The 2023 NSF ENG CAREER Workshop mentors will provide expert guidance and mentorship to selected faculty participants during the invite-only Mock Panel Review Session on May 9, 2023 (Day 2) and support faculty after the workshop as they work to prepare and submit their CAREER proposals. This page will be updated continuously as more mentors are confirmed.
Catherine G.P. Berdanier
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Pennsylvania State University
Catherine G.P. Berdanier is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University and is the Director of the World Campus (online) Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Program at Penn State. She directs the Engineering Cognitive Research Laboratory (ECRL) at Penn State in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where her research interests include graduate-and postdoctoral-level engineering education; attrition and persistence mechanisms, metrics, policy, and amelioration; engineering writing and communication; cross-contextual design research; and methodological development for nontraditional data. Her work is funded through several NSF grants in the EEC and CMMI directorates, including RFE, IUSE, S-STEM, and CAREER. Her NSF CAREER award studies master’s-level departure from the engineering doctorate as a mechanism of attrition. Her work has been published across multiple venues in the engineering education and mechanical engineering research literature, including Journal of Engineering Education, International Journal of Engineering Education, and Journal of Mechanical Design. She is also an Assistant Editor for Journal of Engineering Education. Catherine earned her B.S. in Chemistry from The University of South Dakota, her M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University, and Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.
Associate Vice Provost for Learning Innovation, and Director, Innovation Hub
Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering
Edward Berger is the Associate Vice Provost for Learning Innovation, and Director of the Innovation Hub, as well as Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Starting on February 1, 2023, he accepted the role of Interim Head of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue. He is also the Executive Director of the Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center at Purdue (MEERCat Purdue), which pursues fundamental research and research-to-practice projects in student success, teaching with technology, and institutional culture and change. He has been a tenured engineering professor at three institutions (University of Cincinnati 1996-2004, University of Virginia 2005-2014, Purdue University 2014-present). He began his faculty career with a research portfolio broadly in the area of tribomechanics, including dynamics of interfaces and structures with friction. From 2005-2010, his research portfolio underwent a transformation into engineering education research, and since then he has been a PI or co-PI on $12M+ in federally-funded projects for engineering education research. He has 60+ journal publications across mechanical engineering and engineering education topics. In 2008, he won a Commonwealth of Virginia state-wide teaching award for his integration of technology into undergraduate education. He was recently a program officer at the National Science Foundation (August 2019 – December 2020) in the Engineering Directorate, Division of Engineering Education and Centers, where he oversaw a $15M annual budget for engineering education research and collaborated across the agency on programs including ERC, AI Institutes, and Advanced Manufacturing. He is currently serving a two-year term as the faculty representative to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and is the current chair of the Academic Affairs and Quality Committee.
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Chief Research Scientist in the Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brian A. Burt, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis department in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Burt also serves asDirector and Chief Research Scientist in the Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB). He has received numerous awards recognizing his scholarship including the National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award, National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Wickenden Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. Dr. Burt studies the experience of graduate students and the institutional policies and practices that influence students’ pathways. His research falls into two strands: understanding team-based research experiences and exploring the experiences of underrepresented graduate students of color in engineering. Through his work, Dr. Burt seeks to provide new ways to understand science participation and the experiences that might attract students to or turn them away from science pathways.
Director of the School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education (SUCEED)
Florida International University
Monica E. Cardella is the Director of the School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education (SUCCEED) at Florida International University. SUCCEED is home to an Interdisciplinary Engineering undergraduate program and an Engineering and Computing Education doctoral program. Her research and teaching focuses on engineering design, mathematical thinking, and computational thinking across formal and informal settings. She has investigated this through studies of practicing professionals, undergraduate students and educators, middle school students, elementary school teachers and students, and children and families. Dr. Cardella received the NSF CAREER award in 2011 and was recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering in 2020. She has co-authored over 200 journal and conference publications, was a co-editor of Engineering in Pre-College Settings: Research, Policy and Practices , and served as Editor of the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research. She has a BSc in mathematics from the University of Puget Sound, and an MS and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Washington. She was a National Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Engineering Education Researcher at Stanford University. She also served as a Program Director in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings at the National Science Foundation.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Florida International University
Darryl Dickerson is an assistant professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Florida International University where he directs the Inclusive Complex Tissue Engineering Laboratory. His technical research focuses on transforming multiscale biomechanical and mechanobiological insights into biomanufacturing processes enabling the creation of personalized, fully functional engineered tissues with a specific focus on inclusive science and engineering. This work connects to Dr. Dickerson’s broader vision to make engineering spaces more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive which includes education research focused on faculty-driven institutional transformation. He has served as the Chief Executive and Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Society of Black Engineers, expanding the strategic focus of NSBE’s Pre-College Initiative by founding the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK), which has served more than 30,000 students since its inception. After completing his PhD, Dr. Dickerson founded Advanced Regenerative Technologies to translate his academic benchtop work to clinical practice, leading to the introduction of BioEnthesis, a rotator cuff tendon enthesis repair product, currently in clinical use.
Associate Professor of Engineering Education
Kerrie Douglas is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and Masters of Science in Education from Purdue. She is the lead of the Science and Ethics for Educational Data (SEED) lab. Her research is focused on improving methods of evaluation and assessment in large-scale engineering learning contexts. She works on problems of validity, equity and how to make inferences about diverse groups of learners. She has been Primary Investigator or Co-PI on more than $24 million of external research awards. In 2020, she received an NSF RAPID award to study engineering instructional decisions and how students were supported during the time of emergency remote instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since May of 2020, she’s been invited to speak at 14 national and international events about how to support and assess students in online learning environments. In 2021, she received the NSF Early CAREER award to study improving the fairness of assessment in engineering classrooms.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park
Mark Fuge is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is also an affiliate faculty in the Institute for Systems Research and a member of the Maryland Robotics Center. His staff and students study fundamental scientific and mathematical questions behind how humans and computers can work together to design better complex engineered systems, from the molecular scale all the way to systems as large as aircraft and ships using tools from Computer Science (such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and submodular optimization) and Applied Mathematics. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley (2014) and his BS. and M.S. at Carnegie Mellon University (2009). He has received an NSF CAREER Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. For his teaching, he was awarded the E. Robert Kent Outstanding Teaching Award for Junior Faculty and a UMD Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellowship. He has served as the Chair of the ASME Design Theory and Methodology Technical Committee, and currently is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Mechanical Design and for Computer-Aided Design.
Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University. Her research focuses on how identity, among other affective factors, influences diverse students to choose engineering and persist in engineering. She also studies how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belonging and identity development. Prof. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1554057) focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning to understand engineering students’ identity development. Prof. Godwin collaborated on an NSF EAGER (1837808/1837805) focused on understanding what makes successful NSF CAREER proposals and has developed a framework and tools for considering proposal preparation. She has won several awards for her research including the 2021 Journal of Civil Engineering Education Best Technical Paper, the 2021 Chemical Engineering Education William H. Corcoran Award, and the 2022 American Educational Research Association Education in the Professions (Division I) 2021-2022 Outstanding Research Publication Award.
Michele J. Grimm
Professor and Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science
State University of New York, Albany
Michele J. Grimm is Professor and Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Albany (SUNY). She moved to Albany in 2022 after a 25-year career at Wayne State University, followed by 3-years at Michigan State as the Wielenga Creative Engineering Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Grimm completed her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The Johns Hopkins University in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. Her research interests span injury biomechanics to engineering education. In August of 2019, she finished a 3-year rotation as a program director for three BME-related programs at the National Science Foundation (EBMS, DARE, and BMMB). During this time, she served as co-chair of the White House’s Office of Science & Technology Policy Task Force on Research and Development for Technology to Support Aging Adults. She is currently serving on the National Academy of Medicine’s Commision on a Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE).
Robert E. Clarke Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Texas at San Antonio
Ruyan Guo is Robert E. Clarke Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Advanced Materials Engineering of the Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She conducts cutting edge research and publishes broadly in interdisciplinary areas of electronic and optoelectronic materials and tunable devices for sensor, actuator, and biomedical applications. She organized a number of international scientific meetings and conferences in optoelectronics and electroceramics areas and serves on the editorial boards of the international journal on Ferroelectrics and Electroceramics. She has experience in chairing academic department, developing interdisciplinary academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and mentoring graduate students and faculty in career successes at both R1 and minority serving institutes. Guo served as an NSF Program Director in the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) of Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation in recent years. She has been recognized as a Society Fellow of IEEE, The American Ceramics Society (ACerS), The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and an Academician of the World Academy of Ceramics (WAC).
Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Honors College Senior Faculty Fellow
Dr. James Huff is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Honors College Senior Faculty Fellow at Harding University. He conducts transdisciplinary research on identity that lies at the nexus of social and personality psychology and engineering education. Dr. Huff received the NSF CAREER award (No. 2045392) to advance research on professional shame as a pernicious force that powerfully affects individual well-being and cultural equity in domains of engineering education and practice. Director of the Beyond Professional Identity (BPI) lab, Dr. Huff has mentored numerous undergraduate students, doctoral students, and faculty from more than 10 academic disciplines in using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a qualitative research method to examine identity in a wide variety of contexts.
Professor of Information Sciences & Technology and Director of Technocritical Research in AI, Learning & Society Lab (trailsLAB)
George Mason University
Aditya Johri is Professor of Information Sciences & Technology and Director of Technocritical Research in AI, Learning & Society Lab (trailsLAB) at the College of Engineering and Computing at George Mason University, USA. He studies how technology shapes learning across formal and informal settings and the ethical implications of using technology. He publishes broadly in the fields of engineering and computing education, and educational technology. His research has been recognized with several best paper awards and his co-edited volume, the Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER), received the 2015 Best Book Publication Award from Division I of AERA. Most recently he served as a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in ICT at Aalto University, Finland (2021). He is a past recipient of the NSF Early Career Award (2009) and received the University Teaching Excellence Award (2002) and Mentoring Excellence Award (2022) for undergraduate research at George Mason University. His edited volume International Handbook of Engineering Education Research (IHEER) will be published by Routledge in 2023. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences & Technology Design (2007) from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. More information is available at: http://mason.gmu.edu/~johri
Professor of Integrated Engineering
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Dr. Jennifer Karlin is a professor of integrated engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, in the Iron Range Engineering program. She joined IRE as one of the founding faculty for the Bell model. Prior to that, she was a professor of industrial engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she held the Pietz Professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. While there, she served a five-year term as the Coordinator of Faculty Development for the university. In her research, Jen studies colleges and universities as organizations and how adjustments in organizational artifacts and infrastructure can create positive change. She works across all levels of an organization, including learning spaces, policies and procedures, governance, and interactions across the ecosystem. Jen’s work is rooted in the core areas of economic development, organizational excellence (including change management), and holistic learner development. She has also combined these areas to develop systems for change in, and evaluate organizational health of, universities as organizations. This combination resulted in a National Science Foundation CAREER award. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Air Force (through a congressional earmark), and the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA).
Associate Professor of Engineering Education
Dr. Walter C. Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and the Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (or CEED). He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering (JWM) and the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Lee is broadly interested in inclusion, diversity, and educational equity—particularly as it relates to students from groups that are historically underrepresented or marginalized in engineering. His research earned him a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on examining the strengths and deficiencies within university support structures and processes from the perspective of marginalized students. Lee received his Ph.D. in engineering education from Virginia Tech; his M.S. in industrial & systems engineering from Virginia Tech; and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Clemson University.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Alex Leonessa is a professor at Virginia Tech in the Mechanical Engineering Department, but he has also courtesy appointments in the Industrial Systems and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics Department. He obtained a Doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering at GeorgiaTech in December 1999. His research focused on nonlinear robust control techniques for general nonlinear systems. The dominant idea in his research effort is that most real-world physical systems are too complex to accurately model, hence model uncertainties must be accounted for in the control system design process using some kind of self-learning procedure. Dr. Leonessa has been involved in these areas of research for more than 20 years during which he has published more than 100 papers (all peer reviewed). In 2014-2016 he completed a two-year rotation at the National Science Foundation, where he was supervising the General and Age-Related Disability Engineering (GARDE) program as well as participating to the Major Research Instrumentation program, the National Robotic Initiative, the Partnership for Innovation program, and the Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems program. He is currently serving as an expert at NSF where he is responsible for the Mind, Machine and Motor Nexus (M3X) program.
JoAnn S. Lighty
Dean of the College of Engineering
Boise State University
Dr. JoAnn S. Lighty came to Boise State University from the University of Utah and the National Science Foundation, where she was a division director October 2013 to July 2017. She currently serves as Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Boise State University.
A professor at the University of Utah for 29 years, Dr. Lighty was chair of Chemical Engineering, founding director of the Institute for Combustion and Energy Studies, and associate dean for academics in the College of Engineering. She received the SWE Distinguished Engineering Educator Award, the Utah Engineering Educator of the Year from the Utah Engineering Council, and the University’s Linda Amos Award for Distinguished Service to Women.
Dr. Lighty’s research focuses on combustion-generated fine particulate matter formation, soot oxidation, and carbon capture technologies. She is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In November of 2017, she received the Lawrence K. Cecil Award from the Environmental Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She has served on several national boards and committees focusing on the environmental aspects of combustion.
As the director of the NSF’s Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems, she led 16 programs with a budget of approximately $185 Million. She was a key architect of the cross-NSF initiative, Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems, focusing on convergent research for this system of systems.
Associate Professor of Engineering Education
Instructional Innovation Lead
Dr. Jeremi London is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and the Instructional Innovation Lead on Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus. London’s commitment to bridging the gap between research and practice in engineering education is the focus of her scholarship. Her scholarly interests have been supported by over $7.9M and resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed articles, best paper awards, and keynote addresses. London’s NSF CAREER award entitled “Disrupting the Status Quo Regarding Who Gets to be an Engineer”, blends her interests in studying paths to transformative impact in the context of broadening participation of underrepresented minorities in engineering. Moreover, London’s scholarly approach to teaching courses like mixed methods designs, statistics, and use-inspired design has also led to meaningful student outcomes and receipt of the 2017 Poly Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, the 2021 Virginia Tech Presidential Principles of Community Award, and the 2021 Dean’s Award for Excellence for Outstanding New Assistant Professors. London holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering, and Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue University.
Angela D. Lueking
Vice Chancellor for Research & Dean of the Graduate School
Montanna Technological University
As Vice Chancellor for Research & Dean of the Graduate School at Montana Technological University, Angela spear-heads new initiatives focused on materials and environmental remediation and invests in growth of convergent PhD programs at a primarily undergraduate institution. She oversees research awards, compliance, technology transfer, and graduate education. As Missouri S&T’s Associate Dean for Research in Engineering, she catalyzed teams in manufacturing, critical minerals, increased opportunities for underrepresented faculty, and an entrepreneurship program in green energy. This led to two educational partnership agreements, a 30% increase in research expenditures, and 20-point gain in college rankings. As Program Director at the National Science Foundation, she oversaw research related to purification of industrial chemicals, drinking water, and biopharmaceuticals. She facilitated review of two National Academy studies, and initiated a program to reenergize the careers of mid-career faculty. Angela advanced through the tenured faculty ranks at Penn State University in Energy & Mineral Engineering. In recognition of her research in development and advanced characterization of hydrogen storage materials, she received a Marie Curie Fellowship. She co-authored a textbook related to Energy and the Environment. Angela holds degrees from the University of Nebraska (BS) and the University of Michigan (MS and PhD) in environmental engineering and chemical engineering.
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Louisiana State University
Adam Melvin obtained a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BA in Chemistry from the University of Arizona, a MS in Chemical Engineering (with a minor in Biotechnology) and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering. In August of 2013, he joined the faculty in the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana State University. His research interests focus on biochemical/biomedical engineering including the design of peptide-based biosensors and therapeutics and the development of novel microfluidic platforms to model the breast cancer tumor microenvironment and perform high-throughput single cell analysis. He also has interests in engineering education research, serves as the co-director of an NSF-funded REU site, and has launched several outreach programs for K-12 students in Louisiana. He is an NSF CAREER awardee and has received numerous teaching and mentoring awards during his time at LSU.
Kristin S. Miller
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas at Dallas
Adjunct Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Kristin S. Miller is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Miller’s research interests are focused on the mechanobiology of soft tissues, including evaluating the role of elastic fibers and contractility in the female reproductive system. Dr. Miller conducted postdoctoral research at Yale University and received her PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2014, Kristin joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University as an Assistant Professor and later received tenure and was promoted to an Associate Professor in 2020. Kristin was awarded the NSF CAREER award to develop a biomechanical model that can predict how elastic fibers in the soft tissues of the female reproductive system changes in response to mechanical pressure. In 2021, Kristin was awarded the YC Fung Early Career Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 2022, Kristin joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas and UTSW.
T.J. (Lakis) Mountziaris
Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Houston
T.J. Mountziaris earned a Diploma from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and a PhD from Princeton University, both in Chemical Engineering. After completing postdoctoral studies at the University of Minnesota, he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) where he was a member of the faculty from 1989 to 2005. From 2003 to 2005 he served as rotating NSF Program Director for Particulate and Multiphase Processes. From 2005 to 2020 he was Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where, as Head of Chemical Engineering, he led his Department into a period of growth by substantially increasing the size and diversity of the faculty and student bodies. From 2015 to 2019 he served as rotating NSF Program Director for Process Systems, Reaction Engineering, and Molecular Thermodynamics. He joined the University of Houston in 2021 as the inaugural William A. Brookshire Professor and Chair of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. His research interests focus on reaction engineering, synthesis of nanoscale materials, biosensors, and sustainable energy. He is a Fellow of AIChE and AAAS, a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors, and recipient of the AIChE Shell Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems.
Assistant Professor of Engineering Education
Dr. Homero Murzi (he/él/his) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Homero is the leader of the Engineering Competencies, Learning, and Inclusive Practices for Success (ECLIPS) Lab where he leads a team focused on doing research on contemporary, culturally relevant, and inclusive pedagogical practices, emotions in engineering, competency development, and understanding the experiences of traditionally marginalized engineering students from an asset-based perspective. Homero’s goal is to develop engineering education practices that value the capital that traditionally marginalized students, bring into the field, and to train graduate students and faculty members with the tool to promote effective and inclusive learning environments and mentorship practices. Homero has been recognized as a Diggs Teaching Scholar, a Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence Fellow, a Global Perspectives Fellow, a Diversity Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, and was inducted into the Bouchet Honor Society. Homero serves as the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Chair for the Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI), the Program Chair for the ASEE Faculty Development Division, and the Vice Chair for the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN).
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Ronke Olabisi is an Associate Professor and joined the UC Irvine Biomedical Engineering department in 2020 and is an affiliate faculty of the UC Irvine Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. Prof. Olabisi came from Rutgers University where she was an assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering with an affiliation with the Institute of Advanced Materials, Devices, and Nanotechnology. The focus of her lab is tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. By modifying synthetic materials with the natural, her lab develops cell-responsive materials. Specifically, her research has resulted in advances in wound healing, methods to form bone, and discoveries in retinal and neural tissue engineering. In addition to biomedical research, Olabisi conducts research aimed at increasing the recruitment and persistence of minoritized groups in STEM. Towards that goal, in 2022 she held an NSF CAREER Writing Workshop during which the rhetorical patterns of successful applications were deconstructed for participants to better understand successful grantwriting structure. For her research, Olabisi is the recipient of a 2016 Engineering Information Foundation Award, a 2018 NSF CAREER Award, a 2019 Johnson & Johnson Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (WiSTEM2D) Scholar Award, a 2019 Biomedical Engineering Society’s (BMES) Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Award, a 2022 BMES Diversity Lecture Award, and a 2022 NSF Workshop Award. She is a member of 100 Year Starship, an interdisciplinary DARPA-funded initiative that seeks to replicate the rapid technological development stimulated by the moon landings by imagining human interstellar travel. Olabisi earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT; two master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor; and her doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She completed postdoctoral research in bioengineering with the West lab while it was at Rice University.
Associate Professor, School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence
Arizona State University
Giulia Pedrielli is currently Associate Professor for the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence (SCAI) at Arizona State University. She graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano. Giulia develops her research in design and analysis of random algorithms for global optimization, with focus on improving finite time performance and scalability of these approaches. Her work is motivated by design and control of next generation manufacturing systems in bio-pharma and aerospace applications, as well as problems in the design and evaluation of complex molecular structures in life-science. Applications of her work are in individualized cancer care, bio-manufacturing, design and control of self-assembled RNA structures, verification of Cyberphysical systems. Her research is funded by the NSF, DHS, DARPA, Intel, Lockheed Martin.
Associate Dean for Research
University of Illinois, Chicago
In my current position as Associate Dean for Research, I coordinate the research activities of over 200 faculty in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am also a Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering. I have received many teaching, research, and service awards, including two major awards from the NSF: the Director’s Award while serving four years as a Program Director in the Engineering Directorate, and the CAREER award for research on “active capping” technology for environmental cleanup. I have published over 120 scientific articles funded by grants totaling $17M. I am in the top 3-6% worldwide in citations in the fields of bioremediation, environmental biotechnology, and environmental engineering according to GOOGLE Scholar. I am an avid endurance athlete, having raced in over 50 marathons (ultra- and standard), triathlons (sprint, international, and half Ironman), and bike races.
Associate Dean for Workforce Development
Associate Professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering
University of Florida
Denise R. Simmons, Ph.D., PE, PMP, LEED-AP, is an associate dean of workforce development and associate professor in the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida. She holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in civil engineering and a graduate certificate in engineering education – all from Clemson University. She has over ten years of construction and civil engineering experience working for energy companies and as a project management consultant. Dr. Simmons has extensive experience leading and conducting multi-institutional, workforce-related research and outreach. She is a leader in research investigating the competencies civil engineering professionals need to compete in and sustain the construction workforce. She oversees the Simmons Research Lab (SRL). As a researcher, Dr. Simmons passionately pursues workforce research characterizing, expanding, sustaining, measuring and training the technical and professional civil engineering workforce in the US. The broader impact of this work lies in achieving and sustaining safe, productive, and inclusive project organizations composed of engaged, competent and diverse people. SRL is supported by four basic research grants, including a CAREER award, and one applied research grant — all funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and totaling over $2 million. Dr. Simmons is a former project director of the National Summer Transportation Institute at South Carolina State University and Savannah River Environmental Sciences Field Station (SRESFS). Both programs were aimed at recruiting, retaining and training women and minorities in transportation, environmental science, and engineering and natural resources-related fields of study. As SRESFS director, she led a board composed of representatives from 29 colleges and universities and three federal agencies.
Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
University of Cincinatti
Dr. Ying Sun is currently Herman Schneider Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to joining UC, she was Hess Family Endowed Chair Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University. In 2019-2022, Dr. Sun served as Program Director of the Thermal Transport Processes Program at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Sun is an ASME Fellow and a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award. She serves as an Associate Editor for Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage, and was an Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Fellow. Dr. Sun directs the Complex Fluids & Multiphase Transport Laboratory that focuses on advancing fundamental thermal-fluid, interfacial, and data sciences, and applying them to enable efficient energy conversion and storage systems, sustainable manufacturing, and effective thermal management solutions.
Trevor J. Lujan
Associate Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Boise State University
Trevor J. Lujan is an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Boise State University. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, a PhD in Bioengineering from University of Utah, and he did post-doctoral research at the Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory in Portland. In 2012, he joined Boise State University and launched the Northwest Tissue Mechanics laboratory. His lab primarily conducts experimental and computational research to investigate the effect of mechanical forces on connective tissue injury, remodeling and repair. In 2016, Dr. Lujan received an NSF CAREER award for his research on modeling failure phenomena in soft tissue. He has since assisted other faculty in writing competitive NSF CAREER proposals by serving on panels and developing a 5-month Grant Writing Group program at Boise State. Dr. Lujan also helped launch Boise State’s Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Program and he currently serves as the program director.
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
University of California San Diego
Daniela Valdez-Jasso is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego, where she teaches tissue biomechanics and mathematical modeling for bioengineers. She is an applied mathematician and physiologist studying the changes in the hemodynamic, mechanical, and structural properties of the pulmonary arterial vasculature and right ventricle during the progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension and the cellular mechanisms mediating extracellular remodeling in these tissues. She studies cardiac and vascular pathophysiology, soft-tissue biomechanics and mechanobiology in pulmonary arterial hypertension using her expertise in parameter estimation and optimization, uncertainty quantification, physiological systems modeling, multiscale modeling, animal models and in-vivo physiological monitoring. Her work is currently funded through the National Science Foundation CAREER: Mechanical and Structural Adaptations of Blood Vessels in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01) Multiscale Modeling of Right Ventricular Fibrotic Remodeling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, and the Wu Tsai Foundation – Human Performance Alliance. Her contributions to promoting inclusion and diversity in STEM education, her outreach work with numerous campus outreach programs and student organizations were recognized with the UC San Diego Faculty Inclusive Excellence Award in 2020, and with the Institute of Engineering in Medicine GEMINI Faculty Mentor award in 2022. Her diversity outreach initiatives are now supported in part by my NSF CAREER award. Dr. Valdez-Jasso currently serves as a standing member of the Modeling and Analysis of Biological Systems (MABS) Study Session, Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health.
Idalis Villanueva Alarcón
Associate Professor of Engineering Education
University of Florida
Dr. Idalis Villanueva Alarcón is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Studies in the Department of Engineering Education at the University of Florida. In 2019, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award for her NSF CAREER project on hidden curriculum in engineering. She has a B.S. degree is in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and a M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She also completed her postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health in Analytical Cell Biology in Bethesda, Maryland and worked as a lecturer for 2 years at the University of Maryland-College Park before transitioning to a tenure-track position in engineering education.