Our community represents different races, cultures, philosophies, disabilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, geography, genders and sexual orientations. We believe that full representation from our community contributes to innovation, enhanced education, engagement, excellence and meaning in all our pursuits. We aim to ensure that our students, faculty and staff are not being penalized by any form of discrimination and racism. We strive to confront widespread and systemic inequalities and biases by considering their causes and defining steps to address their impact in our community and globally.

McKelvey Engineering Goals & Initiatives

The MEMS department supports the goals articulated below and on the
McKelvey School of Engineering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion webpage.

  • Create and maintain a culture that integrates and advances diversity throughout all levels of the school — from people, initiatives and ideas to policies, curriculum and beyond
  • Become a national higher education leader in embracing and supporting a diverse, open and inclusive environment
  • Ensure that all members of our community are able to achieve their full professional and academic potential
  • Emphasize diversity when recruiting faculty, staff and students
  • Support student organizations' diversity initiatives

Learn more about McKelvey's Goals & Initiatives

University-Wide Commitment

The MEMS department joins the university in its commitment to justice and racial equity.

We will listen and engage to work toward mission-oriented action that makes our university and our city a beacon of justice to the world.

Learn more about the university's commitment

Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


The Academy was created for staff and faculty members, to become the university’s ‘primary forum for changing climate and culture’ by housing diversity and inclusion resources, including training resources, support for campus affinity groups, and annual events and recognition ceremonies.

Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion


The Center for Diversity and Inclusion supports and advocates for undergraduate, graduate and professional students from underrepresented and/or marginalized populations, creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community partners, and promotes dialogue and social change among all students.

Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF)


MEMS coordinates a schoolwide summer research program focused on enhancing participation of undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds in research.  The WUSEF program description and application materials can be found here.

Future Leaders in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)


Our faculty and students are encouraged to participate and engage in the Future Leaders in MAE. This nationwide online seminar series highlights research contributions by graduate students and postdocs from groups that are underrepresented among mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering faculties.

SafeZones Training


SafeZones Training for Faculty and Staff offers faculty, graduate teaching assistants and staff inclusivity training to promote safer and more secure living, learning and research environments for WashU’s LGBTQIA* students.

Student Profiles

"What worked for me was trying a bunch of new things, seeing what stuck, and doing a review every so often to see if something is still worth my attention and if there's something else I could try instead."

Jonathan Smith

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science 
Degree pursuing: BS in mechanical engineering
Hometown: Albany, New York

"Professors have so much knowledge they are willing to share with students as long as we're willing to ask."

Kate Padilla
Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science 
Degree pursuing: PhD in materials science (IMSE)
Hometown: Weslaco, Texas

MEMS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group

The following group of MEMS faculty, staff, and students has agreed to advise the department on general and specific measures to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for research and teaching in MEMS. This group will communicate and coordinate with administrators and working groups in other departments in the McKelvey School of Engineering and Washington University to pursue these objectives. The members of this group may serve as a point of contact for others in the department to communicate ideas or concerns.

Damena Agonafer

Damena Agonafer 
Assistant Professor (faculty/staff lead) 

Barbi Semar

Barbi Semar
Lab Manager


Ananya Benegal
Ananya Benegal
PhD student (student lead)
Christie Crandall
Christie Crandall
PhD student
Allie Periman
Allie Periman
BS/MS student