Dr. Susan P James
Dr. Susan James joined the Colorado State University (CSU) Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor -- she was the first female faculty member in the 125 year-old department. Dr. James is now the Head of Mechanical Engineering Department at CSU, and was the founding Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in Polymers from MIT and her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon. Professor James' research focuses on polymeric materials used in biomedical engineering. These include orthopedic and cardiovascular applications as well as regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. She and her students invented the BioPolyÂ® materials, now in clinical use in partial resurfacing knee implants (http://www.biopolyortho.com/). Much of her current work is on hyaluronan-enhanced plastics, which do not cause blood clotting and platelet activation like most synthetic plastics. In collaboration with several faculty, students and researchers, she is working on developing hyaluronan-enhanced flexible leaflets for heart valve prostheses. Her group is also researching new materials for small diameter vascular grafts. Dr. James is committed to giving back and has been involved with many organizations over the years including Africa Higher Education Partnerships (AAHEP), Women and Minorities in Engineering Program (WMEP), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She has also performed countless outreach programs for young girls to get them interested in engineering careers. Dr. James was awarded the prestigious Margaret Hazaleus award this year for her strong commitment to mentoring and helping women.