UTM Research Series: ‘Women in STEM’ continues March 12

The University of Tennessee at Martin Research Series “Women in STEM” program continues at 4 p.m. March 12 in Room 124 of the Latimer-Smith Engineering and Science Building.

The event will be led by Dr. Ashley Owens, an assistant professor in the UTM Department of Engineering. It is open to the public and there is no admission.

Owens will provide an update on workshops presented during the summer of 2023 to introduce STEM high school educators to mechatronics, work skills and manufacturing automation.

The program, “Empowering Educators: Developing Mechatronics Workshops for High School Teachers,” will discuss the increased need for high school students to develop skills with robotics, particularly with the development of the Ford Motor Company’s BlueOval City facility in West Tennessee.

“If we expect area students to become interested in these career paths, we have to make sure their teachers understand the concepts, too,” Owens said.

“I will be discussing the mechatronics workshops I did with local high school teachers last summer. I will also discuss the trainer panels I designed and built for those workshops.”

Owens will utilize two robots from the UT Martin robotics lab in her talk and add visuals to the presentation.

A native of Martin, Tennessee, and a graduate of South Fulton High School, Owens graduated from UT Martin in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a concentration in mechanical engineering.

After her time at UTM, she attended the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma, where she earned her master’s degree in 2007.

“While at UTSI, I worked as a graduate research assistant and did my research on a GE J85 test engine that was provided by the Arnold Engineering Development Complex,” she said.

The GE J85 is a single-shaft turbojet engine and is one of General Electric’s most successful and longest-serving military jet engines.

Owens’ experience in engineering did not stop there. She continued her education to earn a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and engineering management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in August 2023.

The “Women in STEM” research series continues through May 9. Other events scheduled include:

• April 11: Dr. Violet Bumah of the Department of Chemistry and Physics

• May 9: Dr. Lily Pharris of the Department of Computer Science

For more information about the “Women in STEM” research series, contact Dr. Erik Nordberg, dean of the Paul Meek Library, at 731-881-7070.

Photo: Dr. Ashley Owens (left), assistant professor in the UTM Department of Engineering, will be the guest speaker in the March 12 program of the UTM Research Series: “Women in STEM.” Other scheduled speakers include Dr. Violet Bumah (center), assistant professor of chemistry, scheduled to speak on April 11, and Dr. Lily Pharris, lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, scheduled to speak on May 9.

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