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Christine Caragianis Broadbridge, Ph.D., professor of physics and executive director of research and innovation at Southern Connecticut State University, has been appointed vice president of the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering. Broadbridge will serve as vice president through June 30, 2020, with the Council’s recommendation that her name be submitted for election by the membership for President (2020 – 2022) and Past President (2022 – 2024).

Broadbridge began her faculty career at Trinity College. In 1998, she was appointed Visiting Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Yale University and in 2000 joined the Physics Department at Southern. She has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on ten National Science Foundation projects and a researcher on many others, including grants from NASA, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Broadbridge participated in the establishment and is a researcher and education director for the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) at Yale/SCSU and is the director for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Center for Nanotechnology. Throughout her career she has implemented numerous industry workforce initiatives, most recently BioScience Academic and Career Pathway Initiative (BioPath) and the New Haven Manufacturer’s Association Summer Teachers’ Institute.

An active member of the Academy since her election in 2008, she chairs the Membership Committee, serves on the Development and Advocacy Committee, and was elected to the Council in 2016.

“I am honored to continue working with such a distinguished and dedicated group of scientists and engineers from Connecticut’s academic, industrial, and public sector communities,” said Broadbridge. “The work that the Academy does adds value to the state of Connecticut from promoting science education for K-12 students and the citizens of Connecticut to providing expert advice on issues of science and technology.”

Broadbridge has a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from Brown University. At Brown, she conducted research in the fields of materials science, physics and nanotechnology. Selected awards include the 2006 Connecticut Technology Council’s Woman of Innovation Award for Academic Leadership and the 2014 Connecticut Materials and Manufacturing Professional of the Year Award. Broadbridge was a Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Honoree in 2008 for Outstanding Women of Science in Academia and was a Connecticut Science Center STEM Achievement Award nominee in 2016. She is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma and Tau Beta Pi (national honor societies for physics and engineering respectively).

The Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 institution patterned after the National Academy of Sciences to provide expert guidance on science and technology to the people and to the state of Connecticut, and to promote the application of science and technology to social and economic well being. The Academy’s 400+ members include leading scientists, physicians, engineers, and mathematics who are experts in a wide range of science and technology-related fields.

    During the summer, area science and math teachers got a lesson from manufacturing experts in how those disciplines are intertwined with the needs of business and industry.

    The third annual Materials and Manufacturing Summer Teachers Institute – a three-day program that brings together academic and industrial leaders in an effort to better prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers – was launched at Southern, where about 20 teachers participated in a day of activities. The next two days were conducted at other locations.

    State Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell delivered the keynote address. Other speakers included James Gildea, a representative of Bigelow Tea; Christine Broadbridge, SCSU director of STEM initiatives and co-director of the summer institute, and Bob Klancko, co-director of the summer institute, and chairman of the New Haven Manufacturing Association Workforce Development Committee. Stephen Hegedus, dean of the SCSU School of Education, and Robert Forbus, associate professor of marketing and assistant to the dean of the School of Business at SCSU, also were among the array of speakers throughout the day.

    Industry product demonstrations were conducted to show how STEM is applied in manufacturing. The demonstrations included taking a hunk of zinc and turning it into a cast/machined product, and converting a steel cylinder into a high tech bolt/screw.

    “It was a terrific learning opportunity for teachers to see just how valuable STEM is in 21st century manufacturing,” Broadbridge said. “One of the primary objectives of the institute is for those teachers to take this knowledge and awareness, and develop innovative teaching methods to help inspire and prepare middle and high school students for STEM-related fields.”

    The institute was a collaborative effort that included SCSU; the New Haven Manufacturers Association; Platt Technical High School in Milford; the Southern Connecticut chapter of ASM; the SCSU Office for STEM Innovation and Leadership (STEM-IL); CRISP (Center for Research on the Interface Structures and Phenomena at Yale University and SCSU). Peter Dimoulas, a science teacher at Career High School in New Haven, was presented an award from the institute for his efforts to promote STEM. He participated in the first year of the program.

    “He has exemplified what our institute is all about – learning more about the practical applications of STEM in industry, and then taking that awareness and creating opportunities for students to see for themselves the possibilities available to them using STEM,” Broadbridge said.

    “Peter is also linking manufacturing with important life science fields, including biotechnology. STEM-IL is pleased to be sponsoring his work this summer.”

    Dimoulas has created a half-year course at Career called “STEM Careers,” in which students will be able to go to local businesses to see what life is like for chemists, biologists, machinists, engineers and other science-based professionals.