Ph.D., English Literature, Language, and Pedagogy, University of Virginia, 1989M.A., English, University of Virginia, 1979B.A., English, University of South Carolina, 1976

Kathryn Neeley has been on the faculty of the School of Engineering & Applied Science since 1979 and might be best described as a recovering English major who found her calling in the most unexpected of places: engineering. She began her career as a writer, editor, and producer who worked on research teams in materials science and chemical engineering and developed print and video materials to promote SEAS research programs. These experiences provided her with both a broad view and a first-hand knowledge of engineering research, design, and culture. She is inspired by the potential of technology to promote human flourishing and by an understanding of engineering as a potentially ideal combination of practicality and vision.


  • Seven Society Teaching Recognition 2015 and 2006
  • Harold S. Morton Award for Teaching 2010
  • Henry St. George Tucker Award for Dedication to the Honor Committee 2007
  • Raven Society Faculty Award 2006
  • Sterling Olmsted Award for Innovative Contributions to the Liberal Arts in Engineering Education 2003

Selected Publications

  • Technology and Democracy: A Sociotechnical Systems Approach 2010
  • Liberal Education for 21st Century Engineering: Responses to ABET 2000 2003 - With David Ollis and Heinz Luegenbiehl
  • Mary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female Mind 2001
  • “Engineering Leadership as Principled Nonconformity” 2015

Courses Taught

  • STS 1500: Technology and Democracy
  • STS 2500: The Curious History of Wine in Virginia
  • STS 2500: Jefferson in France, 1787: Culture, Agriculture, and Commerce
  • STS 4500: STS and Engineering Practice
  • STS 4600: The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility