A Salute to Those Paving the Way

In 2009, Aggie Women proposed the creation of an award specifically created for the dedicated women faculty of Texas A&M University. It’s called the Eminent Scholar Award.

This award honors the extraordinary women faculty who serve as role models for all Aggie students. It recognizes outstanding research, scholarship and service. The recipient of the Eminent Scholar Award receives recognition on campus, a $4,000 gift to support their research and are honored at the Aggie Women Network Awards Luncheon.

To learn more about the award process, please visit the Dean of Faculties Page.

Dr. Cynthia Hipwell

2019 Eminent Scholar Recipient

Dr. Cynthia Hipwell has been working on nanoscale phenomena technology development for over 20 years. She received her B.S.M.E. from Rice University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Upon graduation, she went to work at Seagate Technology’s Recording Head Division in Bloomington, Minnesota. During her time at Seagate, Dr. Hipwell held various individual and leadership positions in the areas of reliability, product development, and advanced mechanical and electrical technology development. In these various roles, she has been at the forefront of the creation of new devices, models, and metrology. From a fundamental understanding of nanoscale phenomena and nanotechnology integration to leading the head feasibility demonstration of the radically new recording technology, Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR), she conquered many projects. Dr. Hipwell is known as both a technology and business process innovator. She has increased the pace of technology development in her teams through improvements in innovation business processes and, as a leader, creating an environment that encourages and rewards innovation, ownership, teamwork, and excellence. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 for her leadership in the development of technologies to enable areal density increases in hard disk drives. In 2018, she was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Dr. Hipwell is currently a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Eminent Professor and Director of INVENT Lab (INnoVation tools and Entrepreneurial New Technology), where she works to help students, faculty, and companies get technology developed and to market faster. Dr. Hipwell started the Grace Hopper Women Innovators Program, has developed and taught innovation and technology development coursework, and is currently working on a student and faculty development program to improve Ph.D. student preparation for impact in the industry. Dr. Hipwell is also active in mentoring, chairing the J. Mike Walker ’66 Mechanical Engineering Mentoring Committee, and mentoring student/faculty teams in technology commercialization programs.

Previous Eminent Scholar Recipients

  • Professor Huyen Pham, 2018
  • Yvonna S. Lincoln, 2014
  • Deborah Bell-Pedersen, 2013
  • Dr. Kim Dunbar, 2012