Nancy Barr

Nancy Barr


  • Director, Engineering Communications Program
  • Instructor
  • PhD, Rhetoric, Theory and Culture, Michigan Technological University


As Director of the Engineering Communications Program, Barr developed a multi-faceted technical communications program in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at MTU. She delivers embedded communication instruction to undergraduate students, teaches to graduate engineering communication courses, assists faculty in crafting critical thinking/communication assignments, and trains GTAs and faculty in best practices in evaluating student communication. She has a PhD in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture, with a focus on Writing Program Administration in STEM and is the author of three mystery novels.

Links of Interest

Recent Publications

  • “Starting from Scratch: Incorporating communication instruction in revised mechanical engineering curriculum,” 2017 IEEE Professional Communication Conference. Barr, N.B. (accepted)
  • “Extending WID to train mechanical engineering GTAs to evaluate student writing,” 2016 ASEE Conference. Barr. N.B. Read More
  • “Successes and Challenges in Implementation and Running of the First ME-Practice Class in the 2nd Undergraduate Year as Part of a Curriculum Revision,” 2016 ASEE Conference. Van Susante, P.J.; Barr, N.B.; Blough, J.R.; De Clerck, J.R.; Miller, M.H.; Miskioglu, I.; Odegard, G.M. Read More


Teaching Experience

  • MEEM 5010 Professional Engineering Communication - Three-credit course introduces graduate students to conventions of professional engineering communication such as composing technical memos and a variety of reports (test, design, progress, etc.). Students will practice creating effective visuals for reports and slides and develop and deliver presentations.
  • MEEM 6010 Engineering Research Communication - Two-credit course guides students through the process of publishing research in technical journals and presenting research at conferences and other venues, with a focus on practical application of rhetorical concepts. Students will prepare papers and presentations related to their own research.