Samantha Brunhaver

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Samantha Brunhaver



  • 650-630-9397
  • Center for Design Research
    Stanford University
    424 Panama Mall, Bldg. 560
    Stanford, CA 94305-2206


Samantha (Sam) Brunhaver is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. Her primary research interests include engineering education, engineering career pathways, and engineering students’ transition from school into the workplace. Samantha’s dissertation explores the effects of social and cognitive factors on early career engineering graduates’ current occupation and future career plans. She is undertaking this work as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Engineering Pathways Study (EPS).

Samantha’s teaching interests include solid mechanics, design, first-year engineering, and engineering education. At Stanford she has served as a teaching assistant for statics, finite element analysis, and design for manufacturing courses, and as a co-instructor for a graduate-level engineering education seminar. She has also done program evaluation work for both the Stanford Mechanical Engineering Department and the NSF.

Samantha is a Stanford DARE Fellow. For the past three years, she has been co-president of the Stanford Mechanical Engineering Women’s Group, which holds an annual seminar series and welcome reception for graduate engineering women. She was also a founding member of the Stanford student chapter of the American Society for Engineering Education. Samantha has industry experience working at The Procter & Gamble Company and Boston Scientific. After earning her doctorate, she hopes to work in academia as a faculty and administrator.

Curriculum vitae, pdf


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Fall 2013 (expected)
  • Ph.D. Minor in Education, Stanford University
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2010
  • Certificate in Product Creation and Innovative Manufacturing
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, 2008

Honors and Awards

  • Stanford Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellowship, 2012
  • Stanford Lieberman Fellowship, 2012 (declined)
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2012
  • Stanford School of Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2008


  • Brunhaver, S., Gilmartin, S., Chen, H., & Sheppard, S. (2012, November). Factors associated with the current occupational status of early career engineering graduates. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, pdf.
  • Carrico, C. A., Winters, K. E., Brunhaver, S. R., & Matusovich, H. M. (2012). The pathways taken by early career professionals and the factors that contribute to pathway choices. Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, June 10-13. Presenting author. Nominated for Best Paper in College-Industry Partnerships Division. Presenter, pdf.
  • Chen, H. L., Grau, M. M., Brunhaver, S. R., Gilmartin, S. K., Sheppard, S. D., & Warner, M. (2012). Designing the Pathways of Engineering Alumni Research Survey (PEARS). Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, June 10-13. Presenter, pdf.
  • Grau, M. M., Warner, M. H., Sheppard, S., & Brunhaver, S. R. (2012). Revamping Delta Design for introductory mechanics. Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, June 10-13, pdf.
  • Winters, K. E., Matusovich, H. M., & Brunhaver, S. (2012). The impacts of economic decline on career decision making among early career engineers. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC, April 13-17.
  • Brunhaver, S. R., Lande, M., Sheppard, S. D., & Carryer, J. E. (2012). Fostering an enterprising learning ecology for engineers. International Journal of Engineering Education, 28(2): 355-363.
  • Brunhaver, S., Eris. O., & Sheppard, S. (2011). Looking at engineering students through a motivation/confidence framework. American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 26–29, pdf.
  • Atman, C. J., Sheppard, S., Brunhaver, S., Chacra, D., Chen, H. L., Gilmartin, S. K., Kilgore, D., Lande, M., Lichtenstein, G., Lund, D., Smith, K. A., Turns, J. A., & Yasuhara, K. (2011). Special session: Discovering implications of the Academic Pathways Study for Your Campus. American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 26–29. Co-presenter, pdf.
  • Brunhaver, S., Korte, R., Lande, M., & Sheppard, S. (2010). Supports and barriers that recent engineering graduates experience in the workplace. American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, June 20–23, pdf.


  • Sheppard, S., Damon, B., Chen, H., Gilmartin, S., Brunhaver, S., et al. (2013, January). Engineering Pathways Study: The college-career transition informing educational practice. Poster presented at the National Science Foundation TUES Principal Investigators Conference. Washington, D.C. Co-presenter.
  • Brown, P. R., Brunhaver, S., Carrico, C., Ekoniak, M., & Matusovich, H. (2012, October). Informed decisions about majors and possible careers in engineering. Presentation at the IEEE/Frontiers in Education Annual Conference, Seattle, WA. Co-presenter.
  • Parisi-Amon, A., Simmons, C., LeBlanc, S., Brunhaver, S., Steele, K., Barako, M., Greenwood-Goodwin, M., Claussen, S., & Parikh, S. (2012, June). Organizing principles for launching a new chapter: Experiences at Stanford University. Poster presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC. Presenter.
  • Gilmartin, S. K., Antonio, A. L., Chen, H. L., Brunhaver, S. R., & Sheppard, S. D. (2012, April). Retaining engineers: Influences on the postgraduate plans of U.S. undergraduate engineering students in and out of the engineering field. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Puerto Rico.
  • Brunhaver, S., Matusovich, H., Carrico, C., Winters, K., & Kilgore, D. (2011, October). Engineering Pathways Study: Illuminating the college-to-career transition with qualitative interviews. Poster presented at the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference, Chicago, IL. Presenter.

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