Photo of Michael Alley

Michael Alley

Associate Teaching Professor


  • The Leonhard Center
  • Mechanical and Nuclear 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, 4th ed., Springer-Verlag New York, New York, NY, USA

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

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: National Science Foundation).

Honors and Awards


Service to Penn State:

  • Assistance to Student Organizations, Co-Advisor, Faculty Co-Adviser for SWE, Society of Women Engineers, January 2015 - December 2017
  • Assistance to Student Organizations, Advisor, Faculty Adviser for Utree, Utree: Undergraduate Teaching and Research Experiences in Engineering, January 2012 - December 2016

Service to External Organizations:




The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519