Elizabeth Croft is the senior associate dean for the Faculty of Applied Science, director of the Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab and a registered Professional Engineer in the province of British Columbia. Her research investigates how robotic systems can operate efficiently and effectively in partnership with people, in a safe, predictable and helpful manner. She is author of over 120 refereed publications in robotics, controls, visual servoing and human robot interaction. Applications of this work range from manufacturing assembly to healthcare and assistive technology and her work has been funded by industry partners including Thermo-CRS, General Motors and Hyundai Heavy Industries. She received a Peter Wall Early Career Scholar Award in 2001, an NSERC Accelerator Award in 2007 and a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2013. She was named Fellow of Engineers Canada (2008) and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2009), and one of WXN’s top 100 most powerful women in Canada (2014).
As the former associate dean for Education and Professional Development, Professor Croft was responsible for undergraduate, graduate and professional educational initiatives in Applied Science at both the Vancouver and Okanagan campus, and led the development and successful launch of eight new professional programs in Engineering, Planning and Health. She provided oversight for the Engineering Cooperative Education program and Engineering Student Services. She also oversaw communications, community outreach, marketing and student recruitment.
Professor Croft served as NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, BC & Yukon (2010-2015), founding Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WWEST) to attract, recruit and retain women in engineering and science careers. Over her tenure as Chair the percentage of women students entering first year engineering at UBC increased from 20% to 30%. WWEST continues to work at national, regional and local levels with organizations engaged in increasing the number of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines through multilateral partnerships spanning community, academic and private sector partners. She also served as Principal Investigator for the National NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Network and is currently PI for the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council project “Engendering Engineering Success” aimed at increasing the participation and retention of women in engineering careers.