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.



Student Essay Contest To Focus On Citizenship

 The Tennessee Secretary of State's office is kicking off its second annual student essay contest to encourage students to be actively engaged citizens. The essays will focus on citizenship with length requirements varying by grade level. Schools may submit two essays for kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade and ninth through ... (click for more)

Love For Lumberton Project At Chattanooga State

Before Hurricane Irma unleashed her fury, there was Hurricane Harvey, which heavily flooded Houston and the surrounding areas – among them was Lumberton, TX, a small town near Beaumont with just under 12,000 residents. The town, virtually underwater, is hometown to Associate Professor Erica Lux, who naturally was worried about her family and friends there. The flood waters have ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Asks Jury To Find Morse Guilty In Massacre At Lookout Valley RV Park

Prosecutor Cameron Williams on Tuesday asked a Criminal Court jury to find Derek Morse guilty of three counts of first-degree murder as well as attempted first-degree murder in a massacre at a Lookout Valley RV Park on April 9, 2014. Morse, who was 19 at the time, is standing trial in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman. Skyler Allen, who was 22 when the shots rang out, ... (click for more)

Defense Will Not Get Federal Witness In Trial Of Truck Driver Charged In Wreck That Killed 6 People

The federal government is resisting sending a lab technician from Oklahoma to Chattanooga for next week's trial of Benjamin Brewer, who is charged in the wreck at Ooltewah that claimed six lives. Mike Little of the public defender's office said the defense should be entitled to have a live witness, but he also said he did not want the trial delayed again. A jury was selected ... (click for more)

Tired Of Property Tax Increases

Why is it every time the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County want to raise money they have to punish the homeowners?  I'm sick of the few paying for the many.   If you want to be fair, I would not complain on a 1/2 cent local sales tax raise since everyone would have to contribute their fair share.  Or how about a wheel tax which would get everyone who owns ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where’s God In This?

Over half of Florida is still trying to catch its breath and now there is another murderer, one named Maria, mauling Puerto Rico this morning on her way to the United States. On August 25 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. It killed an estimated 50 people, displaced more than a million people and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of more than 300 miles. The bills haven’t been sent out ... (click for more)