Higgins Labs 208
Affiliated Department or Office
BS Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 1974
MS Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 1983
PhD Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 1988

I have enjoyed technical topics since high school, when I was encouraged by my physics teacher to enroll in a pre-engineering course and learned computer programming. I was one of the first women to attend WPI and earned all three of my degrees here, being the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from WPI. Prior to my graduate studies, I worked in industry for several years, both in Massachusetts (Norton Company) and Illinois (Olin Corporation), and was usually the only female engineer in my engineering group. As an alumna, I am proud to be able to pass on the heritage of a WPI education, and, in particular, to be able to mentor our female engineering students. In my role as a faculty member, I am able to work on a day-to-day basis with the remarkably talented students at WPI. As former Director of the Melbourne Project Centre and advisor in the Global Projects Program, I share meaningful academic and personal experiences with a wide variety of students in different majors on their IQP projects. I enjoy the breadth and depth of these global projects, and find them to be an excellent learning opportunity for me as well as the students. Teaching the design courses challenges me to develop students’ creativity, problem solving abilities, and other professional and technical skills. I have been involved in several outreach activities such as Project Lead the Way and Camp REACH, both aimed at increasing the K-12 pipeline of students, particularly females, to enter engineering.

Scholarly Work

Assessing and Enhancing Visualization Skills of Engineering Students in Africa: A Comparative Study 2010

Development of an Ergonomic One Arm Drive Manual Wheelchair

The Inside Story: Revealing the Contents of CAD’s Black Box

A Multi-Dimensional Model for the Representation of Learning Through Service Activities in Engineering

Professional Highlights & Honors
, 2001
University of Lund, Sweden
, 2005

, 2010