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Laura Bottomley  

Director of Women in Engineering & The Engineering Place at NC State University

Laura Bottomley is the Director of The Engineering Place for K-20 Engineering as well as the Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach Programs for the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. In her role at The Engineering Place, she conducts research on effective professional development for K-12 engineering education, teaching and learning of engineering in K-20 education, and mechanisms for integrated STEM teaching and learning in formal and informal classrooms.

Co-author of engineering guidelines for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Bottomley delivers professional development workshops for in-service teachers and principals in K-12, reaching approximately 3000 teachers in the 2012-2013 academic year. In addition, she delivers engineering-based integrated STEM lessons in K-12 classrooms and supervises engineering summer camps and other outreach activities for grades K-12. Bottomley is also a Teaching Associate Professor in Elementary Education and in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She designed and teaches both a required engineering class for elementary education majors and the Introduction to Engineering class for first-year engineering students, and she also teaches electrical engineering courses.

Bottomley graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering in 1984 and 1985 respectively. She spent two years at AT&T Bell Laboratories, before returning to school at NC State for her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering. She has also taught at Duke University, where she began her work in K-12 Outreach while teaching undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering courses. Since then, she has consulted with Lockheed Martin, IBM, MCNC and others before eventually originating her current position in the Office Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at NC State.

Bottomley is a senior member of IEEE, a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, a faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers at NC State, a member of the steering committee for the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment in technological literacy and a frequent guest speaker for various groups. She has been inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women for her work in empowering women and eliminating racism. The combined Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach Program under her tutelage received the institutional President’s Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2000. In 2009, Bottomley received the individual President’s Award for Excellence. Also in 2009, IEEE honored her with the Educational Activities Board Informal Education Award.

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