Alleyne honored for advocating for women engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has recognized MechSE Professor Andrew Alleyne for his impact on the engineering community with Advocating Women in Engineering Award. He will be presented with the award at SWE’s annual conference in Austin, Texas, in October.
Alleyne was one of five honorees of the competitive award—and the only recipient in higher education—for his work to recruit women faculty and students to MechSE. His efforts, both as chair of the department’s Faculty Recruiting Committee and as an Associate Head of the Undergraduate Programs Office, helped dramatically elevate the number and role of women in mechanical engineering at Illinois. He also actively advocates for and recruits women and other underrepresented minorities to his own research group.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. I am honored to have Andrew as a colleague and feel fortunate for all he is doing to make our department a better place for women to work,” said Professor Naira Hovakimyan, who nominated Alleyne for the award.
The award also recognizes Alleyne’s continuing dedication to SWE’s mission – striving to highlight the impact and importance of women in engineering across the globe, leading by example, and demonstrating that a career in engineering can be a fulfilling, rewarding pursuit for women of any background.
“The individuals acknowledged in this year’s awards program have made a significant impact on their community as well as the engineering and technology community as a whole,” said Jonna Gerken, president of SWE. “These leaders are who make it possible to remain a catalyst for change as we work together to empower women in STEM and close the gender gap in engineering.”
Alleyne is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor in MechSE. He is the principal investigator of the $18.5 million NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), which is tackling the thermal and electrical challenges surrounding mobile electronics and vehicle design as a single system. He is consistently ranked excellent by his students (top 10 percent) for classroom instruction.
“I feel truly fortunate to work in an organization that values gender diversity and understands that it can be synonymous with technical excellence,” Alleyne said. “The leadership across the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois realizes diversity is part of our own vested interests as a top program.”
He earned his master’s and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992 and 1994, and joined MechSE as an assistant professor in August 1994.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE offers opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy, and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives.