Photo of Michael Alley

Michael Alley

Teaching Professor


  • The Leonhard Center
  • Mechanical Engineering

201 Hammond Building


Personal or Departmental Website

Research Areas:

Interest Areas:

Scientific writing and presentations.




  • BS, Engineering Physics, Texas Tech University, 1979
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech University, 1982
  • MFA, Writing, University of Alabama, 1987



  • Michael P Alley, 2018, The Craft of Scientific Writing, Springer-Verlag New York, New York, NY, USA
  • Michael P Alley, 2013, The Craft of Scientific Presentations, Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, USA, pp. 286
  • Michael P Alley, 2001, The Craft of Scientific Editing, Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, United States

Journal Articles

  • Joanna K Garner and Michael P Alley, 2016, "Slide structure can influence the presenter's understanding of the presentation's content", International Journal of Engineering Education, 32, (1A)
  • J K Garner and Michael P Alley, 2013, "How the design of presentation slides affects audience comprehension: A case for the assertion-evidence approach", 26 (6), pp. 1564-1579
  • J K Garner and Michael P Alley, 2011, "PowerPoint in the psychology classroom: Lessons from multimedia research", Psychology Learning & Teaching, 10 (2), pp. 95-106
  • K A Neeley, Michael P Alley, C Nicometo and L Srajek, 2009, "Assertion-evidence structure of presentation slides: Acceptance and resistance", Technical Communication, 56 (4), pp. 346-360
  • J K Garner, Michael P Alley, A Gaudelli and S Zappe, 2009, "Common use of PowerPoint versus assertion-evidence structure: A cognitive psychology perspective", Technical Communication, 56 (4), pp. 331-345
  • Michael P Alley, M M Schreiber, E Diesel, K Ramsdell and M Borrego, 2007, "Increased student learning and attendance in resources geology through the combination of sentence-headline slides and active learning measures", Journal of Geoscience Education, 55 (1), pp. 83-89
  • Michael P Alley, M M Schreiber, K Ramsdell and J Muffo, 2006, "How the design of headlines in presentation slides affects audience retention", Technical Communication, 53 (2), pp. 225-234
  • Michael P Alley and K A Neeley, 2005, "Rethinking the design of presentation slides: A case for sentence headlines and visual evidence", Technical Communication, 52, (4), pp. 417-426


  • Michael P Alley, 2019, "Tutorial: Writing Reports in Engineering and Science"
  • Michael P Alley, 2019, "Tutorial: Job Email and Cover Letter"

Research Projects

  • September 2013 - December 2017, "Collaborative Research: TUES: Type II: Creating a National Network of Engineering Ambassadors: A Professional Development Program with an Outreach Mission," (Sponsor: ).

Honors and Awards

  • Lecturer in Distinguished Lecture Series of the National Science Foundation, Engineering Directorate, Washington, D.C., 2011
  • Keynote Speaker, Confex Norge AS Conference on Science and Media, Oslo, Norway, 2011
  • Nomination for Best Paper Award at National ASEE Conference, Liberal Education Division, 2005
  • Dean's Teaching Award, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2005
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Department of Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin, 1996
  • Teaching Excellence Award, College of Engineering, University of Texas, 1990


Service to Penn State:

  • Assistance to Student Organizations, Co-Advisor, Faculty Co-Adviser for SWE, Society of Women Engineers, January 2015
  • Assistance to Student Organizations, Advisor, Faculty Advisor, Leonhard Center Speaking Contest, 2013
  • Assistance to Student Organizations, Advisor, Faculty Advisor, Utree: Undergraduate Teaching and Research Experiences in Engineering, 2011

Service to External Organizations:

  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Coordinator, Engineering Ambassadors Network, 2016 - 2018
  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Chairperson, Division Chair of LEES: Liberal Education/Engineering and Society, ASEE, 2013
  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Chairperson, Division Chair of LEES: Liberal Education/Engineering and Society, ASEE, 2011



With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519