Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

One of our goals in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CSU is to improve the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups. We are committed to improving diversity and supporting an inclusive culture for all faculty, staff, and students. 

We use CSU’s Principles of Community as our aspirational guide, and reinforce and strengthen our commitment to inclusion, respect, social justice, integrity, and service.






Department Initiatives

Areas of Focus

Our focus is to further develop an environment where all members in our department are welcomed, valued, and affirmed. Consistent with the University Strategic Plan, we achieve this by focusing on the following areas:

  • Establishing where we are at and where we want to be;
  • Actively supporting efforts to increase recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students from historically marginalized and excluded populations;
  • Building an environment where students are culturally competent and have skills to enter a diverse global workforce;
  • Improving the campus climate of inclusion;
  • Infusing curriculum and educational programs with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) content;
  • Leading bi-annual trainings for faculty and staff; and
  • Increasing outreach and engagement with external communities.

Opportunities to Learn

Our department is initiating and leveraging activities on campus that provide opportunities to expand our understanding of DEI and put our knowledge to use.

Below you will find events and seminars within our department as well as the greater university community.

Our Community

Our Students

As a department, we are committed to ensuring our students feel welcomed and valued as an essential part of our community. We are actively working to identify and eliminate potential biases or barriers to ensure that all of our students are successful and receive a world-class education. 

Students of color, women, and first generation students are historically underrepresented in the field of engineering. Our department aims for gender and diversity enrollment numbers to reflect that of the State of Colorado. Both of our academic programs exceed average diversity numbers in the state. Female enrollment in our Biomedical Engineering-Mechanical Engineering dual degree program is nearly there. We recognize that enrollment numbers of females in our Mechanical Engineering program are below the state average, and we are committed to significantly increasing those numbers within the next 5 years. Some of our initiatives to achieve this include hosting STEM summer camps for middle and high school students, phone calls to admitted students, high school dual enrollment programs, high school presentations, community college transfer agreements, scholarship opportunities, mentoring programs, and introduction to education abroad via programs such as Berlin Bridge.

As efforts grow to bring more underrepresented students into our department, we anticipate percentages of first generation students to decrease over time. 

Mechanical Engineering Students

Students who identify as female
0 %
Students from underrepresented populations
0 %
Students who are first-generation
0 %

Biomedical Engineering-Mechanical Engineering Students (Dual Degree)

Students who identify as female
0 %
Students from underrepresented populations
0 %
Students who are first-generation
0 %

Our College

Within the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering are many people that are committed to enhancing the visibility of diverse scientists and engineers, promoting a culture of inclusiveness, and developing cultural competency of all students, faculty and staff. Below are just a few of these individuals. 

Melissa Burt

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

To fully incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion and justice into the college culture, it has to be a collective effort. It has to be threaded into the fabric of everything we do. When everyone feels that they belong, are valued, are heard, and they can be their true, authentic self – their whole self. It’s when people’s actions speak louder than their words.

Christian Puttlitz

Professor and Department Head

It’s well known that the best solutions are obtained when diverse teams are assembled to tackle society’s most important problems. The mechanical engineering profession is not very diverse and we have an obligation to train people from all walks of life together so that they can join our mechanical engineering community. The leadership of mechanical engineering at CSU has identified this as one of our top priorities and we are actively working with our staff, faculty, and engineering colleagues outside of the university to help diversify our student demographics. In addition, we promote a departmental culture that welcomes everyone into our learning community and values equality.

Bethany Sparn

Mechanical Engineering Alumna (M.S. ‘09)
Senior Research Engineer, NREL
Advisory Board Member, CSU Department of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Alumna Bethany Sparn could have just gone into the workforce after graduating with her master’s degree at CSU, but she thrives on being an advocate for women and diverse voices in engineering.

Our Department Committee

The DEI committee is composed of members from across the mechanical engineering community and is dedicated to individual and departmental growth. 

The committee’s near-terms goals are focused on setting initiatives intelligently and leveraging existing efforts. Long-term goals focus on improvements in culture and diversity within the department.  

Smith Pittman


To encourage a culture of development and growth, below you will find links to a list of resources on campus from within our department to the university level. From organizations you can join to trainings you can take, we hope that you will get involved and learn more about diverse perspectives. Creating an inclusive community is an ongoing process, and the right resources can help guide our efforts.

Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University is about using our knowledge of materials, energy, and health to solve society’s global engineering challenges.

Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University is about using our knowledge of materials, energy, and health to solve society’s global engineering challenges.

Join Us.


Programs and Information


Programs and Information


Faculty and Staff


Labs and Researchers