Patricia Widder has joined the NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) to further its mission of creating a platform for innovative research and training and producing the mechanobiological workforce of the future.
Ms. Widder will take leadership for Washington University’s summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program, an important component of CEMB’s diversity, education, and recruitment efforts.
In addition to her role for CEMB, Ms. Widder is the primary instructor in the undergraduate teaching labs in the Washington University Biomedical Engineering Department, and is Curriculum Director for the Master of Engineering in Biomedical Innovation degree program.
Ms. Widder teaches and develops lab courses in biomechanics, quantitative physiology, and thermodynamics, and provides prototyping support for the capstone biomedical engineering design classes. She also provides 3D printing support to the departmental research labs.
In the M.Eng-Biomedical Innovation program, Ms. Widder teaches the Engineering Skills and Biomedical Product Development course sequences. These courses cover prototyping, design, and development skills, and also cover intellectual property safeguards and similar topics.
Her role in CEMB marks a continuation of a career devoted to outreach and education. Ms. Widder has developed and taught lab sessions for high school students in the Washington University Pre-Engineering Summer Institute for many years. These labs are designed to introduce the students to the field of engineering, and include mechanical, electrical, chemical, and biomedical engineering topics, as well as design thinking and safe laboratory practices.
Ms. Widder has been active in studying the first-year engineering student experience, developing laboratory skill and career guidance content for introductory engineering courses. She is currently serving as an Inclusive Teaching and Learning Fellow, an initiative working towards helping students from diverse backgrounds integrate effectively into university life.
Ms. Widder has received the Emerson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016, and has received the Department Chair’s Award for Outstanding Teaching several times. Prior to joining Washington University in St. Louis in 2011, she worked as an Instrumentation and Controls Engineer for Monsanto in Cincinnati, OH.