Alumna Rebecca Reck Impacting Others

Thursday, September 08, 2016
Rebecca Reck FI

Creative Young Educator: Rebecca (Johnson) Reck, an assistant professor at Kettering University, has developed an affordable and portable kit to improve student access to hands-on engineering laboratories.

Alumna Rebecca (Johnson) Reck spent the first decade of her engineering career showcasing the impact and importance of women in engineering, leading by example, and demonstrating that engineering can be a fulfilling career.

She designed control systems for business and regional jet aircraft as a senior systems engineer for Rockwell Collins. As a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she developed an affordable and portable kit to give college students access to hands-on engineering labs. She became an assistant professor of mechanical engineering earlier this year, at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan.

These are some of the reasons why Reck is being honored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) with the Distinguished New Engineer Award. It recognizes her technical performance and leadership within SWE and her community. She will be publicly highlighted during the organization's annual conference scheduled for October 28 in Philadelphia.

"The individuals acknowledged in this year's awards program have made a significant impact on their community as well as the engineering and technology community as a whole," says SWE President Jessica Rannow. "These leaders are who make it possible to remain a catalyst for change as we work together to empower women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and close the gender gap in engineering."

Reck, a 2005 Rose-Hulman electrical engineering graduate, has been a national, regional, and local SWE volunteer. She also has been a judge for Future Cities and FIRST Robotics events, and led STEM programming for the Boy Scouts of America and Girls Scouts of the USA.

At Kettering, Reck is teaching courses in dynamic systems and introduction to mechanical design.

"As I begin a new phase of my career, in academia, I hope to be able to make similar technical contributions to advance engineering education and help prepare my students to thrive as engineers and leaders in their career as well," Reck says.

SWE is the world's largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology.