From Alice, Texas to Beirut, Lebanon and Everything in Between: Lessons I Have Learned as a Student, Faculty Member, and a Woman in Engineering: Russell Severance Springer Colloquium

Seminar | November 14 | 4-5 p.m. | 3110 Etcheverry Hall

 Dr. Janet Ellzey, Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Foundation Centennial Teaching Fellow, University of Texas at Austin

 Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME)

Abstract: Dr. Janet Ellzey, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Foundation Centennial Teaching Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, was born in a small town in South Texas, received her undergraduate and MS degrees at UT Austin, and her PhD at UC Berkeley in 1985. In the course of her career, she has embraced an array of opportunities ranging from conducting combustion research to leading international efforts at the University of Texas and finally to developing a program in humanitarian engineering. As one of the first women in mechanical engineering, she brings a unique perspective on challenges and opportunities in academics and beyond. In this lecture, Dr. Ellzey will share her experiences and discuss lessons she learned along the path from a childhood in South Texas to a PhD at Berkeley and ultimately to her recent collaboration with the Lebanese Red Cross.

Biography: Dr. Ellzey has an excellent record of accomplishment in teaching, research and professional service. She specializes in combustion and has been a faculty member of the Thermal/Fluid Systems area of the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1990. She currently conducts research on environmental technologies such as low-emissions combustors and fuel reformers. Dr. Ellzey was the winner of the 2005 Women in Engineering Student Advocate Award and she, along with her co-authors, received the Best Paper Award from the 2nd International ASME Conference on Energy Sustainability in 2008. In 2004, she created International Engineering Education (IEE), which develops study abroad programs for engineering students. She led IEE in her capacity as the Associate Director of the Chair of Free Enterprise and then as Assistant Dean until 2009. From 2009 to 2017, she was Vice Provost for International Programs and head of the International Office. In 2011, she was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2017, she was elected to the Inaugural Class of Fellows of the Combustion Institute.

Dr. Ellzey is actively engaged in developing programs for engineering students to apply their skills to marginalized or low-income communities. In 2009, in collaboration with Dr. James T. O’Connor in Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, she launched Projects with Undeserved Communities, a 3-course sequence in which teams of engineering and social work students partner with rural communities around the world to solve technical challenges. In 2017, she launched a Certificate in Humanitarian Engineering, and in 2018, she piloted a collaboration with an international humanitarian organization to design products for refugee camps., 510-642-4901