Menon, Smet

Menon, Smet Selected as Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows

September 29, 2022
By Ashley Ritchie

Akanksha Menon and Vanessa Smet, assistant professors in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, have been selected as Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Georgia Tech.

The Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows experience is designed to gather together an interdisciplinary group of assistant professors for pedagogically-focused support and professional development. The aim is to broaden perspectives with insight into evidence-based best practices and exposure to new and innovative teaching methods.

“I have read about pedagogy, but I have never taken a formal class that goes over different topics related to teaching,” said Menon, who joined the Woodruff School faculty in 2021. “I’m looking forward to working with this cohort of assistant professors across different disciplines and learning techniques from CTL for student engagement and inclusive teaching.”

Menon and Smet will have the option of earning a “Reflective Teacher” badge after implementing evidence-based teaching practices and submitting documentation and reflections. In addition, they will be given access to $1000 in funds that can be used to support the development of a small project, or for other teaching-related resources.

“I teach the undergraduate heat transfer class which has a lot of new concepts and is math-heavy in how the textbook presents the content. So, I would like to include a hands-on component that includes some in-class demos and an experimental kit that students can try some different things with to build their intuition,” said Menon.

Menon serves as the director of the Water–Energy Research Lab (WERL). Her research focuses on applying thermal science and functional materials to develop sustainable energy and water technologies.

Smet joined the Woodruff School faculty in 2020. Her research spans the areas of power electronics, power integration, high-temperature die-attachment, 3d packaging technologies, µbga, thermo-mechanical modeling, finite element analysis, reliability of electronic systems, power & thermal cycling, failure analysis, mechanical engineering, mechanics of micro-scale materials, multi-physics problems, and lead-free solders.