Panel Session on Fostering Engineering Mechanics Research Community Diversity and Inclusion
Thursday, May 31st 7:15-9:00 am
14th President of Virginia State University (VSU)
Bio : Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D., is the 14th President of Virginia State University (VSU), the only historically black land-grant institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Abdullah is an academic administrator committed to excellence. He is an internationally renowned educator recognized for outstanding research. Throughout his career, the quantity of African Americans in the STEM discipline have increased, four Ph.D.s and six M.S. scholars have graduated, over $20 million has been secured in funding from various federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautical and Space Administration, Boeing, and Federal Emergency Management Agency, with more than $5 million given as a single Principle Investigator in research funding. He is an advocate of historically black colleges and universities, and land-grant institutions. Prior to his appointment as president, he served as provost and senior vice president of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida (2013-2016), provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida (2011-2013), and dean and director of 1890 land grant programs from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida (2008-2011). President Abdullah is a Chicago native who is the youngest African American to receive a Ph.D. and master’s degree from Northwestern University, and an undergraduate degree from Howard University in civil engineering. He serves as member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, and the 5000 Role Models of Excellence.
Associate Professor in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure
University of Florida
Bio : Jennifer Bridge is an Associate Professor in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure at the University of Florida. She heads the Smart Infrastructure Management Laboratory and is the deputy director of the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Experimental Facility at UF. Dr. Bridge’s research interests are in the area of structural dynamics with emphasis on structural health monitoring, wireless smart sensor networks, wind hazard mitigation, and full-scale bridge assessment. She strives to improve infrastructure monitoring strategies by utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to the development and application of novel sensors and sensing systems. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Florida Department of Transportation. Dr. Bridge received the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to study the impact of severe storms on coastal bridges and develop cyberinfrastructure tools for the observation of extreme events. Dr. Bridge received her B.S. degree from Texas Tech University and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor, joint appointment in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering
Director of Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Lab at Bowen Lab, Purdue University
Bio : Professor Shirley J. Dyke holds a joint appointment in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering, and is the director of Purdue's Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Lab at Bowen Lab. Her research focuses on the development and implementation of “intelligent” structures, and she her innovations encompass structural control technologies, structural health monitoring, real-time hybrid simulation, and machine learning and computer vision for structural damage assessment. Dyke was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from NSF (1998), the International Association on Structural Safety and Reliability Junior Research Award (2001) and the ANCRiSST Young Investigator Award (2006). She has also led many educational programs, including Research Experiences for Undergraduates, GK12, and the University Consortium on Instructional Shake Tables. She holds a B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1996. Dr. Dyke was the Edward C. Dicke Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and was on the faculty there from 1996 until 2009. She was the Co-leader for Information Technology for the NSF-funded Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) building a community-driven cyberinfastructure for the earthquake engineering community.
CSE Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering
University of Minnesota.
Bio : Carol Shield is a CSE Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She was a co-PI on the NSF funded award for the enhancement of academic women in earthquake engineering research. Her primary research interests are the use of composite materials in infrastructure and the behavior of prestressed-concrete structures.