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Engineer, inventor, boardgame lover and huge fan of the Lord of the Rings

Claudio Freitas

Who am I?

Let me paraphrasing Bill Drayton (CEO of the Ashoka foundation) by saying -  Why giving fish or teaching how to fish if we can revolutionize the fishing industry? I am nonconformist, curious, inventive, happy to get dirty, and inexhaustible. I am fascinated with engineering education and the opportunity to develop projects to empower engineering education towards solving global problems through technology for diverse students.

Claudio Freitas grew up in Munguba, Brazil. He graduated in Control Engineering at Higher Education Institute of Amazonia and completed his masters in Electrical Engineering at University of Campinas. He then spent over three years working at embedded systems and automotive industry. While developing real-time multiprocessor coding, developing test scripts and test procedures, validating plant model requirements and assisting methodologies for data acquisition and analysis of powertrain systems and electronic engine units, he realized the importance of using his engineering skills and experience towards social development through education and impact the world positively. He left Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and entered the School of Engineering Education's graduate program at the Purdue University by joining the DeBoer Lab in 2016.  At DeBoer lab, he has been working for various projects related to interdisciplinary content and institutional setting, curriculum design and online instruction for engineering education in refugee camps in Jordan and Kenya, and developing educational kits focused to advance real-world solutions for social problems in emergencies. He thoroughly enjoys the challenge of developing new curriculum, instructional techniques, and technology tools for diverse students.

RESUME/CV Download

Research Interest lie in:

  • How engineering education drives social empowerment
  • How higher education can empower in emergencies and fragile settings
  • How educational technology tools can be applied to trigger real-world solutions to social problems

Awards and Honors:

  • Global Finalist - Water Control Management (EngBOX) - Cities for our Future | RICS (July 2018)
  • Global Finalist - Water Control Management (EngBOX) - Thought for Food Challenge (June 2018)
  • 2nd Place - IoT Biomedical System for Smart Pill Box Tracking - Data of Things Challenge | Giddy (March 2018)
  • People's Choice Award (Poster Session) - Dawn or Doom Conference (October 2017)
  • Leadership Award - Ibero-American Science and Technology Education Consortium (September 2013)
  • Young Scientist Award - International Society for Engineering Pedagogy/IGIP (July 2013)
  • Acknowledgment for Academic Performance - University Council / University of Campinas (July 2013)
  • First place overall - E-Formula SAE/USA (June 2013)
  • Future Entrepreneurs Award - Redemprendia (February 2013)
  • Finalist at  "2013 REI Award": Light Vehicles and Auto parts - Automotive Business Magazine (December 2012)
  • First place overall - E-Formula SAE/Brazil (December 2012)
  • First Place – Best Student Initiative for Engineering Students - Cengage Learning (August 2011)

Professional Experience:

  • Senior Product Engineer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (July 2014 - June 2016)
  • Research and Development Engineering Intern, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas (Oct 2013 - Apr 2014)
  • Research Associate, K&A Wireless (Jan 2013 - May 2013)
  • Electrical Engineering Intern, GMFreezer (Mar 2010 - Dec 2011)


  • PhD Student in Engineering Education, Purdue University (2016 - Ongoing)
  • MS in Electrical Engineering, University of Campinas (2014)
  • BS in Control Engineering, Higher Education Institute of Amazonia (2011)

Recent News and Publications:

Current research in the lab: