- BS Metallurgical and Materials Engineering 1980
- MS Metallurgical and Materials Engineering 1982
- PhD Metallurgical and Materials Engineering 1991
Barbara earned a bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1980 and a master's degree in 1982. She then later completed her PhD in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science in 1991 from Michigan Tech.
In 1986, Barbara worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) in the Materials Science Department as an Instructor/Materials Scientist. In 1988 she joined the Metallurgy and Ceramics Division of the Ames Laboratory USDOE on the campus of Iowa State University, where her research included materials forming and the fundamentals of metal fracture. Her industry experience includes working at 8VA Corporation (Ames, Iowa) as a General Manager from 1994-2003 and included working with thermal management components and metal parts forming.
In 2007, she became a Michigan Tech faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department in the School of Technology. Barbara's classes include Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, and Heat Transfer. Her research interests are thermal management materials and forming, fracture evaluation of crystalline materials, and powder processing.
Additionally, Barbara is very involved with the Enterprise Program and serves as a faculty advisor to the “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” (FIRST) Robotics Enterprise, as well as to the Michigan Tech Student Mentors for High School and Middle School FIRST Robotics teams. The mission of FIRST Robotics Enterprise is to link grade school, college, and professional organizations through the development of robotic technology and to stimulate grade school students' interest in the fields of science and technology via robotic education and competition.
A few of Barbara's notable accomplishments include 28 publications and 6 patents. She also is the recipient of several awards: the Outstanding Mentor award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science for her work mentoring a student in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (2007); the Small Business Administration Tibbett's Award, nominated by the State of Iowa for development of thermal management accessories under an Army SBIR contract (1998); and the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award and the R&D 100 Award, both from the High Pressure Gas Atomization of Permanent Magnet Alloys (1991).
Her civic and community involvement includes serving as a referee for FIRST Lego League Competition at Schools; demonstrating Periodic Table Element materials to middle schools; judging projects at the State of Iowa Science Fair; conducting the “Road Less Traveled” outreach workshops to thousands of middle and high school girls from around the state of Iowa; and demonstrating Funtivities (designed science and engineering based modules) at Boys and Girls Clubs and local science classes. Also noteworthy, Barbara served as U.S. House of Representatives Page in 1975.
Barbara and her husband, Tom (an '80, '83, and '86 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering grad), live in Ames, Iowa. They have a son, Scott and a daughter, Nicole.
In 2010, in recognition of her significant achievements, Barbara was inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae.
This profile appeared in the 2010 Presidential Council of Alumnae induction program.