Dr. Cindy K. Waters


North Carolina A&T State University graduate and assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. Cindy K. Waters was chosen as one of four delegates to attend the Gender Summit 7 (GS7) in Berlin, Germany.

“It is an honor,” Waters said. “I worked pretty hard on the application. I had to describe my research interest and verbalize how participating in this conference could be transformative.”

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) awarded Waters and three female faculty researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from minority-serving institutions funding from the National Science Foundation to travel to Europe for one week. A mechanical engineer, Waters’ research interests lie in porous metals.

In her application, Waters talked about fostering international relationships and initiating innovative global research projects. AAAS expects the delegates to network and meet potential collaborators in STEM. The goal is to find foreign researchers and institutions, interested in engaging in international collaborations.

“I hope it will open up opportunities for my students and to place them in labs and locations around the world,” she said.

GS7 Europe 2015 is designed to advance understanding of when, how and why gender issues in research can produce different outcomes for women and men. The idea is to demonstrate the important intellectual, societal and economic benefits of gender mainstreaming in research.

The two-day summit will feature 75 speakers from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Speakers will focus on the benefits of gender equal and gender sensitive research and innovation as well as enhancing the capacity of policy actions to achieve lasting change.

“I’m hoping that it’s going to be transformative – the ideas and the contact,” Waters said. “We live in a world where you spend so much time behind a computer screen, it’s really great to be able to put a face with a name.”

While in Germany, Waters will take a two-and-a-half hour train trip to Dresden, Germany to meet with representatives from Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) and Joanneum Research Materials Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics.

“My objectives will be to make contact with multiple universities and companies in the area through which I can expand my research and also be able to collaborate on exchange programs through the student Society of Women Engineers organization that I advise,” she said in her application.

She currently works with five undergraduate researchers, three masters-level researchers and one Ph.D. researcher.

She graduated from N.C. A&T with her doctorate in mechanical engineering in 2004. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s in materials science and engineering from Virginia Tech.