2019 Eminent Scholar Recipient M. Cynthia Hipwell
Hipwell is a professor in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, and a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Eminent Professor.
A ceremony honoring Hipwell will be held in the Memorial Student Center Bethancourt Ballroom on Texas A&M’s campus on Friday, Nov. 15 at noon. The award encompasses a wide range of disciplines and honors the outstanding contributions of faculty based on research, scholarship and service.
Registration for the event is open on the Aggie Women website.
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young will present the award to Hipwell. Opening remarks for the event will be provided by Kathryn Greenwade ’88, vice president of The Association of Former Students.
Hipwell has been working in the area of technology development based upon nanoscale phenomena for more than 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Rice University and her Master of Science and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
She 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. 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 industry. 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.
Hipwell is known as both a technology and business process innovator, increasing 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, and was elected in 2018 as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Before coming to Texas A&M, she worked at Seagate Technology’s Recording Head Division in Bloomington, Minnesota. During her time at Seagate, 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 fundamental understanding of nanoscale phenomena and nanotechnology integration, to driving an industry-leading head disk interface technology portfolio and leading the head feasibility demonstration of the radically new recording technology, Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR).