Meet Our New Academic Director

Ruth Ochia, PhD, P.E. joins the BMES Board of Directors 


What qualities do you think make a great board member, and what personal qualities can you bring to the board?
I feel that a board member should be able to communicate and empathize with many different types of people. They should also be organized and keep many things on the table simultaneously. Working with the other board members, there should be a shared vision that is actionable. I feel that I can get things done with there is a goal. I don't mind being a trailblazer if that is what is needed.

What would you like to accomplish in the next 12 months as a board member?
I would like to see more diversity within the organization and membership. I would also like to see more interactions with industry. Even though much of the BMES leadership have PhDs, many of our students will not choose that route. How do we make sure that we are meeting the needs of these students that will travel on a path so different from our own?

Why did you become involved in the organization, and what has your involvement looked like over time?
I started as a graduate student since we are supposed to present our research as part of our studies. Then I returned as a faculty advisor for our student BMES chapter. I then saw many people that I met over the years come to BMES Annual Meeting. It became a great reunion event. As I transitioned research interests into engineering education, I needed to meet more people in my new area and get more involved. So, I started to apply for reviewer and session chair positions. Then co-chair for the 2019 meeting and educational committee. And, now I am a member of the Board of Directors.

What's the best piece of advice you ever got?
Your education is something that cannot be taken away from you.


If you could have dinner with any famous person (dead or alive), who would you choose?
Jane Austin

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Favorite movie and/or TV show?
Robin of Sherwood (from the mid-1980s) or Harry Potter (3, 6, 7)

Favorite book?
Harry Potter (is that cheating?) 

Favorite food?
Chocolate-covered strawberries and/or fresh bread

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate (what a stupid question)

Coffee or tea? Hot or cold?
Tea. Hot. But never Earl Grey (Ick!)

Morning person or night owl?
Late morning
Favorite color?

Favorite season?