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Dr. Rosalee Clawson to serve as Director of NSF-funded Engineering Research Center

Dr. Rosalee Clawson  Director of Diversity and Culture of Inclusion for NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE)

Purdue Political Science professor Rosalee Clawson is part of a research team awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation for the advancement of electric vehicle technology and infrastructure in a multi-university, public-private partnership. The grant will fund the Engineering Research Center for Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification, known as ASPIRE, headquartered at Utah State University with partnerships at core campuses including Purdue University. 

Dr. Clawson will serve on the executive leadership of the project as the Director of Diversity and Culture of Inclusion. In this role, Clawson will lead efforts to foster diverse and inclusive research teams, and engage with professionals and the broader community to work toward a more equitable and just transportation future.  She will also work closely with the engineering workforce development team to develop a more diverse engineering workforce.  Dr. Clawson is also involved with the Adoption Research Thrust to investigate the public policy dimensions of advancing sustainability through electrification of the transportation system.

The demand for extensive infrastructure renovation combined with the economic, environmental, and public health concerns provides an opportunity for electric vehicles to transform the future of transportation.  The ASPIRE team seeks to create sustainable, equitable, and widespread use of electric vehicles by eliminating range and charging barriers through infrastructure technology solutions.  Key to the mission of the NSF ASPIRE ERC is dedication to diversity and inclusion.  All research projects in ASPIRE will include workforce development and inclusion components that are reviewed and evaluated annually. 

Dr. Clawson’s team will develop training materials for faculty, students, and industry professionals involved with ASPIRE.  They will assist research teams in their efforts to recruit and retain a diverse group of students.  Her team will ensure that each research project includes a diversity and culture of inclusion component and fosters social justice.  Professor Clawson is looking forward to working with a team of interdisciplinary scholars committed to a more equitable and sustainable transportation future. 

This project aligns with Dr. Clawson’s passions and expertise as it could fundamentally change the world by creating sustainable and equitable modes of transportation and by educating the next-generation of diverse engineers who understand the policy and social implications of their work. Her training as a political scientist with a specialization in the politics of race, class, and gender and a research interest in the ethical, legal, and social implications of technology will help inform her work.  As a scholar, teacher, and mentor, Clawson has extensive experience working with diverse students and collaborators from across the university on research projects.  Throughout her career she has been dedicated to the mission of creating diverse and inclusive educational and research environments in which all faculty and students can thrive. 

ASPIRE is designated as an Engineering Research Center, the National Science Foundation’s flagship program for transformative, multi-institutional research. It is one of four new Engineering Research Centers announced Aug 4, 2020. The center will launch on Sept 1, 2020.  It is expected to raise more than $200 million over the next decade in government and industry support.  Read more about ASPIRE on their website  The related USU announcement is available here.