Engineering at Smith
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Our accomplished and capable Class of 2018!


In 2004, Smith College made history when 19 women graduated as part of the first class of engineers ever from an all-women’s ABET-accredited engineering program. The reasons for starting an engineering program at an all-women’s college are compelling. As a creative endeavor at the intersection of design, science, and mathematics, engineering draws on nearly all aspects of the human experience, including our history, politics, economics, arts, and societal aspirations. The work of engineers both exacerbates and offers solutions to some of our gravest societal problems, including climate change, disease, resource limitations, and conflict.

Despite its central importance in society, engineering stands virtually alone as a professional degree with a small and declining participation by women. The Picker Engineering Program addressed this problem by utilizing the resources and expertise of a women’s college to create a positive learning environment for women to study engineering. The program also supports women by creating a supportive learning community, developing a flexible curriculum, providing female role models, including societal contexts in problem solving and using pedagogies that increase engagement.


The Picker faculty has developed an engineering program that responds to the challenges facing engineering education. Fundamental to the program is its setting in a liberal-arts environment in which students learn to contextualize engineering in the framework of bigger societal questions and to think in different ways as they collaborate on interdisciplinary teams. The program is also learner-centered in both its curriculum and pedagogy. Students work closely with faculty to design individualized plans of study that address both their learning goals and the technical requirements of the profession. Finally, throughout the program faculty apply research-based pedagogy to help students develop deep and integrated understanding of engineering concepts and the ability to work creatively with ideas to generate new theories, products and knowledge.

News & Events

Engineering Forums

All Forums are located in Ford Hall 240 and are held from 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm, unless otherwise noted. Food will be served at these events, and attendees are invited to bring their own beverage.

Academic Year 2018 - 2019



October 18th:  Presentation of the Engineering Major

October 25th: Study Abroad Information Session


Career Opportunities

Each month the Lazarus Center for Career Development publishes a Career Engineering Newsletter with opportunities for engineering students.

Engineering in the News


What did you do in classs today?  If you are in Paul Voss' EGR 374 Fluid Mechanics class, you launched rockets today.  Check out this video


This summer, Professor Glenn Ellis was awarded an NSF grant of $1,391,638 to work on his project: "Collaborative Research: Design and Development of Transmedia Narrative-Based Curricula to Engage Children in NGSS and Engineering Design".


In Feburary 2018, Zin Min Ave '13, Celeste To '13, Phoebe DeGroot '13, and Andrew J. Ranz of Dresser-Rand Company were granted a United States Patent for their Self-Centering Labyrinth Seal invention.


Professor Guswa took his EGR100 Engineering for Everyone class on a tour of the Historic Mill River as captured in this video.


Check out the Daily Hampshire Gazette's article Smith College forum focuses on women in construction.  The fourm was moderated by Professor Susannah Howe.


Vicoria Schein '16 on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt


Sarah Chu '19 represent for Smith College as she and students from other institutions worked on TechEDSat-6:  NASA to Test Advanced Space Wireless Network and Device for Returning Small Spacecraft to Earth.


Can't head down to Florida to see Gracie Hackenberg '18 race?  No Problem!  The race will be streaming here. [October 2017]


Our very own Gracie Hackenberg '18 is in The Wall Street Journal:  A Built-It-Herself Race Car Takes On the Track [October 2017]


Gracie Hackenberg '18 and a team of Smith students are featured in Autoweek: Smith College engineering students gear up to go racing [August 2017]


Check out Victoria Shein '16 featured in Circa: This 23-year-old Ford engineer already has nine patents. Did we mention she doesn't drive? [July 2017]


Victoria Shein '16 is featured again; this time in TheStreet's new series, #AlphaRising. Watch the episode here: Ford Has a 23-Year-Old Whiz Kid Helping to Shape Its Future. [July 2017]


Victoria Shein '16 is featured in Bloomberg Technology: Detroit is Trying Really Hard to Woo Young Workers. [May 2017]


Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs! Sarah Price '18 and Katie Christensen '19 won Audience Favorite for Sanitary Solutions. [April 2017]


Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGTED) is a student-run event and was a huge success this year: Eureka Moments: Engineering Event Draws Middle-Schoolers to Campus. [March 2017]


Jocelyn Yax '18, Amelia Wagner '20, and Jasmine Pacheco-Ramos '19 participated in the AEESP (Association of Environmental and Engineering & Science Professors) student video competition. You can watch the video here.[January 2017]


Check out this Huffington Post article featuring Lydia Bussiere '12, now employed as a Service Engineering Project Manager for a fuel cell manufacturer. [December 2016]


Congratulations to our students featured in Grecourt Gate: "Creative Teamwork: Smithies Design 'Parklets' for Downtown Northampton". [December 2016]


Susannah Howe, senior lecturer and director of the design clinic in engineering, has been awarded a $65,196 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled "Collaborative Research: From School to Work: Understanding the Transition from Education Capstone Design to Industry." The multi-institutional study is a collaboration between faculty at Virginia Tech, University of Colorado Boulder, New Mexico Tech, and Smith College. The goal of the study is to understand and improve how engineering capstone design courses prepare students to effectively enter communities of practice in engineering workplaces. [November 2016]


Associate Professor Denise McKahn is featured in an Insight News Article: Hello Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Goodbye Batteries. [September 2016]


Associate Professor Paul Voss helps start the conversation about sensible drone laws. Read his op-ed published on The Conversation. [April 2016]



For more Engineering in the News please visit News & Events.