Skip to Main Content

Engineering and Innovation

Portrait of JoAnn Lightly, Dean of the College of Engineering

“The Engineering & Innovation Residential College provides a wonderful opportunity for first-year students to connect with faculty and provides a great study and learning environment. The network of people and resources is one in which students can refer to throughout their academic careers.”  – JoAnn S. Lighty

Headshot Gordon Jones

Gordon Jones, Dean of College of Innovation and Design

“The College of Innovation and Design and the GIMM program are excited to partner with the College of Engineering on the Engineering & Innovation Residential College. We see this partnership creating opportunities for innovative learning experiences that will help our students succeed here at the university and beyond.”– Gordon Jones, Dean of College of Innovation and Design

What is the Engineering & Innovation Residential College (EIRC)?

The EIRC is a living-learning residential college for those interested in technical disciplines. The focus of the EIRC is on academic success with the primary activities centered on academic support. There is also special attention to preparing students for a career by exposing students to topics that are not always included in the formal curriculum, such as communication and presentation skills, along with teamwork and group process. Advising sessions will be offered in the community in addition to regular faculty office hours. Residents will also participate in weekly community meals. Get more information about the EIC on the College of Engineering’s website.

Who Should Apply

All students regardless of year in school majoring in Engineering: Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Instructional and Performance Technology, Materials Science, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, and Gaming, Interactive Media, and Mobile Technology. 


Course Credit (ENGR 150) – 1 credit

Students accepted into the program are required to enroll in academic credit and participate in community activities: instructor will issue a course permission number for ENGR 150. Living and learning in this community is contingent upon registration in the credit. Click on this link to view the Syllabus.

Participation Agreement

It is an honor to be selected as a member of one of these communities, and with that honor comes individual responsibility. Students are expected to participate in a constructive manner, supporting the academic environment and success of all its members. Participation Agreement.

Current Faculty-in-Residence (FIR)

Image of Krishna Pakala

Dr. Krishna Pakala, Aparna Varanasi, Moukthik Pakala

Dr. Krishna Pakala
Clinical Assistant Professor
Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

I am Krishna Pakala, Clinical Assistant Professor at Boise State University. I teach thermal and fluid science courses in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering. I received my B.S. at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad and M.S. from Arizona State University. I received my Ph.D. from University of Wyoming. All my major study were in the field of Mechanical Engineering. Although I have pursued creative and independent research during my graduate studies, I found that my calling is toward teaching and methods to improve teaching and learning. My long term goals are creating multi-media, high-impact and digital delivery of course content. I am also interested in developing and exploring new methods for knowledge delivery and in the scholarship of learning.

My wife, Aparna and son, Moukthik love Boise. I love to watch movies and cricket.

Current Faculty Out-Of-Residence (FOR)


Steve Swanson


Steve Swanson

I am Steve Swanson, Distinguished Educator in Residence at Boise State University. I am also a retired NASA Astronaut. I am excited to be one of the Faculty Out- Of- Residence (FOR) for the Engineering & Innovation Living Learning Residential College! I graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado; received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado, and a Master of Applied Science in Computer Systems from Florida Atlantic University, and a Doctorate in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. I joined NASA as a systems engineer and a flight engineer in the Aircraft Operations Division of NASA’s Johnson Space Center working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA). The STA is a complex airborne shuttle simulator, which models the flight characteristics of the space shuttle from 35,000 ft. to main gear touchdown. During my time with the STA, I worked to improve the STA’s navigation and control systems and incorporate a real-time wind determination algorithm. Plus, I also have completed over 6000 simulated Shuttle approaches.




Lan Li

Hi! I am an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State Univeristy. I finished my PhD in Nanomaterials at the University of Cambridge in the UK, followed by working in the Bio-Nano Electronic Research Center at Toyo University in Japan. I was also a post-doc associate on the theoretical and computational studies of metal-fullerene nano-systems, hydrogen-storage materials, and metal oxide thin films at the Department of Physics, University of Florida. I then joined the Center for Materials Informatics at the Kent State University in Ohio, and worked in collaboration with various national labs and universities on the development of computational materials research code projects and the transformation of these research codes into modules suitable for effective use in undergraduate education. Before joining BSU, I was a NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)-ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Program) senior fellow, working on energy and sustainability. I was a former Chair of the TMS (The Mineral, Metals and Materials Society) Education Committee, as well as presently serves as a member of the TMS Integrated Computational Materials Engineering Committee. Besides research, I am interested in effective integration of computational education into undergraduate and graduate curricula.






Please click the “+” to view more details and some awesome videos.

Why Should I join EIC?

One Family’s Journey

Passport to Success

What are some fun activities we do as residents in THIS Living Learning Community?

An adventure you could have – the Fall EIRC Rafting Trip

Residents are able to participate in many experiences during their time living on campus. Each fall semester, the Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) coordinates an off- campus trip for the residents of their community. Dr. Krishna Pakala works with his community assistants to plan this fun adventure.

Hike to Table Rock

Play Soccer as a Community

Who can participate, how many students are admitted to live there?

Any student, regardless of year in school majoring in Engineering: Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Instructional and Performance Technology, Materials Science, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, and Gaming, Interactive Media, and Mobile Technology. EIRC currently accepts up to 74 students.

What is the fee to participate and where do I live?

All students are required to pay for and live on campus in a residential hall with an active meal plan. There is a $65.00 participation fee (per semester) assessed to your student account to supplement program activities, field trips, and general program expenses. Students live in Morrison Hall.

How do I apply for admission?

All Living-Learning Program students must first complete an online Housing application. Once complete, students apply for admission by submitting the LLP application through Faculty review LLP Applications and make determinations based on information provided. The process is competitive so students are encouraged to place appropriate time and effort into their application responses. For more information, please see admissions information on our website.

Upperclassmen interested in applying, please contact for more information.

Application Questions:

2 questions (150-word or less for each question):

  1. What do innovation and education mean to you?
  • What makes you an ideal applicant for the Engineering and Innovation Living Residential College?