MechSE launches DEI funding initiative


Julia Park

The Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering has launched a new funding initiative as part of its larger efforts to move the department toward an increasingly diverse and inclusive (DEI) community that is open, just, and welcoming for everyone. 

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative aims to fund student and staff expenditures such as travel to attend DEI conferences, school recruitment and benchmarking visits to help improve current DEI efforts, and company enrichment and educational visits for students to build corporate networks.

“I believe we must accelerate and sustain our progress and we simply must do more. I believe we need to inject this effort into every aspect of our departmental function and be willing to invest in it,” said MechSE Department Head Tony Jacobi.

Over the past several decades, MechSE has made significant progress improving DEI. Earlier this year, the department created a new MechSE Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in its effort to lead in important areas such as the excellence and impact of undergraduate programs, the depth of scholarship central to graduate programs and research, and in fostering a culture where everyone is empowered to reach their full potential as a citizen of MechSE. Professor Geir Dullerud, who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, was named the inaugural Director of the MechSE Office of DEI.

“DEI-related goals and initiatives for a long time have been important to MechSE and its community, and we are now accelerating our commitment and formalizing our organizational structures to better serve DEI goals and improvement. It is a very exciting and inspiring time, and we believe this new MechSE office explicitly devoted to DEI will strengthen and propel the department to a new level of positive outcomes,” Dullerud said.   

Find more information on University of Illinois and Grainger College of Engineering DEI work >>