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Steven K. Ayer and Bryan Franz
This podcast is aimed at providing honest experiences about challenges, failures, and possibly a few success stories related to life in academia.
Oct 6, 2023
Working Abroad with guest Daniel Hall
Professor Daniel Hall (TU Delft) joins Bryan and Steve to discuss his experience of growing up and studying in the US, but deciding to launch his academic career in Europe.
1 hr 1 min
Aug 18, 2023
Bryan cancels the pie chart
Bryan and Steve discuss successes and failures in developing graphics in academia. An audio discussion about visual communication - maybe this wasn't our brightest move??
Aug 4, 2023
Burcu Akinci - Imposter Sydrome
Dr. Burcu Akinci, a full Professor and Department Head at Carnegie Mellon University, a National Academy of Construction member, and most recently a Peurifoy Construction Research Awardee, talks about how she still experiences imposter syndrome despite her many successes. Enjoy!
Jul 21, 2023
Steve's moving - and we're talking about it. We discuss what went well in the job application, interview, and moving processes and what didn't. Enjoy!
Jun 16, 2023
The Daily Routine of an Academic
Bryan and Steve discuss their typical days as academics. They talk about the fun and not-so-fun parts of their professional lives. Enjoy!
1 hr 16 min
Jun 2, 2023
Failure in leading
Bryan and Steve discuss their struggles with serving in leadership positions - especially when leading individuals who do not directly report to them. Enjoy!
1 hr 2 min
Mar 31, 2023
Working in a National Lab with Dr. Kieren McCord
Kieren McCord joins us to discuss her experience in transitioning from a PhD student to a full time researcher in a national lab. Enjoy!
1 hr 1 min
Mar 10, 2023
Shedding 'Leicht' on Sabbaticals with Rob Leicht
Bryan, Steve, and guest Professor Rob Leicht (Penn State) discuss sabbatical do's and don't's. Hopefully you enjoy learning from Rob's experience as much as we did.
1 hr 9 min
Jan 27, 2023
Faculty "Tropes" in Academia
Bryan and Steve discuss "tropes", or common patterns of behavior in pop culture storytelling, within academic settings. We talk about these patterns and also how faculty who fall into these patterns can be received by others. This was a fun discussion that may be followed up with a "part II" or more sometime in the future. Enjoy!
Dec 23, 2022
Surviving the first year of teaching with Prof. Jennifer Lather
Professor Jennifer Lather (University of Nebraska) stops by to discuss her experience in creating, delivering, and learning from a new course that she taught in her first year as a professor. Enjoy!
1 hr 3 min
Dec 2, 2022
Attracting Top PhD Students
Bryan and Steve discuss their experiences and lessons learned in trying to attract top PhD students for their respective research groups.
Nov 11, 2022
Bryan and Steve discuss academic freedom and how various social and political shifts to impact this freedom can potentially impact students' educational experiences as well as our professional fulfillment as faculty.
Oct 14, 2022
Teaching - Back to normal??
Bryan and Steve discuss their experiences and struggles with helping students succeed in their courses now that most have returned to post-COVID modes of traditional in-person learning.
Sep 30, 2022
Prof. Kasey Faust (University of Texas, Austin) stops by to talk about finding balance between home life and work life. She offers several practical strategies that have helped her to find fulfillment personally and also professionally. Enjoy!
1 hr 2 min
Sep 16, 2022
Social Look-At-Media in Academia
Bryan and Steve discuss their positive and negative experiences with social media in academia. Enjoy!
Sep 2, 2022
Using your startup funding wisely
Bryan and Steve discuss their experiences (and their hesitancy) with spending their startup funding when they began their faculty careers.
Aug 15, 2022
Serving on a Faculty Search Committee
Steve and Bryan discuss their experiences serving on faculty search committees. They share the types of concerns, debates, and challenges that may emerge when serving on a search committee. Hopefully this helps to offer insight if you find yourself on a committee, or perhaps it will offer insights on what may be discussed behind the scenes by search committees if you are currently applying for faculty positions.
Jul 29, 2022
Tenured? How does it feel?
Dr. Masoud Gheisari and our own Dr. Bryan Franz discuss their experiences (and challenges) with pursuing and successfully achieving tenure.
1 hr 12 min
Jul 11, 2022
Professor Robert LiKamWa (Arizona State University) discusses struggles related to mentoring students and facing rejections on the way to ultimately succeeding in building a large, externally-funded, research team.
1 hr 2 min
Jun 10, 2022
Transitioning from Engineering to Engineering Education with Professor Logan Perry
Logan Perry (University of Nebraska) joins us to discuss his experience in shifting from a traditional Civil Engineering domain to Engineering Education and some of the lessons he learned related to conducting research in this field.
May 27, 2022
Poor solutions to poorly structured problems
Bryan and Steve discuss their failures, and occasional successes, with challenging their undergraduate students to address poorly structured problems. While these types of problems can support the kinds of learning necessary for the students' long-term success, they can also be a major challenge (and change) from what the students are used to, which leads to some unexpected difficulties in teaching.
1 hr 7 min
May 13, 2022
Becoming a Parent in Academia
After a pause in podcasting, Steve discusses his (admittedly brief) experience with becoming a father during the break. He and Bryan discuss successes, failures, joys, and headaches experienced in his journey thus far.
Mar 18, 2022
Returning to In-Person Conferences
Bryan and Steve discuss their first major in-person conference since the pandemic began. They discuss various uncomfortable experiences, and how some may only be relevant in the short-term, while others may be around for much longer. Then they define a wish list for the conference of the future. Enjoy!
Mar 4, 2022
Returning to academia to run a research group with Professor John Messner
John Messner (Penn State) discusses his experience in working in the construction industry for seven years, pausing his research during this time, and then the challenges associated with returning to academia, shifting his research focus, and taking over an existing research group. Enjoy!
Feb 18, 2022
Academia for non-academics
Bryan and Steve discuss experiences and challenges in explaining their academic lives to those outside of academia. Hopefully what it lacks in practicality, it makes up for in relatability. Enjoy!
Feb 4, 2022
Why papers get rejected
Bryan and Steve talk about some of the reasons they have observed, and experienced through their own failures, that led to rejected journal papers. Enjoy!
1 hr 4 min
Dec 3, 2021
Why is networking not working?
Bryan and Steve discuss lessons learned related to building professional networks at conferences. Enjoy!
Nov 5, 2021
Bryan and Steve discuss what to expect during and after academic conference presentations. Hopefully it helps you avoid some of our mistakes for your first conference!
Oct 8, 2021
Conference "Do's" and "Don't's"
Bryan and Steve discuss academic conferences, what to expect, what to do, and what to avoid when attending. Enjoy!
1 hr 6 min
Sep 10, 2021
Bryan and Steve discuss their experiences with Imposter Syndrome in academia and strategies for dealing with it.
Aug 27, 2021
Building and Submitting Your Promotion & Tenure Package
Bryan and Steve chat about the process of developing and submitting their promotion and tenure packages. They discuss what worked well and where they might have done things differently with the benefit of hindsight.
1 hr 1 min
Aug 13, 2021
Building and fostering industry collaborations with Dr. Sinem Mollaoglu
Sinem Mollaoglu (Michigan State University) joins Bryan and Steve to discuss her experiences and challenges in building, sustaining, and growing industry collaborations to support her research.
1 hr 1 min
Jul 30, 2021
Work and Family Balance with Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick
Carrie Sturts Dossick (University of Washington) stops by to discuss lessons she learned when balancing family and work responsibilities.
1 hr 2 min
Jul 13, 2021
Life After Tenure with Professor Wei Wu
Wei Wu (Fresno State University) talks about his experience in transitioning from an Associate Professor to Fresno's Construction Management Department Chair.
Jun 11, 2021
Managing your Advisor with Dr. Jad Chalhoub
Dr. Jad Chalhoub talks about his experience as Steve's PhD student to highlight some of the good (and not so good) aspects of their working relationship.
May 7, 2021
Podcast about a podcast?
Bryan and Steve discuss successes and failures from their first academic year of recording Professerror. Also, they welcome your feedback on how to improve the podcast moving forward. We look forward to hearing from you!
Apr 23, 2021
Communicating for Impact in Academia with Professor Fernanda Leite
Fernanda Leite (University of Texas, Austin) discusses some of the strategies she has employed to effectively communicate with students, colleagues, and others in order to maximize her impact.
1 hr 7 min
Apr 9, 2021
Challenges Faced by Female Professors in Engineering with Professor Andrea Richa
Professor Andrea Richa (Arizona State University) joins us to discuss some of the challenges female professors face in engineering.
Mar 19, 2021
Work Life Balance with Professor Matthew Hallowell
Prof. Matt Hallowell (University of Colorado, Boulder) discusses lessons learned related to managing work responsibilities with the rest of life's responsibilities.
Mar 12, 2021
NSF CAREER Success (and some failures) with Professor Jeremi London
Dr. Jeremi London (Virginia Tech) discusses her recently awarded NSF CAREER grant, but also some of the challenges she experienced leading up to this success.
1 hr 11 min
Jan 29, 2021
Maximizing Your Impact
Professor Mikhail Chester (Arizona State University) discusses how to maximize impact while reducing time spent doing non-value-added tasks.
1 hr 11 min
Jan 15, 2021
Applying for Faculty Positions - On-Campus Interviews
We discuss on-campus interviews and share some experiences of what to do (and not do) during this process.
1 hr 2 min
Dec 28, 2020
Research group start-up (with Katherine Madson)
Katherine Madson (Iowa State University) joins us again to discuss challenges and lessons learned associated with starting up a research group during the first semester of a first faculty position.
Dec 11, 2020
Surviving your first semester of teaching (with Katherine Madson)
Professor Katherine Madson (Iowa State University) stops in to share some of her successes and failures that she experienced in teaching during her first semester as a faculty member.
1 hr 3 min
Nov 20, 2020
Applying for Faculty Positions - Phone Interviews
We discuss the process of phone interviews for faculty positions and share some of our own lessons learned related to this.
Nov 13, 2020
Transitioning from industry to academia with Anne Anderson
Prof. Anne Anderson joins in for the discussion to cover lessons learned when she transitioned from her industry career to one in academia.
Oct 23, 2020
Applying for Faculty Positions - Preparing your application materials
We discuss the process of preparing your materials for applying to faculty positions. Hopefully you avoid some of the mistakes we made!
1 hr 19 min
Oct 9, 2020
Managing Your Time
Bryan and Steve cover lessons learned, as well as continued struggles, with time management in academic careers.
Sep 25, 2020
Getting Feedback on Your Research Proposals
Bryan and Steve discuss lessons learned through the feedback that their proposals have received.
1 hr 9 min
Sep 13, 2020
Crafting your research proposal
Bryan and Steve discuss lessons learned related to generating research proposals to secure external funding. We hope you enjoy it.
1 hr 21 min