Mary Lynn Realff is the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and also Cox Faculty Fellow, Co-Director of the Center for Women, Science, and Technology, and a Fellow of the Center for Deliberate Innovation. Dr. Realff (GT BS Textile Engineering 1987) has served on the faculty at Georgia Tech for 29 years and is currently leading the Effective Team Dynamics Initiative.
Dr. Realff is a transformational leader with a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She led efforts at Georgia Tech and in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to change policies and practices to increase diversity. She has been integral in setting organizational strategies across Georgia Tech, the National Science Foundation and the Center for Puppetry Arts. She served as the Vice President of Leadership and Diversity in ASME where the resulting policies and training have influenced the diversity and inclusion strategies of a wide range of professional societies. She has the energy to initiate and the dedication to sustain innovative education programs at the graduate, undergraduate and K-12 levels.
Dr. Realff is the founding director of the Effective Team Dynamics Initiative (ETD) which delivers on the vision that Georgia Tech will be a community where everyone's unique contributions are recognized. ETD cultivates a supportive, productive, and harmonious learning community grounded in strengths-based collaboration. Her operational leadership and strategic oversight has resulted in the initiative impacting 6500 undergraduate and graduate students and 1600 post docs, faculty, and staff in just the past five years. The initiative partnered with the Center for Teaching and Learning to develop the curriculum and train faculty and staff as certified facilitators to deliver its content. Dr. Realff has disseminated this program to other institutions. She directs an NSF sponsored grant in innovation in graduate education which draws on best practices in team work to develop leaders in engineering practice. She has revamped the MSE UG lab experience and MSE curriculum with an emphasis on integrating assessment and including post-doc and graduate student development.
Dr. Realff is a dedicated educator who listens to and advocates for students and has been honored for her teaching and mentoring at Georgia Tech. Her leadership and teaching excellence have been recognized through the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, Atlanta Partners for Education Business School Partnership Award, CETL/AMOCO Junior Faculty Teaching Award, Outstanding Faculty Award, ANAK Award, CETL Educational Partnership Award, and MSE Faculty Teaching Award. Her service has been recognized through the ASME Dedicated Service Award and the Georgia Tech Diversity Champion Award. In 2007, she was named Fellow of ASME. She earned her B.S. degree in Textile Engineering at Georgia Tech and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Polymer Science & Engineering at MIT.
She lives in Atlanta with her husband (a Professor at Georgia Tech). They have two children: a son who lives in Japan and a daughter that lives in Wisconsin.
EDUCATION & AWARDS
- PhD, 1992, MIT in Mechanical Engineering and Polymer Science and Technology
- BS Textile Engineering, 1987, Georgia Institute of Technology
International or National Awards:
- IDEALS Scholar, 2016
- Atlanta Partners for Education Business-School Partnership Award, 2011.
- Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2007.
- Dedicated Service Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2007.
- Superior Accomplishments as a Member of the Working Group for International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE), September 2006.
Institute or School Awards:
- Cox Faculty Fellow, MSE, Georgia Tech, 2021
- 2021 Faculty Teaching Award, MSE, Georgia Tech, 2021
- Fellow, Center for Deliberate Innovation, Georgia Tech, 2018
- ANAK Award, Georgia Tech, 2017
- Diversity Champion Award for Faculty, 2015.
- Recognized on the Georgia Tech “Teaching Excellence Award Wall,” November 18, 2014.
- Georgia Tech CETL Educational Partnership Award, 2013.
- Recognized for excellence in teaching at Celebrating Teaching Day, March 2013.
- Georgia Tech Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, 2004.
- Georgia Tech Outstanding Faculty Award, Georgia Tech Women’s Leadership Conference, 2003.
- Women in Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award, April 2001.
- CETL/AMOCO Junior Faculty Teaching Award, 1998.