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Mentor Spotlight: Andrea Strzelec, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted: January 24, 2022

Throughout the month of January, we’re recognizing members of our SAE Mentor community who share their experience and expertise with young professionals and engineering students as they shape the future of mobility.

Andrea Strzelec has always been a champion of the curious mind. She first became involved with SAE as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) where she connected with peers who shared her automotive passions, and now 19 years later, she’s passing on the knowledge she’s gained during that time in her current role as Program Director, Master of Engineering in Engine Systems Program & Associate Research Scientist at UW and a mentor in SAE’s mentoring program.

“I absolutely love working with young engineers,” Strzelec said of her involvement. “As a woman in engineering pursuing research in the particularly male-dominated automotive field, I have often felt like I stood out as a visible example of diversity in the conference, meeting, laboratory or classroom—so inclusivity is an extremely important issue to me. I don’t want anyone in my field to ever feel like they don’t belong based on how they look.”

Coming up in the industry as a young professional, Strzelec felt fortunate to have a supportive network of female role models who served as mentors during her time as a student and post-doctoral fellow. With her own influential experience with her past mentors that helped shape her career in mind, Strzelec added mentoring to her involvement at SAE, where she also acts as a paper reviewer, session organization, Exhaust Aftertreatment & Emissions Committee Chair, Powertrain Fuel & Lubricant event Vice Chair, technical paper author and book author.