Dr. Ellen Arruda is the Maria Comninou Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering with joint appointments as Professor of Biomedical Engineering, as well as Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen’s hobbies include running, cooking, and knitting. Running is one of her favorite ways to get exercise and generate great ideas for her work. She is a skilled sweater knitter who learned how to crochet from her mother and picked up knitting from her mother-in-law. Ellen studies the mechanical behavior of soft materials, including polymers, plastics, and soft tissues of the body. Her research group focuses on understanding how to design with soft materials so the materials don’t break in different applications, as well as how to design replacements for soft tissues in our bodies when they are damaged. She received her B.S. with Honors in Engineering Science and her M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. Ellen was awarded her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan afterwards in 1992. Ellen has received numerous awards and honors for her outstanding research, teaching, and service, including the Ann Arbor Spark Best of Boot Camp award, the Excellence in Research Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, the Cadell Memorial Award, the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University, the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, and the Trudy Huebner Service Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Mechanics, and the Society of Engineering Science. She was also named a Centennial Fellow of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University. She was also recently named a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Ellen joined us for an interview to discuss her experiences in her career, her life, and her engineering research.
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