Beebe Named Black Trailblazer in Engineering (BTE) Fellow

Chanel Beebe, Purdue IE alumna and ENE graduate student, was named one of 19 inaugural fellows. The Black Trailblazers in Engineering was designed to give future Black faculty networking and professional development opportunities.

Purdue Engineering, the birthplace of both the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the nation’s first Women in Engineering program, and the home of Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart, and Lillian Gilbreth, is committed to building a diverse and successful national talent pool in engineering. BTE is a new initiative intended to increase the number and success of Black engineering faculty in the US, who in turn, will blaze new trails with discoveries, innovations and social impact and serve as role models for the next generation of engineers.

The goal of the BTE program at Purdue Engineering is to prepare future trailblazing faculty in engineering with a focus on preparing outstanding scholars who are also committed to increasing the success of black engineers. Those selected as BTE fellows attended a virtual four-day workshop, February 24 – 27, 2021, that provided opportunities for scientific interactions, career-oriented discussions, and networking.

The inaugural class of Black Trailblazers in Engineering (BTE) Fellows are PhD students or postdocs, in engineering or related disciplines at U.S. research universities, selected to participate in a four-day academic career workshop because of their academic merit and their interest in applying for faculty positions in the US. All BTE Fellows are expected to complete their PhD/postdoctoral appointments at U.S. universities in 2020 or 2021. The BTE Fellows program was designed to prepare future engineering faculty who are also committed to increasing the representation and success of black engineers.

See the BTE workshop agenda for information on discussion panels and keynote speaker events open to the public.

The School of Industrial Engineering had several key participants in the program, Dr. Brandon Pitts served as moderator and Dr. Toyya Pujol was a panelist in session, "Why Choose an Academic Career in Engineering?". Professor Dr. Barrett Caldwell was moderator for the PLENARY PANEL: Social Impact of Black Trailblazers in Engineering and the Department Head's Roundtable, "How to Interview, Negotiate Salary and Start-Up Package". In addition, Professor Caldwell and Abhijit Deshmukh, James J. Solberg Head and Tompkins Chair of Systems, School of Industrial Engineering, served as judges in the BTE Lightning Pitches round, where each BTE Fellow had four minutes to pitch their research.
Chanel Beebe received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in industrial and operations engineering in 2014 before earning a master’s degree in industrial engineering in 2020 from Purdue, where she remains, pursuing her PhD in engineering education. She has been involved with Purdue’s Black Cultural Center as a scholar in residence for the Black Thought Collective and has served as a Thought Leader for the Cultural Hackathon through the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA). Memberships have included the National Society of Black Engineers (vice president, finance chair) and Engineering Education Graduate Student Association (president). Since 2017, she has been the lead instructor for Detroit Design 2067 at the Detroit Historical Museum and is founder and CEO of Beebe Arts LLC, a Detroit-based art and research design solution firm. She was granted an Advanced Graduate Teaching Certificate from Purdue’s Center for Instructional Excellence (2019) and is completing a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. Her research efforts span two focus areas – culturally relevant in-service learning and systematic thinking in social problem-solving. As an aspiring professor, researcher and consultant, she plans to devote her career to service-driven incentives through the study of human experiences, and she will continue to mentor and serve as a role model to others looking for a self-empowered career path.
Beebe specializes in research topics at the intersection of socially engaged design, systems thinking, design thinking in education. We wish her well as she concludes her studies and prepares for a career in academics. Congratulations, Chanel!