Mary Leigh Wolfe, head of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been elected 2017-18 president-elect of ABET by the board of directors of the organization, which accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied and natural sciences, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. She will be inaugurated in October.

Wolfe has represented the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers on the ABET board of directors since 2010 and was elected secretary of ABET in 2015. She is active in quality assurance and the continuous improvement of engineering education through ABET.

Wolfe has been involved in the accreditation of educational programs for 26 years. She began volunteering for ABET in 1991 as a program evaluator and has since participated at every level of ABET accreditation. She chaired ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission for the 2007-08 accreditation cycle and was past-chair during the 2008-09 cycle.

In addition to her responsibilities as department head, Wolfe is also a professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on advancing hydrologic modeling and nonpoint source pollution control strategies and developing and applying decision support tools for nonpoint source pollution control and watershed management.

The Department of Biological Systems Engineering is in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering.

Wolfe earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Wolfe is a Fellow of ABET, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. She is a member of the ASABE Foundation board of trustees and previously served on the ASABE nominating committee and board of trustees and was its 2015-16 president. 

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