Leading Social Justice Engineering Professor Joins USD

Professor Caroline Baillie, a global leader in engineering and social justice has joined the University of San Diego as a Professor of Praxis (theory and value-driven practice) in the USD Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering with support from the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. 

A materials engineer with expertise in engineering education and critical social studies, Baillie is a Thomson Reuters highly cited author with more than 200 publications, papers and books on material science, engineering education, and engineering and social justice. She co-founded the Engineering, Social Justice and Peace Network (espj.org) in 2004 which will hold its next conference at the University of San Diego in 2018. 

Over the last eight years, Baillie has been Chair and Professor of Engineering Education at the University of Western Australia, Perth. She has previously held appointments at the University of Sydney, Imperial College in the United Kingdom and Queens University in Canada. 

“We are very excited to welcome Professor Baillie," said Chell Roberts, Dean of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. “Her expertise and experience will be a tremendous asset in revolutionizing engineering for the 21st century and creating engineers who are Changemakers for social justice and humanitarian practices.”

For the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Baillie will contribute to the development of courses and initiatives on engineering propelling gender, socio-economic and ethnic equity, as well as poverty alleviation and conflict prevention. “We seek to develop peacebuilders who can create transformational social change through peace-engineering problem solving,” said Patricia Márquez, Dean of the Kroc School.

Baillie conducts both theoretical and educational studies related to engineering and community engagement and in 2006 founded Waste for Life (wasteforlife.org) to enable community groups to develop waste recycling businesses.

“Professor Baillie is particularly interested in ways in which engineers can work with other professionals and local community groups to co-create solutions for the environment as well as social problems,” Roberts added.

In addition to her engineering background, she is also a trained mediator and therapist and has run a theatre company entitled Critical State to use theatre and film as a platform for education around social issues.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at USD,” Baillie said. “Having worked for 10 years to increase awareness of the importance of developing engineering practices and education that enhance social justice, I am thrilled to be able to work with a dedicated team who are passionate about these goals. The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering is the first school worldwide to undertake this challenge in such a comprehensive and complex way and it is a privilege to be part of this exciting and critical adventure.”