DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Nandika D'Souza, University of North Texas Regents Professor of mechanical and energy engineering and associate dean of undergraduate studies in UNT's College of Engineering, has been named the 2015 Society of Women Engineers Distinguished Engineering Educator. The award is presented to educators who make significant contributions to the engineering field.
"The Society of Women Engineers has enabled students and professional engineers to develop the needed leadership skills to complement their educational excellence," D'Souza said. "Being nominated by the Dallas Section of SWE, where I serve as vice president for outreach, and having letters of support from two UNT SWE presidents, Britney Caldwell and Mayaria Johnson, my dean and a current student was very encouraging.
"UNT SWE past-presidents are leaders in a number of engineering companies, and the current group of officers are poised to build on the structured leadership that the past leaders have enabled," said D'Souza, who advises the student organization. "The future for women engineering students at UNT is bright. Enabling an educational environment where students of all races and genders can fulfill their potential requires a proactive approach from faculty, staff and students. Ensuring academic excellence and personal confidence in diverse populations can change the demographics of our leaders."
D'Souza has worked with undergraduate and graduate students in the area of failure analysis, viscoelasticity and material reliability. She is a Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers for her contributions to the field of polymers, composites, fibers, films and coatings. Her teaching and research focuses on mechanics and materials and how best to incorporate them reliably in design. She has recently focused on microelectronic packaging, biomedical surgical mesh, the creation of plant-based building materials and plant-based carbon fiber.
D'Souza has published more than 160 book chapters, journal articles and peer reviewed conference proceedings, and has earned numerous awards, including the UNT Research Leadership Award, UNT College of Engineering Research Award and Vinyl Division Thesis Award from the International Society of Plastics Engineers. She was named the 2009 Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Electronics and Photonics Packaging Division. She received the designation of UNT Regents Professor in 2015.
The Society of Women Engineers was established in 1950 and works to help women achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.