BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Jani Macari Pallis, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Bridgeport, won the Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation Award for Academic Innovation and Leadership.
The prize was announced last month at the Women of Innovation awards dinner, which is held annually to recognize women in Connecticut who are accomplished in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and who are involved in their communities.
Pallis received the award for Academic Innovation and Leadership because of her “devotion of 30 years to reaching pre-college students and teachers, engineering colleagues, university students and informal educators with her innovative, creative curriculum and projects.”
“I’m so thrilled and grateful to my colleagues for the nomination and the Connecticut Technology Council Women of Innovation program for recognizing me with this award. Sharing STEM and especially aerospace, has been a lifelong labor of love,” said Pallis.
During her tenure, Pallis has received over $1.5 million in grants solely focused on curriculum development and outreach. She has successfully made engineering accessible and engaging to students of all ages through a variety of popular campaigns, such as her presentation on the Aerodynamics of Sports.
Working alone and with UB colleagues, Pallis has also helped numerous institutions throughout Connecticut enrich STEM education and outreach. Projects include participating in curriculum development at the Fairchild Wheeler Inter-district Magnet School and creating interactive and highly sophisticated teaching tools to educate youngsters about space.
One of her current collaborations involves the development a robotic puppet that later this year will be launched 100,000 feet above earth in a high-altitude balloon from the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport.
The Connecticut Space Grant College Consortium named Pallis Campus Director of the Year in 2013 for increasing the number of UB students and faculty working on applied aerospace projects that support NASA initiatives.
In 2009, she was a finalist for a Woman of Innovation award.
Before coming to UB, Pallis founded Cislunar Aerospace Inc., an engineering and research firm. She also coordinated technology and lead research and development for NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy.
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