Alice Agogino: Diversity by Design


Article posting in 150 Years of Innovation: As Berkeley Engineering celebrates a century and a half of making our mark on history, we’re highlighting people with the pioneering spirit, creative energy and social responsibility that characterize the college.

Fittingly, Alice Agogino’s research group — the BEST Lab (Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities/Energy and Sustainable Technologies/Expert Systems Technologies Lab), is an amalgam of research reflecting her wide-ranging expertise and interests. The only thing the lab lacks in its name is Agogino’s reputation as a mentor. Whether it’s helping undergraduates design robots for space, or advising graduate students as they launch careers in development engineering, one thread running through Agogino’s career is the drive to make engineering more diverse and inclusive.

In 2015, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers honored Agogino, the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes professor of mechanical engineering, with the the group’s Outstanding Design Educator Award. The honor cited her “tireless efforts in furthering engineering design education, including curriculum changes that blend cutting-edge design topics with state-of-the-art educational practices; promoting wide-ranging interaction between industry and students; performing game-changing design research and mentoring the next generation of designers, educators, researchers and engineers.”