication facility, so I’m very happy that I tend to focus on the simulation side—that can be done with a desktop computer,” he says.
Tougaw loves following his students’ careers, watching them go from a just-out-of-high-school novice to a full-fledged professional engineer over the course of their studies. “Seeing the progression in their abilities and their confidence and their maturity—that’s by far the most rewarding part of my job,” he says. To keep his advanced students engaged while bolstering those who struggle, he has provided “a lot of additional resources that students can choose to take or leave.” That includes personally making more than 200 videos of his work that students can access to help solve problems. “If the student is willing to work hard, I can work with that student,” he says.
As the most senior faculty member in his department, Tougaw also works on helping to develop the younger members. “It’s an interesting thing, but as you progress, your goals transition from personal goals to more institutional goals. My ambitions are turning to the younger members—making sure that they reach their potential. It’s only when I can ensure that the faculty reach their potential that I can be sure that the students will reach theirs as well.”
At ASEE, Tougaw relishes networking with his fellow engineering educators who grapple with the same problems he faces. He has held many different leadership positions over the years, rising from the regional level to his current position as Vice President, Finance. In that role, he represents the membership to headquarters and presents finances to the rest of the organization and to the Board of Directors.
Call for Nominations
The ASEE Nominating Committee, chaired by Most Immediate Past President Louis Martin-Vega, requests member participation in nominating board officers for the 2019 ASEE elections. Officers to be nominated for Society-wide Board positions are: President-Elect; Vice President, Finance; Vice President, External Relations; and Chairs of Professional Interest Councils I, IV, and V.
- All nominees must be individual members or institutional member representatives of ASEE at the time of nomination and must maintain ASEE membership during their term of office. Nominating Committee members are not eligible for nomination. The slate of candidates selected by the committee will not exceed two candidates per office.
- Candidates for President-Elect must be active members who have served or are serving on the Board of Directors. Because ASEE is a Department of Defense contractor, candidates for President-Elect must currently be U.S. citizens and undergo a security clearance. Candidates for Vice President, External Relations shall be limited to those members of the Society who have previously served or currently serve on the Board of Directors. Candidates for Vice President, Finance shall be individual members or institutional member representatives of ASEE.
- Candidates for Chair of the Corporate Member Council and Chair-Elect for Zone II and Zone IV will be nominated and selected by their respective councils and zones, as the ASEE Constitution stipulates.
- Each propoNominations postmarked by June 1, 2018, will also be accepted by mail. Please mark the envelope CONFIDENTIAL and address it to Louis Martin-Vega, Chair, ASEE Nominating Committee, ASEE, 1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. sed candidate for a Society-wide office should submit a first-person biographical sketch of fewer than 400 words that documents career contributions, ASEE offices held, awards and recognitions received, and educational background. Include comments on leadership qualities, ability to collaborate with others to achieve objectives, and willingness to serve if elected. Self-nominations are accepted. For nominations for the office of President-Elect, please include a statement summarizing why you think your nominee is a good candidate for the position. A listing of members who meet constitutional eligibility requirements for the offices of President-Elect and Vice President, Member Affairs is available from the executive director’s office at ASEE headquarters.
Nominations will be accepted electronically at email@example.com. Please include a subject line that begins with the words “2019 Nomination” so that it can be forwarded to the Nominating Committee. Please be assured that your nominations are confidential and will be seen only by the Assistant Board Secretary and Members of the Nominating Committee. The deadline to submit nominations is June 1, 2018.
Nominations postmarked by June 1, 2018, will also be accepted by mail. Please mark the envelope CONFIDENTIAL and address it to Louis Martin-Vega, Chair, ASEE Nominating Committee, ASEE, 1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.
If you have any questions, please contact ASEE Assistant Board Secretary Christian Evangelista at (202) 350-3516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.