Dr. Gilda Barabino seminar, 9th annual Amundson Lecture

Dr. Gilda Barabino, President of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, will deliver the 9th annual Amundson Lecture, "Impact-Centered Research and Education: View from a Chemical Engineer" on Thursday, April 13, 2023.

The Amundson Lecture was established to honor the tenets of Professor Neal R. Amundson in scholarship and innovation in the fields of chemical engineering and materials science. Amundson, department head from 1949-1974, was a visionary leader who pioneered the application of mathematics in chemical engineering.

The concept of impact-centered research and education is focused on creating real-world authentic impact in service of society and making the world a better place. It’s an approach that decenters the individual and develops an individual’s capacity for execution and completion in a manner that enables creating value in the world. Historically, as a discipline and as a profession, chemical engineering has been impactful, having helped transform society and improved the wellbeing of individuals and nations. In 1988, the National Academies published the report, “Frontiers in Chemical Engineering: Research Needs and Opportunities.” Commonly referred to as the “Amundson Report,” this landmark publication was instrumental in modernizing the field. Now some 35 years later, chemical engineering as it stands today and where it is best headed in the future, is addressed in the recent National Academies Report, “New Directions for Chemical Engineering.” This report recognizes chemical engineering as an enabling discipline with a bright future.

The continued evolution of chemical engineering in keeping with the ever-changing world landscape and increasingly complex global challenges, demands new and relevant approaches to research and education in order to sustain the long-term success and impact of the field. To that end, a focus on impact in preparing the next generation of well-equipped chemical engineers holds great promise.

This presentation will provide examples of impact-centered research and education and expound on the type of environment that fosters success.

Gilda A. Barabino is the second president of Olin College of Engineering. A chemical engineer by training, with broad interests in global health and interdisciplinary research and education, Dr. Barabino has pioneered new engineering approaches to problems in medicine. Her seminal research in sickle cell disease has informed current technologies and formed the basis for novel therapies. She is a passionate advocate for health equity and leads national efforts to engage engineers in the development of solutions to health disparities. 

Prior to becoming president of Olin College, Dr. Barabino served as Dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York and held appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering as well as at the City University of New York School of Medicine. There she established the Master’s in Translational Medicine program, which addresses unmet clinical needs through the integration of engineering, medical innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Barabino has also held academic and administrative appointments at Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and Northeastern University. At Georgia Tech, she served as the inaugural vice provost for academic diversity, and at Northeastern, she served as vice provost for undergraduate education. She is an internationally recognized thought leader and highly sought-after speaker and consultant on race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering, with a particular focus on creating cultures and climates that support a sense of belonging. She has led a number of initiatives in these areas, including serving as the founder and executive director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity. 

In recognition of her visionary leadership and outstanding professional achievement, Dr. Barabino has received many of the highest honors in academia. In 2021, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. 

Dr. Barabino leads on a global stage. She is the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest interdisciplinary scientific society. In advancing science, engineering and innovation, she and AAAS are committed to science for and by all and engineering for everyone. 

Dr. Barabino received a B.S. from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Ph.D. from Rice University.


Start date
Thursday, April 13, 2023, 1:25 p.m.
End date
Thursday, April 13, 2023, 2:30 p.m.

B75 Amundson Hall