Woman of the Week: Ann Anderson


Ann Anderson, Agnes S. Macdonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering Director of Energy Studies

Marcy Forti, Staff Writer

This week’s Woman of the Week is Ann Anderson, one of Union’s Agnes S. Macdonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of Energy Studies, and the co-principal investigator of the Aerogel Lab.

Anderson was nominated by Sri Teja Mangu, one of the Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistants in the mechanical engineering department. Mangu states “Professor Anderson is a wonderful teacher, supervisor and definitely someone you can look up to. From her expert guidance as a PI of the aerogel lab to witty jokes, she does it all!”

Anderson states that her proudest accomplishments are “both professional and personal. Professionally, I’m proud of being named the first Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering in recognition of my accomplishments. Personally,  I’m proud of my children who have grown up and found careers that they are passionate about. And then there are more mundane things that I am proud of – like fixing the hot press in the lab so we could make more aerogels!”

Anderson is passionate about “working with undergraduates on research projects,” stating, “Prof Mary Carroll and I started the interdisciplinary Aerogel Lab 18 years ago. Over 140 students have worked with us on a range of really interesting research projects – many of which were inspired by their ideas. As an undergraduate, I did not have an opportunity to get involved in research so I love being able to provide that experience for Union students.”

Anderson looks up to “[her] many colleagues at Union. This past year has been hard on everyone and I am so impressed with the ways that my colleagues have adapted their teaching styles, learned to teach on-line and gone to extreme measures to make sure they still connect with the students.”

On the topic of women at Union, Anderson stated, “I was the first female professor hired into the mechanical engineering department at Union back in 1992. It has been wonderful to see other women join the department and even better to see more female students in the classroom. Women are underrepresented in the mechanical engineering field so I try to be a good role model for all of my students.”