Dr. Julie Ellis Speaks To GPS Students About A Woman's Perspective On Engineering

Thursday, January 10, 2013

GPS brought back one of its own to kick off the speaker series for the new Engineering Design & Application class. Dr. Julie Ellis ’75, professor and Engineering Department Chair at Western Kentucky University, discussed her experiences in the engineering world with a range of Upper School students. 

Dr. Ellis began with a question, “Why are you in an engineering class?” before telling her own story. A good student in math and science, she nevertheless went to college without a goal to be an engineer. After transferring to Georgia Tech to finish her undergraduate work, she had a co-op experience that led to an understanding of the “process” of engineering. That in turn led to industry work and a Ph.D. from Duke.  

"Communication is the critical key to engineering,” she said. “Engineering is a social science,” explained Dr. Ellis, “and the teamwork necessary” requires the ability to write and speak clearly, all skills she attributes to her years at GPS. “Working on teams with non-engineers requires clear communication.” 

Another attraction of engineering, she said, is “solving problems, real-life problems experienced by real-life people.” The “changing the world” possibilities are what draw women to the field, she said, although not yet in the numbers she thinks are necessary. 

Dr. Ellis concluded by challenging the students to consider the “grand challenges” identified by the National Academy of Engineering over the next few decades: energy from fusion, access to clean water, restoring urban infrastructure, engineering better medicine, and securing cyberspace, among others.


583 Millionaire Readers To Be Recognized At Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School

Hamilton County’s Read 20 Program is dedicated to creating a strong community of readers by promoting the importance of reading with children at least 20 minutes a day or more, officials said.  This year, eight elementary schools participated with 1,417 students reading above and beyond what is expected within the course of a school day; reading one million or more words ... (click for more)

Lee Student Releases Hebrew Study Book

Rosalyn Small finished her undergraduate degree at Lee University in Biblical and Theological Studies on May 7. One week earlier, her recently-published book, “What Are You Looking at?: A Bible Study Through the Names of the 12 Sons of Israel,” went up on Amazon.com, marking the culmination of her undergraduate studies at Lee and showing the depth of her ongoing scholarly pursuits.  ... (click for more)

Settlement May Be Close In Government's $1.8 Billion Case Against Cleveland, Tn.-Based Life Care Centers Of America

A settlement may be close in the federal government's massive False Claims Act case against Cleveland, Tn.-based Life Care Centers of America. Attorneys have asked Chattanooga Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to put a 30-day hold on depositions, saying a settlement is in the works. Judge Mattice granted the motion. The government says claims in the case amount to $1.8 billion. ... (click for more)

Erlanger Projecting $15.2 Million Profit In Aggressive "Growth Budget"

Erlanger Health Systems is projecting a $15.2 million profit in an aggressive "growth budget" for the upcoming fiscal year. President Kevin Spiegel, who has led the public hospital to a succession of profitable years, said the projections are based on a TennCare waiver being renewed once again. He said if it is not renewed, then the hospital will have to completely rework the ... (click for more)

Late-Night Harassment By The Signal Mountain Police - And Response (7)

I am writing about the misconduct of the Signal Mountain Police Department. This is a repetitive civil rights problem, systemic within their department, with no hint of remorse or regret or a notion to change, though they have been confronted numerous times.   I live on Signal Mountain. In the last few months, I have been pulled over three times while I was driving three ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Rod’s Catfish Dinner

It could well be the best part of playing a prank is in the delicious moments until your “fish” takes the hook. So yesterday afternoon, as I tried repeatedly to talk to a man I haven’t spoken to in 27 years, rather than leave my name I popped off the Happy Birthday song in a snappy, loud way and then ended it with a simple, “Call me,” adding my number. John “Hot Rod” Talley spent ... (click for more)