Susannah Howe, PH.D.
Design Clinic Director
Susannah Howe coordinates and teaches the Design Clinic, the two-semester capstone course in which senior engineering students collaborate in teams on applied design projects sponsored by industry and government.
Her current research focuses on innovations in engineering design education, particularly at the capstone level, and she is leading initiatives to build the capstone design community nationally. She is also involved with efforts to foster design learning in middle school students and to support entrepreneurship at primarily undergraduate institutions.
Howe received her B.S.E. from Princeton University in Civil Engineering and Operations Research (1996), with a concentration in structures and mechanics. At Cornell University, she earned her design-based M.Eng. (1998) and Ph.D. (2000) in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the sub-area of structural engineering. For her doctoral work, she developed an experimental program to analyze the hydration and microstructure of concrete materials.
Following her Ph.D., Howe combined her teaching and research interests with her enthusiasm for administrative endeavors, developing the laboratory component for a course in the civil and environmental engineering department, while working in human resources and professional development in the College of Engineering, both at Cornell University. She continued these multiple pursuits at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, teaching in the civil and environmental engineering department and working for the Women in Engineering Program.
Howe was excited to join the Picker Engineering team and assist in the training of bright women through an innovative curriculum and varied educational approach. She feels that armed with a broad engineering background, an integrated liberal arts perspective, and hands-on design experience, Smith engineering graduates will be well positioned to make a tremendous impact on the field of engineering and become leaders in society.
Outside of work, Howe supports her passion for music by playing multiple instruments, though not usually simultaneously. She also enjoys running, reading, and paper crafts. She lives with her husband Nick, a professor of computer science at Smith, their kids Ben and Rowan, and their dog Indy in Florence.