ABIE Award Winners, Denice Denton

Naomi Chesler

2008 Winner of the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award

Naomi Chesler was recently promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, where she also holds affiliate appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Clinical Medicine. She completed her BS degree in General Engineering at Swarthmore College and then earned her MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical and Medical Engineering, respectively, at MIT.

In her research, Naomi takes an engineering approach to clinically relevant cardiovascular problems including pulmonary hypertension, impaired uterine vascular remodeling in pregnancy and age-related arterial stiffening. Overall, she is interested in the ways in which arterial mechanical properties change in states of health and disease, the ways in which arterial mechanics affect blood flow dynamics and the ways in which altered blood flow affects organ (lung, uterus, heart) function. She has published 16 high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts in these areas and been funded by the American Heart Association, Whitaker Foundation, NSF and NH.

Naomi is also committed improving mentoring for women in engineering both theoretically with scholarly work and practically by designing mentoring programs, starting peer-mentoring groups, and the like. She has published her scholarly work in the Journal of Engineering Education, Journal of Women in Minorities in Science and Engineering and presented findings at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN) national meetings. She is also a founding member of the national Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Committee on Diversity, which is actively engaged in increasing visibility and success of women and under-represented minorities in Biomedical Engineering.

Naomi’s enthusiasm about teaching engineering is evidenced by her strong student evaluations and teaching awards. She hopes to inspire young women and men to use their engineering knowledge to solve problems in engineering, medicine and biology and become leaders in the field.

Last but not least, in addition to being a researcher, mentor, and teacher, Naomi is also a wife and mother. She has two young daughters (aged 2 and 4) who keep her life very full — very busy and very satisfying.