Susannah Howe, Ph.D. is the Design Clinic Director in the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, where she coordinates and teaches the capstone engineering design course. Her current research focuses on innovations in engineering design education, particularly at the capstone level. She is invested in building the capstone design community; she is a leader in the biannual Capstone Design Conferences and the Capstone Design Hub initiative. She is also involved with efforts to foster design learning in middle school students and to support entrepreneurship at primarily undergraduate institutions. Her background is in civil engineering with a focus on structural materials. She holds a B.S.E. degree from Princeton, and M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell.
In 1995 Robin received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech and has since gained 20 years industry experience. Early job experience included working as a design engineer for a Naval Sea Systems Command contractor where she designed a Countermeasure Washdown System for the MHC-51 Coastal Minehunter ships. She also spent time as an Application Engineer at Parametric Technology Corporation, the creators of 3D CAD software PRO-Engineer. In 1999 she joined Kollmorgen, a motion control company based in Radford, where she held multiple roles of increasing responsibility during her nine years there. While at Kollmorgen Robin worked with Shingijutsu Global Consulting experts from Japan and earned black belts in the DBS kaizen areas of Standard Work and 5S and traveled globally to qualify suppliers in Asia and Europe. Most recently Robin worked as Senior Director of Project Management for a small bio-tech company, Intrexon, located in the VT Corporate Research Center and had the opportunity to introduce manufacturing principles into a highly specialized DNA production facility. Since joining the faculty at her Alma Mater in 2015, Robin has been coordinating and teaching the Capstone Senior Design program in Mechanical Engineering while pursuing graduate work in Engineering Education.
Marie C. Paretti is a Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she directs the Virginia Tech Engineering Communications Center (VTECC). Her research focuses on communication in engineering design, interdisciplinary communication and collaboration, design education, and gender in engineering. She was awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to study expert teaching in capstone design courses, and is co-PI on numerous NSF grants exploring communication, design, and identity in engineering. Drawing on theories of situated learning and identity development, her work includes studies on the teaching and learning of communication, effective teaching practices in design education, the effects of differing design pedagogies on retention and motivation, the dynamics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in both academic and industry design environments, and gender and identity in engineering.
Jessica Deters is a PhD student at Virginia Tech in the Department of Engineering Education. She holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and a minor in the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs from the Colorado School of Mines.
Chris Gewirtz is PhD student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. His research interests start with how culture, history and identity influence assumptions made by engineers in their practice, and how to change assumptions to form innovative and socially conscious engineers. His dissertation focuses on the identities that engineers improvise at work, and how those align with stereotypes of the engineer as "innovator" or "helper".
Anne Kary, originally from Claremont, CA, is a junior at Smith College majoring in Engineering and Mathematics. Her interests largely lie in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Education. In her spare time, she dances and plays ice hockey for Smith.
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