Getting to Know the New Dean of Engineering
Dr. Elaine Scott, Dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the University of Washington in Bothell, has been selected as the next Dean of the School of Engineering, beginning August 1, 2019! Deepa Arora, SCU Director of Media and Internal Communications, helps us get to know her through this Q&A.
What were the formative influences in your life that led to your becoming an engineer?
My dad was a high school shop teacher and a woodworker, and my mom was a social worker. They and their work both had a great influence on me becoming an engineer and an educator. They encouraged me to pursue my love of math and science through engineering, and laid the foundation for me to become a professor.
What advice do you have for students in college today?
Work hard in your studies! You are in the middle of a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, so take full advantage of it! Make sure you also take time to thank those who have provided you this opportunity, and to pave the way for those who come after you.
Three words that you would use to describe yourself?
Well, my family calls me the energizer bunny, so I have to say energetic as one of the words. I would also say that I am analytical and caring.
What's the favorite engineering project you worked on?
My favorite engineering project was working with NASA Langley on a heat transfer project for the X-33–a future shuttle that was, in the end, scrapped.
I also thoroughly enjoyed working with my colleagues to design and build out the new School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University–we had a lot of fun navigating the complexities of working between two distinctly different universities to create one academic unit.
What were you like as a student?
I had a tremendous amount of fun, but it required managing my time and being extremely well organized. Along with the work of being an active and engaged engineering student, I swam on the UC Davis women’s swim team and played on the women’s water polo team, which kept me quite busy!
What does it mean to study engineering at a Jesuit School?
The students have the opportunity, through their studies and beyond, to put the Jesuit mission into practice through engineering. The professional mission of engineering is to serve humanity, which falls right in line with the mission of SCU–to make the world a better place!
What excites you about your move to Santa Clara University, California, and the Silicon Valley?
Many things excite me about this move! Santa Clara University is already well known for its excellence. That and its ideal location in the heart of Silicon Valley provide many opportunities for collaboration and impact. Also, moving back to the Bay Area is coming home for me, and I am also very excited about that.