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AAAS Fellow Biography

Reeshemah Burrell

Dr. Reeshemah Burrell
AAAS Fellow
National Science Foundation
Directorate for Engineering
Office of the Assistant Director
Class of 2012

As a Fellow in the Engineering Directorate’s Office of the Assistant Director at the National Science Foundation, Dr. Burrell has worked on Diversity and Outreach issues facing early career faculty and graduate students in the STEM pipeline. Currently, Dr. Burrell is working on Assessment and Evaluation (A&E) of the diversity portfolio and plans to transition to the innovation portfolio shortly. Prior to NSF, Dr. Burrell was a senior researcher, principal investigator, and research manager for the Surface Characterization Laboratory at a Department of Energy (DOE) research and development laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN where she secured over $2M in research funding within her first 2.5 years in areas of nuclear nonproliferation and numerical simulations. While there, she achieved many firsts such as developing a new oxidation removal technique for nuclear materials, spearheading the formal formation of three industry/university research collaborations, and overseeing as well as securing funding for the formation of a new multimillion dollar surface characterization laboratory. Dr. Burrell was also the first African American as well as female Chair of the Center for Computational Materials Design (CCMD) Advisory Board. 

Dr. Burrell received a B.S. in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering (Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology); a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Howard University); and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Florida A&M University).

On a personal note, Dr. Burrell has enjoyed playing the clarinet and saxophone for over 20 years where she has played with local jazz bands. In addition, Dr. Burrell volunteers in local neighborhood schools in Washington, DC to help mentor, inspire, motivate and inform today's youth that Engineering can be an engaging and viable career for them as well!

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