Friday, June 21st, 2024
Who Makes Millersville Special

Dr. Louise Manfredi

From listening to Prince to diving with sharks, this professor keeps moving.

Louise Manfredi
Dr. Louise Manfredi

This edition of Who Makes Millersville Special features Dr. Louise Manfredi, assistant professor in Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology, for the past two years.

Q: Where are you originally from?
I originate from Hertfordshire, a county north of London in the United Kingdom.

Q: What is your educational background?
I studied product design at the University of Leeds from 2003 – 2006, and then went on to get my mechanical engineering PhD from the same university in 2011. I had a wonderful time at Leeds; it is a really stimulating place to be as an ambitious student.

Q: How did you become interested in studying product design and mechanical engineering?
I didn’t have a lot of things growing up, so I would spend a lot of time making the toys I wanted. I think that sparked my love for design and engineering. I would watch shows in the UK like “Junkyard Challenge” and “Robot Wars.” I just really like to make things!

Q: What kind of work did you do while at Kimberly-Clark Corporation and then for the Royal Academy of Engineering?
I was working at the University of Chicago for Kimberly-Clark. I worked on the biomechanical properties of the human skin and how that drives our perception of touch. It was a great project to be part of because the work I completed will go on to be used in industry.

The Royal Academy was a change of pace. I worked to support the growth of the Enterprise Hub, which enables the commercialization of cutting edge engineering research. I had the good fortune of being able to work with some incredibly smart, accomplished people.

Q: What is your favorite class to teach? Why?
If I had to choose, I would say that ITEC 342: Computer-aided Engineering Drawing. In this class, I get to teach students how to model in 3D on the computer and 3D print their designs. We have a good time in this class. At the end of the semester, I invite local companies in to guest judge their final projects. It works out well for both sides; my students get to talk to prospective employers, and the companies get to see the talent we have here at Millersville.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your piloted use of Blue Jeans web conferencing software with Dr. Warner.
We started using Blue Jeans in fall 2015. This is a piece of software that allows us to have a real time class with students in their homes, offices, in cafes, alongside our classroom. It’s a really great tool to bring together in class and at home students and mediate superb dialogue.

shark_oneQ: What do you think your students would be most surprised to know about you?
I have cage-dived with 16ft Great White sharks in the Pacific Ocean.

Q: What is your favorite place to travel?
Anywhere new! I am not one for going back to the same place twice, because there is so much to see! If I had to pick a country, Italy is my favorite. My paternal family is Italian, so I feel a connection to the country. Outside of Italy, my favorite city is Hong Kong. It is the most insane intersection of east meets west, so much so that you cannot help but fall in love with the people, culture and food.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to doodle and design furniture, but my biggest passion is shark conservation. I had the great fortune of being able to cage dive with Great White sharks just before I joined Millersville. I am planning to scuba dive with Hammerheads next year.

Q: What type of music do you listen to?
I’ll give anything a listen, including my lab assistant’s band. I have been listening to more rock/alternative music recently, such as The Kills, Alt-J and The Dead Weathers.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
I would have to say that my greatest achievement was being the first person in my family to graduate from university. It is an achievement I attribute to my father. He helped me through a difficult three years when I didn’t believe in myself.

Q: If you could only watch one movie, read one book and listen to one album for the rest of your life, what movie, book and album would you choose?
Wow, that is tough! I am a big fan of the director Wes Anderson, and my favorite of his films has to be “The Darjeeling Limited.” It is beautiful portrayal of three brothers’ journey to find their way in life whilst traveling through India.

I would opt for “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt for my book. It is such an elegantly written book about a young boy who takes possession of a valuable painting after an attack on an art gallery in which he loses his mother.

“Purple Rain!” I am an eighties child and could not live without Prince’s music in my life.


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