Head of NSF’s Directorate of Engineering discusses diversity and research at FIU

Listening, learning and wanting to serve, Susan Margulies, head of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate of Engineering, led a discussion at the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) Wednesday about diversity and inclusion in education and research.

“Engineering has a big road ahead in truly addressing diversity, inclusion and belonging,” Margulies said to a group of students and faculty. “I think this is the perfect setting for me to listen and learn about paths that have been successful, the paths that are still challenging and your thoughts about translation to other campuses.”

NSF’s budget for engineering research was $767 million in 2021, Margulies said. She hoped to hear about ways that the engineering community could unleash opportunities for more people.

“You have something very special here,” Margulies said.

In the spring of 2022, more than 60 percent of College of Engineering and Computing students were Hispanic and 10 percent were Black. At the same time, FIU’s NSF-funded expenditures for projects with a principal investigator housed in CEC totaled more than $60 million in the last five years.

During the discussion, a question was raised to students: From your experience, how might more people in underrepresented groups get into engineering?

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