Abie Award Winners, Educational Innovation in Honor of A. Richard Newton

Lisa Pruitt

2011 Winner of the A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award

Lisa Pruitt received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Materials Engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 1998. In 1993, Dr. Pruitt received her Ph.D. in engineering from Brown University in 1993.  She then joined the faculty of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. She is renowned for her work in orthopedic biomaterials, medical devices, and mechanical assessment of structural tissues. She recently co-authored a textbook entitled “Mechanics of Biomaterials: Fundamental Principles for Implant Design.” Dr. Pruitt is an advocate of engineering education and outreach through research experiences. Her research in biomaterials has served as the foundation for outreach education, service learning and mentoring activities.

In 2006 Professor Pruitt organized the first National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) on the Berkeley campus and remains the campus liaison for this nationally recognized program targeted at high school students interested in engineering. Professor Pruitt is the faculty advisor for the Engineering for Kids day at UC Berkeley, which brings in nearly 300 children to the campus for an annual daylong event of engineering activities with Berkeley undergraduates enrolled in the College of Engineering. For more than a decade she has worked closely with the Lawrence Hall of Science to develop interactive exhibits including The Human Body Shop, BodyBuilders, and Body by Design within the framework of her engineering courses that are targeted to the K-12 sector. She has received numerous awards for her mentoring and engineering education activities including the UC Berkeley Presidential Chairs Teaching Fellowship (2010), Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Student Instructors (2009), Lawrence Talbot Chaired Professorship in Engineering (2007), U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (2004), American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentoring Award, and Engineering Excellence and Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, awarded by the University of Rhode Island (1999).