35 years later, URI engineering professor continues to be influenced by an alumnus – Uri News | Jobs Vox

Kingston, RI – December 22, 2022 – There are students who leave a lasting impression. Then occasionally there is a student who is so exceptional, a professor can envision a remarkable career of the student.

Lisa Pruitt, who earned two bachelor’s degrees in engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 1988, made such an impression on URI Distinguished Engineering Professor Otto Gregory.

“Lisa was my first research student,” Gregory said. “She was always an excellent student in the classroom, but where she really excelled was in the research lab. Her passion was materials science and engineering. She took every materials science course she could and wanted to learn about materials science.” Whatever it was for, it was assimilated.

Lisa Pruitt receives Brown University’s Co-Engineering Alumnus of the Year Award in May 2022. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Pruitt)

Pruitt is an endowed professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and professor of medicine at the University of San Francisco. She was a 2022 co-engineering alumnus of Brown University and also published her fourth book this year.

The author of more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and the recipient of numerous awards in the fields of failure analysis, biomaterials and medical devices, Pruitt recalled how his academic journey began at URI.

“I enrolled in the chemical and ocean engineering program at URI in 1984 with the mindset that I was eventually going to medical school and that this engineering program would provide the chemistry classes needed for this kind of discovery,” said Pruitt, who Originally from Mendon, Massachusetts. “As part of that program, I had to take a course in metallurgy, and in short order, I fell in love with materials science.”

Pruitt took enough materials courses to earn a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering, making her a dual degree graduate from URI. She went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in engineering from Brown, but credits Gregory for instilling a passion for conducting research.

Pruitt said, “When Professor Gregory took me under his wing as an undergraduate researcher, it changed my life.” “As a mentor, he instilled a love of inquiry-based research. Dr. Gregory taught me many experimental methods for materials characterization, provided the fundamentals for preparing research presentations, and authoring archival journal publications .

Gregory also instilled confidence in the student who needed it at the time.

Pruitt said, “He believed in me before I believed in myself.” “Without his mentorship, I would not have considered graduate school at Brown. Dr. Gregory has been a lifelong mentor and friend. My proudest moment at URI was receiving an award for my undergraduate research with Dr. Gregory.”

In his latest book, Spirit of a Professor: Memoirs of an Un-Engineered Life, Pruitt wrote extensively about the paramount role Gregory played in his life. Here’s an excerpt:

“…Professor Gregory comforts me, and I blossom in his lab. Under his direct mentorship, I work on a semiconductor project involving wet chemistry and surface characterization of germanium oxide. When I get to research My academic trajectory changes forever when I fall in love with. As with the lectures, I align with the materials I study. The way I fell in love with the pine trees I climbed as a child. Had felt life, I get some vitality from within the materials I attribute. …

“Professor Gregory personally coaches me on wet chemistry methods. I learn new characterization tools and discover the joy of reading archival journal papers. I find immense solace in research. He brings me to Brown University where I also learn ellipsometry under the guidance of Dr. Chrisman, an associate physicist. They treat me like a graduate student, and I expand my research skills under their mentorship. These extraordinary mentors have taught me to think critically. infused with the skills and love of inquiry-based learning…”

More than 35 years after they first met, Gregory recalls seeing potential in Pruitt long ago.

“Lisa’s ability as a researcher was most apparent from day one,” said Gregory. “She never lost sight of the big picture and was able to carefully conduct experiments to prove her hypotheses. You just knew she was going to achieve big things.

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