In a career that spanned more than 35 years, Dr. Martha Bidez helped make the world safer place. After earning multiple engineering degrees from UAB, Bidez led a distinguished career in both the academic and private sectors that established her as one of the nation’s foremost authorities in safety engineering.
“When you read about the history of UAB, you often see the word “pioneer” used to describe its leaders, and that word certainly suits Martha Bidez,” said Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., dean and professor of the School of Engineering. “Her success as an entrepreneur speaks for itself, and the Advanced Safety Engineering and Management program she created will continue to serve as a lasting legacy. Her contributions won’t soon be forgotten.”
|“She was an advocate for those who had no voice, and she encouraged those who needed strength to find their own."
--Donald Burke, Ph.D., ASEM Director
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Bidez graduated with high honors in biology from Auburn University in 1979 before turning her focus to a career in engineering. She earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from UAB in 1985 and a master’s and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 1983 and 1987, respectively. Soon after, she became a senior scientist with the UAB Injury Control Research Center. She was the first woman to be named “Young Engineer of the Year” by the Engineering Council of Birmingham in 1988.
“As her faculty advisor and friend, we enjoyed decades of interactions,” said Jack Lemons, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as in the UAB Schools of Dentistry and Medicine. “It is sad to lose someone who offered so much to her family, her friends, and her profession.”
Blazer Innovation Challenge, a Shark Tank-style competition in which students worked individually or in teams to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems.Forrest Satterfield, a senior biomedical engineering student, recently won the top prize in the
Satterfield presented a proposal to develop a manufacturing system for motorized prosthetics that marries traditional production of motors with additive manufacturing of 3-D printed prosthetics. His proposal earned him the $5,000 prize for first place.
In addition to winning prize money, Satterfield and the other winners will continue to benefit from valuable mentoring, coaching and other resources provided by the UAB Innovation Lab (iLab) to help incubate their ideas and potentially launch their own startup companies throughout the 2016-17 academic year.
“The Blazer Innovation Challenge has helped us engage bright and creative students from throughout UAB to put great ideas into practice,” said Joel Dobbs, Collat’s entrepreneur-in-residence. “Many of our students, either individually or with fellow students, identify real-world problems that they are passionate about solving. The Blazer Innovation Challenge is allowing us to identify, fund and nurture some of the best of these.”
Magazine Cover Story Shows How Engineers Are Addressing Challenges of Sustainability
Introducing the Imogene Baswell Society
In 1967, Imogene Baswell became the first woman to graduate from what would soon become the UAB School of Engineering. Since then, hundreds of female engineers have followed in her footsteps, and from those ranks, dozens of the school’s most accomplished alumni have emerged.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Baswell’s groundbreaking step, the School of Engineering plans to officially launch the Imogene Baswell Society in 2017. This giving society is being formed to honor the legacy of a pioneering graduate and to support the future of female engineering students at UAB.