STEM Shoutout: Dr. Vanessa Svihla

UNM research professor won Best Diversity Paper award for 2016

Dr. Vanessa Svihla is an assistant professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department at UNM. Along with colleagues Abhaya Datye, Jamie Gomez, Victor Law, and Sophia Bowers, Dr. Svihla submitted the paper “Mapping Assets of Diverse Groups for Chemical Engineering Design Problem Framing Ability” to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Their paper won an award during the ASEE Annual Conference in 2016.

“I gave a plenary talk at ASEE 2017 in honor of winning the Best Diversity Paper award for 2016,” Svihla said.


The Best Diversity Paper award was first implemented by ASEE in 2015. According to the ASEE website, this award “strives to enhance the visibility and sustainment of actions in support of diversity and engineering.”


Along with Dr. Svihla’s talk, this conference boasted of more than 400 technical sessions, which featured peer-reviewed papers across all disciplines of engineering and education, according to the ASEE website.

The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition took place on June 25-28, 2017, in Columbus Ohio.