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The goal of the NSF ADVANCE program is to increase the number and success of women faculty in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and behavioral sciences fields by recruiting more diverse faculty, providing clear opportunities for advancement and career development, and providing an inclusive and balanced work environment.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Haleh Ardebili

  Haleh Ardebili 

Haleh Ardebili, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering, has inspired female students to pursue their goals in STEM by instilling confidence in their talents and skills.

"[I think that] training them to be critical thinkers, inquisitive, analytical, and scientific, will provide them the necessary tools to succeed. For younger female students (K-12), an early exposure to the excitement of discoveries, inventions, advancements of society, and futuristic visions will contribute to having a strong fundamental interest in the STEM field," said Dr. Ardebili, who has recently won two grants totaling over half a million dollars.

Her research for the Air Force focuses on making smart uniforms last longer through research on aramid nanofiber-functionalize graphene electrode for structural energy storage and comes with a research grant for UH of $260,000. She also recently received a $300,000 award from the Subsea Systems Institute to focus on fabrication, testing, and analysis of batteries and supercapacitors for subsea applications.

Her goal to promote female engagement within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics directly ties into the overall goal of the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success (ADVANCE). ADVANCE's mission is to increase the number and success of women faculty in the STEM and behavioral sciences fields by recruiting more diverse professors and researchers, providing clear opportunities for advancement and career development, and providing an inclusive and balanced work environment.

Dr. Ardebili's research focuses on flexible and stretchable lithium ion batteries that can be integrated with flexible/stretchable electronics, medical implants, and embedded in clothing. "In my research lab, we replace the conventional liquid electrolyte in the batteries with solid polymer nanocomposite electrolyte that offers the advantages of higher safety and stability in the battery. Using solid polymer allows us to fabricate thin-film battery that is flexible or stretchable," said Dr. Ardebili.

She was always excited by science-fiction writers, such as Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne, and was strongly encouraged by her father to pursue a career in STEM. This positive encouragement has led Dr. Ardebili to her current research work wherre she is inspiring a new generation of female scientists. She also serves as an ADVANCE advocate and trains her peers to promote women in STEM as well. By promoting a climate of inclusivity and ambition in her classroom, she's changing the definition of what it means to be a UH faculty member.

Photo courtesy of the Cullen College of Engineering.


CONTACT INFORMATION

Paula Myrick Short, Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success
Christiane Spitzmueller, Interim Managing Director, Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success

advstem@uh.edu | 713.743.4210 | uh.edu/advance