Professor Lauren Anderson ‘04 to take command of engineering division

Anderson+earned+her+bachelors+degree+at+Lafayette+and+completed+her+Ph.D+in+biomedical+engineering+at+the+University+of+Virginia.%C2%A0%28Photo+courtesy+of+Lauren+Anderson+04%29.+

Anderson earned her bachelor’s degree at Lafayette and completed her Ph.D in biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Anderson ’04).

The engineering division will have a new leader beginning this summer. Lauren Anderson ‘04, a chemical and biomolecular engineering associate professor, will replace the current Jeffers Director of Engineering, Professor Scott Hummel, beginning on July 1.

The Jeffers Director of Engineering leads the engineering division. It is a non-teaching, administrative position.   

“I’ll miss teaching a lot. That’s the one thing that I was, you know, kind of weighing in taking this position. But I still plan to have my hand in some research projects, and I really enjoy mentoring students and research,” she said. 

Anderson’s number one goal entering the position is to continue the success of Hummel, who held the position for 10 years. 

“I see my goal coming in is to just keep that momentum going, continue to enhance and strengthen our programs and really make sure that everyone sees themselves included and welcome in our spaces,” Anderson said. 

Hummel said “it was time” to step down. 

His goals upon taking the position 10 years ago included boosting Lafayette engineering’s ranking in the U.S. News and World Report, raising money for faculty positions, improving interdisciplinary work within the program and improving the engineering facilities. 

He said that he felt like he accomplished all of those goals and that it was time for a change in leadership. 

“I’ve been blessed with having this tenure time to lead Lafayette’s engineering programs. And it’s really a gift that was given to me and it’s time to let somebody else do that now,” he said. 

Under Hummel’s tenure, 29 million dollars were raised for the engineering division, 12 of which were for facilities, he said. Construction also began for the fifth-floor addition to the Acopian Engineering Center, which is expected to be completed by next fall. 

He said that another success was the formation of the Integrative Engineering degree, which allows students to take courses across the different engineering disciplines. Hummel added that Anderson co-led the process of developing the program. 

“She fits in just seamlessly with this mindset of interdisciplinary teaching and learning,” he said. 

Anderson, who chose to study at Lafayette as an undergraduate because of the opportunity to study abroad as an engineer, hopes to continue this interdisciplinary focus as Director of the Engineering Division.  

“Why I love working at Lafayette is the students. They’re so incredibly motivated and having engineering in the context of the liberal arts just allows the students to pursue…things that folks at larger schools or more technical colleges just don’t have to experience,” she said. 

Ensuring that efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM are met is another key goal. Anderson said she plans to work closely with the Hanson Center and emphasized the success of the Clare Booth Luce scholarship program, which she co-directed with Hummel, in giving female-identifying students the ability to research and study engineering. 

Anderson hopes to make the most out of her new position.

“Lafayette was definitely good to me and I plan to just give that back in the ways that I can,” she said.