Penn State


Thomas H. Colledge, PhD, PE

Assistant Professor of Engineering Design
The Pennsylvania State University

Mailing Address
    213 Hammond Building

    University Park, PA 16802

    814-863-1527 (Office)

    814-863-7229 (Fax)

About Me    My passion over the past twenty-three years has been to develop and grow a program at Penn State whereby students might apply their academic training, in multidisciplinary teams, to solve problems of marginalized communities.  This vision of service learning in engineering took root during my undergraduate years and became a professional goal upon joining the Engineering Design department at Penn State in 1991.   My efforts have been focused on development of Humanitarian Engineering.  Over these intervening 23 years, this quest has borne fruit through the creation and implementation of a number of efforts which have helped nurture a culture of service by engineering students and faculty.  These efforts were broad based and included:

        1.  Design:  Founder of Humanitarian Engineering efforts at Penn State (1997-2011).  Engaging hundreds of
             students in design projects which addressed the needs of marginalized communities in East Africa, the     
             Caribbean, Central/South America, and areas within the United States.

        2.  Academic Programs:  Developed the Engineering and Community Engagement Certificate which
             provides an academic home for students engaging in Humanitarian Engineering efforts.

        3Research:  Developed research opportunities for undergraduate students focusing on solving problems of
             marginalized communities.
        4.  Dissemination:  Created the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering: Humanitarian
             Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship
to permit dissemination of the scholarly work of faculty and students
             from around the world. 
        5.  Student Learning Community:  Created a
student learning community to facilitate and nurture such efforts
             among students
        6.  Outreach:  Engaged middle school students in engineering design of solutions to problems in their local

        7.  ASEE Community Engagement Division, secretary.  Development of a video competition to highlight and  
             promote engineers and their efforts in engaging communities.


These efforts culminated in the formal approval by the College of Engineering at Penn State in 2011 of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program.


Currently my interests lie in the use of engaged scholarship to enhance student critical thinking, problem solving, and the development of professional skills.



Research Interests


PhD Agricultural and Biological Engineering.  Minor: Instructional Systems
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

M. Eng. Civil Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

B.S. Civil Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

B.S. Mathematics Education and Science (Biology)
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA



-    Colledge, T.H., Cognitive Foundations of Engineering Design/Build Service Learning Projects.  Proceedings from Engineering Design at Catholic Universities. Spring, 2005

- Snyder, Benjamin J., J. Bussard, J.Dolak, T. Weiser, T. Colledge.  A Portable Sisal Decorticator for Kenyan Farmers, The International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering.  Vol. 1, No. 2, September, 2006.

- Colledge, T.H., Development of a Certificate Program in Engineering Service Learning and Entrepreneurship.  NCIIA Annual Proceedings, 2007.

-  Pearce, Joshua, L. Grafman, T. Colledge, R. Legg.  Leveraging Information Technology, Social Entrepreneurship, and Global Collaboration for Just Sustainable Development.  NCIIA Annual Proceedings, 2008.

-  Colledge, T.H., Cognitive Benefits of Engineering Service Learning.  NCIIA Annual Proceedings, 2009.

Lackey, G., Bell, L., Ferdik, C., Shreve, M., Mehta, C., Mehta, K., Colledge, T., “Technology, implementation and economic sustainability model for an affordable biogas digester: A Case-Study”, Forum TBD

- Mehta, C., Mehta, K., Colledge, T., "The E-Spot Model for developing Business Strategies for Technology-based Ventures in Developing Communities", NCIIA Annual Conference, Alexandria, March 2011


Collaborative Projects/Travel

Professional Affiliations


Courses Teaching or Taught




Professional Licensure


International Journal of Service Learning in Engineering:  Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship


updated: March 2012