The Michigan Engineer News Center

NSBE 45 focuses on bettering communities and networking

Members gathered in Detroit to attend over 100 professional workshops and panels. | Medium Read

The National Society of Black Engineers was stronger than ever at its 45th annual conference last month, with a record-high attendance of more than 14,000 engineering professors, students and recruiters gathered at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

But even with that record turnout, NSBE isn’t complacent. The organization is striving to boost the number of graduating black engineers each year from 3,500 today to over 10,000 by 2025. Reaching that number has been a challenge but members are working hard to move the needle.

Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J Vlasic Dean of Engineering, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Richard F and Eleanor A Towner Professor of Engineering and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, addressed conference attendees. “All of us want to see greater diversity in the STEM professions, particularly engineering,” he said. “As we work to open doors of opportunity, which for too long have been closed, we need as many talented folks as possible to be ready to walk through them.

“So I want you to know you are doing something very important, not only for yourself, but also for your universities and future organizations, and for the next generation.

NSBE aims to grow its numbers by continuing to provide a sense of community and support for its members across the country. Nia Gray, a Michigan Engineering undergraduate student said she struggled when she arrived at the university where the student body is predominantly white, until she joined Michigan Engineering’s NSBE chapter.

Michigan Engineering Mechanical Engineering doctoral student and NSBE-UM chapter member Nosa Edoimoiya echoed Gray, saying a diverse, supportive student body was crucial to his college experience.

For their consistently-high participation, the University of Michigan’s chapter, NSBE-UM, won the Region IV Amazing Race Award for the fourth consecutive year in a row, beating out other universities from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

Those who attended the event praised the 100+ sessions and workshops provided by NSBE 45 for their perspective on careers and the importance of attracting talent to STEM careers.

  • Group of NSBE members pose together with the bipedal robot, Cassie
    The 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu
  • Close-up of the NSBE pin on a man's suit jacket
    The Dean & MEP Strategic Retention Roundtable discussions at the 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu
  • Sara Pozzi addresses a group with a microphone
    Sara Pozzi, Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, speaks at the Dean & MEP Strategic Retention Roundtable at the 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu
  • Dean Alec Gallimore stands at a podium
    Alec D. Gallimore, Robert J Vlasic Dean of Engineering, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Richard F and Eleanor A Towner Professor of Engineering and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, leads a panel discussion at the Dean & MEP Strategic Retention Roundtable discussions at the 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu
  • Professor Jessy Grizzle and student Morgan Hawthorne clasp hands
    Jessy Grizzle (center), Elmer G Gilbert Distinguished University Professor of Engineering, Jerry W and Carol L Levin Professor of Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Director Academic Program, Robotics Institute and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, holds the hand of Morgan Hawthorne (left), IOE BSE Student, as he demonstrates his research group's robot, Cassie, and its ability to dance at theWolverine Den at the 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu
  • David Betts, Recruitment and Admissions Assistant Director, speaks to NSBE Jr. members
    David Betts, Recruitment and Admissions Assistant Director, speaks to NSBE Jr. members at the 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing
  • NSBE members/students clap
    Gabrielle Brathwaite, IOE BSE Student, Ravynne Jenkins, CS BSE Student, and Sharmylla Littleton, ME BSE Student, partake in traditional call and responses of Region IV at the 45th NSBE Annual Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI on March 29, 2019. Each region consists of multiple chapters and has its own signifier chants and call and responses. Photo: Joseph Xu
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