Larry G. Richards

Larry G. Richards is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Richards received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1964, and his PhD from the University of Illinois in 1971, both in Psychology. He came to UVA in 1969, joined the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1976, and moved to MAE in 1985 to develop and administer the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program. He served as Director of the MSE Program from 1986 to 2002, and Director of the A. H. Small Center for Computer Aided Engineering from 1992 to 2002. Larry has brought Engineering Teaching Kits (ETKs) ito middle school science and math classes through the Virginia Middle School Engineering Education Initiative (VMSEEI).

The ETKs introduce the engineering design approach to problem solving, and teach key science and math concepts using guided inquiry. ETKs have been developed on over 40 topics, including submersible vehicles, solar cars, building bridges, catapults and projectile motion, crash testing and passenger protection, aerospace engineering, sustainable house design, simple machines, artificial arms, heart pumps, and brain surgery. Teams of undergraduate students design and implement the ETKs, and field-test them in local schools.

Dr. Richards teaches courses on Creativity and New Product Development, Invention and Design, and both graduate and undergraduate Probability and Statistics. He regularly offers courses via distance education through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP), and serves on the CGEP Advisory Board. Larry is active in the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and Frontiers in Education (FIE). He is past Chair of the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division of ASEE, and was the 2006 Program Chair for the new K - 12 Engineering Education and Outreach Division (K-12). He is also active in the Entrepreneurship (ENT) Division of ASEE and the National Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), and serves as the University of Virginia ASEE Campus Representative.