53 Game-changers: Asha-Dee Celestine

Asha-Dee Celestine, assistant professor in aerospace engineering, likes to think three-dimensionally. With a research interest in advancing additive manufacturing and 3-D printing to create new multifunctional materials, she sees the opportunity to use these materials not only in the aerospace community, but for medical and nanotechnology applications.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Howard University, Celestine earned her master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also worked as a field engineer in Venezuela between her master’s and doctoratal degrees. After she graduated with her Ph.D., Celestine held a postdoctoral research position with Schlumberger-Doll Research and Harvard University for two years, before moving to join the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Celestine’s research also focuses on the design, development and characterization of polymer-based intelligent materials for structural applications. These materials will have the ability to sense and heal damage without human intervention, or respond favorably to external stimuli, such as temperature. Her professional goal is to establish an internationally known materials engineering program and increase the number of underrepresented engineering graduates.

Celestine said her decision to join the Auburn Engineering faculty came down to the academic support provided and ability to influence future engineers.

“The most attractive aspects of Auburn Engineering are the quality and strength of the program, and the dean’s clear vision for future growth,” Celestine said. “I truly felt that this was a place where I could build a thriving materials research program and impact the next generation of engineers.”