B.S. ​Michigan State University, 1964Ph.D. ​University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1971

Larry G. Richards came to UVA in 1969, joined the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1976, and moved to Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1985 to develop and administer the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program. He served as Director of the MSE Program from 1986 to 2002, and Director of the A. H. Small Center for Computer Aided Engineering from 1992 to 2002.

For the past 15 years, Larry has brought Engineering Teaching Kits (ETKs) into middle school science and math classes through the Virginia Middle School Engineering Education Initiative. These ETKs introduce the engineering design approach to problem-solving and teach key science and math concepts using guided inquiry. ETKs have been developed on over 50 topics, including submersible vehicles, solar cars, heat transfer, building bridges, catapults and projectile motion, water filtration systems, electricity and magnetism, crash testing and passenger protection, aerospace engineering, sustainable house design, simple machines, and brain surgery. Teams of undergraduate students design and implement the ETKs, and field-test them in local schools. This project has been funded by the Payne Family Foundation and the National Science Foundation (NSF-EEC-0230609). Larry is a member of NSTA, the National Science Teachers Association, and has published in their journals for middle and high school teachers.

Larry teaches courses on Creativity and New Product Development, Invention and Design, and graduate Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists. With funding from Micron Corporation, he developed an asynchronous on-line version of the statistics course, and it has been well received by both on- and off-grounds students.

Larry is active in the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and Frontiers in Education (FIE). He is past Chair of the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division of ASEE and has been on the Advisory Board for the K – 12 Engineering Education and Outreach Division. He is also active in the Entrepreneurship Division of ASEE and the National Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), and serves as the University of Virginia ASEE Campus Representative. Larry was General Chair for FIE 2010 – the 40th Anniversary Frontiers in Education conference – held in Arlington Virginia in October 2010. He is a Fellow of ASEE.

Dr. Richards’ current scholarly interests include engineering entrepreneurship, creativity, and new product development, the engineering design process, and the role of technology in design. He also studies innovative methods to improve engineering education, including active and cooperative learning, case methods, computer-based techniques, and distance and online learning.



  • Ronald Schmitz Award for Outstanding Service to the ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference November 2003
  • Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP) Instructor of the Year 2003-2004
  • ASEE/ERM Distinguished Service Award:: “For outstanding contributions to the education of the future engineers and their educators” 2004
  • Virginia Piedmont Technology Council and Charlottesville Venture Group Special Judges’ Award for Achievement in Technology in Education June 2007
  • Fellow, American Society for Engineering Education june 2011
  • ASEE Outstanding Campus Representative Southeast Section 2014, 2015, 2017
  • ASEE Outstanding Campus Representative Zone II June 2014
  • ASEE K 12 and Precollege Division Meritorious Service Award: “for life-long exemplary service in the highest standards of ASEE” 2015
  • University of Virginia Academy of Teaching 2016
  • ASEE Hall of Fame Inductee 2023

In the News

Selected Publications

  • “Stimulating Creativity: teaching engineers to be innovators”. FIE98: ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings, Vol. III, Tempe, Arizona, Nov. 1998. ISBN 0-7803-4762-5. LARRY G RICHARDS
  • "Save the penguins: Teaching the science of heat transfer through engineering design" Science Scope, 2010, 34 (3), 82-91 CG SCHNITTKA, RL BELL, LG RICHARDS
  • "POWERED by the Sun" The Science Teacher, 2016, 83 (3), 25 C SCHNITTKA, L RICHARDS
  • "Promoting active learning with cases and instructional modules" Journal of Engineering Education, 1995, 84 (4), 375-381 LG RICHARDS, M GORMAN, WT SCHERER, RD LANDEL
  • "Teaching Invention and Design: Multi‐Disciplinary Learning Modules" Journal of Engineering Education , 1995, 84 (2), 175-185 ME GORMAN, LG RICHARDS, WT SCHERER, JK KAGIWADA
  • "From NCIIA E-Team to Lifesaving Device: A Case Study of Innovation and Entrepreneurship" The Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, 2015, 6 (1), 1-12 EE KLINGER, ME GORMAN, LG RICHARDS
  • "Distance education: Realizing its potential" International Journal of Engineering Education, 1997, 13, 6-12 RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "Lights Camera, Teach!" ASEE Prism, 1997, 6 (6), 24-27 RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "This is NOT a MOOC! Reflections on On-Line Asynchronous Education" FIE 2014 Frontiers in Education. Madrid Spain 2014 RICHARDS, L.G.
  • "Applications of Engineering Visualization to Design and Analysis" in Gallagher, R.S., (ed.) Computer Visualization: Graphics Techniques for Engineering and Scientific Analysis, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1995, pgs. 267 - 289. RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "The Importance of Visualization in Engineering Design: Education and Training in the CAE Environment". Computer Graphics and Database Management. PVP-Vol. 209. Edited by Cory, Gordon, Gallagher, and Langsten, Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991. JACOBSON, I. D., AND RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "The Development of Language and Imagery as Symbolic Processes", Language Perspectives II, Richard L. Schiefelbusch and Lyle L. Lloyd, eds., Austin, Texas, PRO-ED Inc., 1988. MEREDITH M. RICHARDS, AND LARRY G. RICHARDS
  • “Faculty Reactions to Teaching Engineering Design to First Year Students” Journal of Engineering Education, July 1997, Vol 86, No.3, 233 -240. RICHARDS, L.G. AND CARLSON-SKALAK, S.E.
  • “Getting them early: teaching engineering design in middle schools” International Journal of Engineering Education, 2007, Vol 23, Number 5. RICHARDS, L. G., HALLOCK, ASHLEY K., AND SCHNITTKA, CHRISTINE
  • “Getting the word out: Educators are promoting engineering to K 12 students and teachers" ASEE Prism Jan 2007 P 47 RICHARDS, L.G.
  • ‘Encouraging Conceptual Change in Science Through the Use of Engineering Design in Middle School” Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education ASEE 116th Annu SCHNITTKA, C.G., RANDY BELL, AND LARRY G. RICHARDS
  • "K-12 Engineering Education: Priorities, Research Themes, and Challenges" 2012 ASEE Annual Conference, San Antonio Texas EUGENE F. BROWN, LARRY G. RICHARDS, ELIZABETH A. PARRY, MALINDA S. ZARSKE, AND STACY S. KLEIN-GARDNER
  • "Planning Procedures for Transit Station Security", Traffic Quarterly, Vol. 34 (1980) pp. 355-375. RICHARDS, L. G., AND HOEL, L. A.
  • "Concorde: Ride Quality and Passenger Reactions", Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 7 (1978), pp. 905-913. RICHARDS, L. G., AND JACOBSON, I. D.
  • "On the Psychology of Passenger Comfort," in Oborne, D. J., and Levis, J., Human Factors in Transport Research, Vol. 2, Academic Press, Inc., London 1980, pp. 15-23. RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "Ride Quality Assessment I: Questionnaire Studies of Airline Passenger Acceptance", Ergonomics, Vol. 18 (1975), pp. 129-150. RICHARDS, L. G., AND JACOBSON, I. D.
  • "Ride Quality Assessment, II: Models of Subjective Responses", Ergonomics, Vol. 19 (1976), pp. 1-10. JACOBSON, I. D., AND RICHARDS, L. G
  • "What the Passenger Contributes to Passenger Comfort", Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 9 (1978), pp. 137- 142. RICHARDS, L. G., JACOBSON, I. D., AND KUHLTHAU, A. R.
  • "A 'Hands-on' Approach to Teaching Undergraduate Heat Transfer", 2004 Department Heads Forum, ASME Congress, November 16, 2004 ROBERT J RIBANDO, LARRY G. RICHARDS AND GERALD W. O’LEARY
  • "An Analysis of Individual Differences in Similarity Judgments about Complex Random Forms", Perception and Psychophysics, Vol. 11 (1972), pp. 143-149. RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis of Judged Similarity of Complex Forms from Two Task Situations", Perception and Psychophysics, Vol. 12 (1972), pp. 154-160. RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "Computer Aided Engineering (CAE): An Overview." Journal of Engineering Design, volume 2, 1991, p. 171-174. RICHARDS, L. G.
  • "A Status Report on the CAD/CAM Revolution." IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 2, No.5 (February 1985), pp.19-25. RICHARDS, L. G.

Courses Taught

  • Probabilty and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists (APMA/MAE 6430) Spring Semester
  • Fundamentals of Design Thinking (MAE 4502) Spring Semester
  • Creativity and New Product Development Fall/Spring Semester
  • Invention and Design (TCC 315/Psych 418)
  • ENGR 1620: Introduction to Engineering Design
  • ENGR 1621: Engineering Computing Lab:
  • ENGR 591D*/592D*: The Design and Evaluation of Engineering Teaching Kits