technologist of the year women of color magazine

Engineer, Educator, Leader & Entrepreneur


Dr. Pamela McCauley is an internationally recognized Industrial Engineering researcher, STEM advocate, university leader, seasoned entrepreneur, innovator and experienced federal Program Director.  As an Industrial Engineering researcher, she is known for significant work in the development of fuzzy set theory based mathematical models, human engineering, ergonomics, biomechanics as well as engineering leadership and women’s leadership in STEM.  She is also an acclaimed keynote speaker, a dedicated Professor, and Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. From 2018 -2020, she served as the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program Director.  Dr. McCauley previously held the position of Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   

She is the author of over 100 technical papers, book chapters, conference proceedings and the best-selling ergonomics textbook, Ergonomics: Foundational Principles, Applications, and Technologies. Many of her leadership, diversity, innovation and STEM education related keynote talks draw from her research-based book; Transforming Your STEM Career Through Leadership and Innovation: Inspiration and Strategies for Women, which examines the growing need for leadership and innovation in America, particularly among women and STEM professionals. To inspire students to consider careers in STEM, particularly minorities and females, she authored, Winners Don’t Quit…Today they Call Me Doctor.  Dr. McCauley is an award-winning educator and her teaching efforts have resulted in the receipt of both the College of Engineering Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Teaching Incentive Program Award (TIP). She is also the recipient of the 2015 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Educational Leadership and the Promotion of College-Level Education.

In 2017, after a nationwide search, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate selected Dr. McCauley to lead the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program. The NSF I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization.  During her first year in this role, she has engaged the national innovation community as well as designing and leading the first I-Corps Innovation Inclusion Summit. This Summit attracted over 260 academic institution participants including I-Corps grantees, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges to promote and facilitate collaborative innovation.

The U.S. State Department awarded Dr. McCauley the prestigious Jefferson Science Fellowship (JSF) for the 2015-2016 term. JSF’s are distinguished appointments to senior academics based on their stature, recognition, and experience in the national and international scientific or engineering communities, and their ability to rapidly and accurately understand scientific advancements outside their discipline area to effectively integrate this knowledge into U.S. Department of State/USAID policy discussions. As a JSF she was a member of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  While at PEPFAR she researched the Healthcare Delivery System for HIV/AIDS in developing nations and created a new approach known as the Innovations, Methods, Processes and Critical Technologies (IMPACT) Model to assess opportunities for enhancing efficiencies and technology integration in healthcare service delivery. Dr. McCauley has the distinction of being a 2012 U.S. Fulbright Scholar Specialist Program Awardee for her US- New Zealand Human Engineering and Mobile Technology in High Consequence Emergency Management Research Program. Due to her extensive expertise in biomechanics, human factors, and ergonomic design, Dr. McCauley is a highly sought Certified Professional Ergonomist (C.P.E.) and nationally recognized Expert Witness. A provisional patent for a scientific social media matching technology to promote collaborative innovation (USPTO # 62/572,994) has been submitted.

Dr. McCauley has held various leadership positions and has received numerous awards in recognition of her commitment, professional accomplishments and community outreach efforts in the business, technology, and education communities. She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Oklahoma, the Engineer of the Year Award from the Florida Engineering Society, and has been recognized by the Society of Women Engineers as Engineering Educator of the year.  She has also been recognized as one of the Ten Small Business Women of the Year in Central Florida; and the Millennium Woman of the Year by the Millennium Woman Foundation.  

Dr. McCauley was elected as Councilor to the National Executive Advisory Board of the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) for the 2015–2018 terms. She previously served as a board member in numerous national and regional organizations including the Women of Color in Technology National Advisory Board, Central Florida Boys Scouts, the University of Oklahoma (OU) Industrial Engineering Advisory Board and College of Engineering Minority Engineering Advisory Board. In 2019, she was recognized as a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and selected as the Women of Color in Technology Conference’s “Technologists of the Year.”