Elizabeth Gerber Named One of Crain’s 40 Under 40
Professor lauded for Design for America work in annual feature
It is a list that has included Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Rahm Emanuel.
Now, a McCormick professor has joined the ranks. The 2013 class of Crain’s Chicago Business’ popular 40 Under 40 feature, highlighting 40 Chicagoans who stand as innovators at the top of their fields before their 40th birthday, includes McCormick professor Elizabeth Gerber.
Gerber, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the Breed Junior Professor of Design, earned a spot on this year’s list for her role founding Design for America, a McCormick student initiative that creates local and social impact through interdisciplinary design.
Since forming in 2008, DFA has grown from a three-member Northwestern student group to a multi-university collaborative network housing 2,000 members who perform innovative community service projects in fields like health, education, economics, and the environment. Along the way, student teams gain firsthand experience applying the engineering and design skills learned in the classroom toward crafting a tangible solution to a problem.
Gerber believes DFA’s structure allows students to experience and overcome failure throughout their development process, which gives them a comfort level tackling large-scale problems that will be useful once they leave the university.
“If you know how to search, how to problem-solve and how to relate, you’re going to be successful in this world,” Gerber says.