Dr. Laura Bottomley, director of The Engineering Place and Women in Engineering at the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, was named Tech Educator of the Year during the NC TECH Association’s annual NC TECH Awards program.
Additionally, Chloe Hawes and Cynthia Rios, both first-year engineering students at NC State, received the Betsy Y. Justus Founders Scholarship from the association during the awards ceremony, held Nov. 21, 2019.
The Tech Educator of the Year award honors “an individual (e.g. teacher, administrator, counselor, etc.) that has demonstrated innovation and effectiveness in the use of technology to educate students, and/or has been effective in driving interest among students in pursuing technology fields.”
Bottomley founded the K-12 outreach program The Engineering Place in 1999, and is responsible for its oversight and strategic operations. She is also a frequent creative contributor to program content and holds primary responsibility for funding, operation and personnel. Bottomley also directs the Women in Engineering program, advises students and teaches the E 101 Introduction to Engineering and Problem-Solving class
for first-year students in the College.
She holds a joint appointment with the College of Education and teaches ELM 340, a required class in engineering for elementary education majors.
Bottomley, who came to NC State in 1997, has been inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women for her work in empowering women within the engineering community. In 2000, she was among the College’s representatives as it received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). In 2009, she received an individual PAESMEM for her mentoring and outreach efforts with the Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach Programs. In 2013, she was named one of NC State’s 125 Transformational Women. She is a Fellow of IEEE and the American Society for Engineering Education.
She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from NC State.
Hawes, from Asheville, NC, intends to major in mechanical engineering at NC State. Rios, from Garner, NC, intends to major in computer science.
The Justus scholarship was named for NC TECH Association’s founding CEO to support young women in North Carolina who pursue an academic and career path in technology and/or engineering. Every year, two students are selected to receive the $4,000 scholarship ($1,000 per year) and a personal computer provided by Lenovo.