Jennifer “Jenni” Case, an international leader in engineering education research, has been appointed head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering.

An educator, scholar, and researcher, Case currently serves as professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Case will begin at Virginia Tech on Aug. 10.

“After an intercontinental search, we are thrilled to announce that Jenni will join our faculty as head of the Department of Engineering Education,” said G. Don Taylor, interim dean of the College of Engineering and the Charles O. Gordon Professor. “Jenni’s higher education international experience will provide depth to our leadership team and boost interdisciplinary research in the areas of engineering, education, and social sciences.”

Recognized by the National Research Foundation of South Africa as a “leading international scholar in the field,” Case’s research focus is on improving the quality of student learning in tertiary science and engineering programs.

“I am delighted to be taking up this position. What attracted me most were the people at Virginia Tech that I met during the selection process – especially the staff, faculty, and graduate students in engineering education, in addition to the people across the university with whom I connected,” Case said.

After starting her career at Herschel Senior School in Cape Town, South Africa, Case joined the University of Cape Town community in 1996 and was promoted to professor in 2012.

Case has held several leadership positions throughout her career, including director of undergraduate studies for chemical engineering; director of the Centre for Research in Engineering Education; head of the Curriculum Reform Project for Chemical Engineering; and assistant dean for academic development, faculty of engineering, and the built environment for the university.

Case is a recipient of the meritorious book award from University of Cape Town in 2015, the National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award in 2013, the Distinguished Teacher’s award, and the President’s Award from the National Research Foundation. She is a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa.

Case earned physics and chemistry bachelors’ degrees from Stellenbosch University, a master’s of science education from the University of Leeds, a master’s in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town, and a doctorate in philosophy from Monash University.