Ellis’s research currently focuses on creating K-16 learning environments that support the growth of learners’ imaginations and their capacity for engaging in collaborative knowledge work. He has written numerous scholarly articles on engineering education and the application of stochastic processes to various fields of engineering. Recently he received a $3,000,000 National Science Foundation grant to support the creation of Through My Window-an online digital learning environment and young adult novels designed to engage children in engineering.
The winner of numerous teaching awards, Ellis won the 2007 U.S. Professor of the Year Award for Baccalaureate Colleges from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. His research has been recognized by the Benjamin Dasher Award for best paper/presentation at the Frontiers in Education conference. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon honor societies.