Alice Agogino Wins 2020 Athena Award for Academic Leadership

Alice M. Agogino, BEST Lab Director, Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering and CEO of Squishy Robotics, wins the 2020 Athena Award for Academic Leadership. The award will be presented on March 6, 2020 at the Reimagining Cybersecurity for All Symposium in Berkeley. 

The WITI@UC Athena Awards recognize those who embody, encourage, and promote the inclusion of women in technology. Awardees will be leaders who inspire others to pursue and persist in technical careers by way of their outstanding contributions, and their service and mentorship to foster inclusion in the field. The Academic Leadership Award recognizes senior leaders in academia or national labs who have a demonstrated record of accomplishment and have encouraged or mentored young scholars or colleagues.

Award citation: Alice M. Agogino is the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Agogino directs the BEST Lab, which conducts research at the intersection of cutting-edge frontiers in design research, computational design, sustainability, gender equity, human-machine cognition, supervisory control, soft robotics, sensor fusion, design research, and intelligent learning systems. She works with 50 San Francisco Bay Area companies and nonprofits on technology research in product design and sustainability and has authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications. She is also the CEO of Squishy Robotics, which develops rapidly deployable mobile sensing robots for disaster rescue, remote monitoring, and space exploration. Their emergent technologies combine robotics, mobile sensing, machine learning, big data fusion, and smart IoT (Internet of Things).

With the understanding that good intentions will not create change, Agogino has worked tirelessly to structure active programs to reduce barriers for women in science and engineering. In 2012, Alice received the AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award for efforts to significantly increase the number of women in the mechanical engineering field. She received the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in 2006 for building an equitable and diverse learning environment. She co-authored the National Academies study on Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Science, Engineering, and Medical Workplaces (2018); From Science to Business: Preparing Female Scientists and Engineers for Successful Transitions into Entrepreneurship (2012); and Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering (2007). Agogino has won numerous teaching, research, outreach, and mentoring awards, most recently the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2018.