ENGINEERING NEWS

Elizabeth Gerber Receives Wells Fargo Foundation Award

The grant will help create a scalable, open-source innovation curriculum

Northwestern Engineering’s Elizabeth Gerber, associate professor of mechanical engineering, has received the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award from the Wells Fargo Foundation. Gerber received the award for inspiring former students to achieve greatness and make a difference in their communities. 

Elizabeth GerberThe $25,000 award will help Gerber create a scalable, open-source innovation curriculum and refine her research theory of collective innovation to explain how today’s ever-present technology supports problem solving.

“I am deeply honored to have received an award created in honor of Dr. Beckman, an academic pioneer and educator who inspired others to make a demonstrable difference in the world,” said Gerber. “This award aligns directly with my mission in research and teaching: to harness diverse and untapped human and social capital to enhance innovation.”

At Northwestern, Gerber is the cofounder of the Delta Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab and design studio that strives to improve the way people design, work, and interact. She also leads Design for America, an initiative she founded in 2009 that encourages students to use human-centered design to find solutions for local social issues. The organization has expanded to universities nationwide and now boasts more than 8,000 members. 

Prior to joining Northwestern, Gerber earned a bachelor’s degree in art and engineering from Dartmouth College. She received her master’s in product design and her PhD in management science and engineering from Stanford University.  She has also worked professionally in design and management.