Dr. April Lovelady, director of Immersion Experiences and instructional associate professor at Texas A&M University, is an individual who demonstrates her commitment to pushing herself through continual education and inspiring problem solving.
She not only graduated from Texas A&M twice, once with a bachelor’s degree in 2002 and again with a master’s in 2003, but she worked for NASA for nine years. She then returned to A&M and obtained her PhD in 2012. She was so dedicated to both teaching and engineering that she elected to leave her position in industry and take a post doc at Louisiana State University (LSU) before eventually returning to A&M.
Lovelady has spent the last five years as the assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Prairie View, where she teaches courses such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and math models.
“During my five years at Prairie View,” said Lovelady, “I had the opportunity to share my knowledge of Mechanical Engineering with students in a multitude of courses. Notably, I taught classes on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and material science. Beyond that, one of my proudest accomplishments was the creation of ‘Design Thinking and Device Development,’ which has since been added to the University‘s course inventory as a valued resource for engineers. My time at NASA sharpened these skills; given the open boundaries afforded to me gave way to an immense amount of creativity and exploration. In sum, engineering is an ever-evolving field – something both NASA and Prairie View have allowed me to explore without fail.”
Her combined experience in engineering controls systems, medical device development and entrepreneurship, has led to her qualifications in her current position at Texas A&M. Her background as an engineer has laid the foundations necessary to build successful medical devices that meet industry standards and serve customers’ needs.
Lovelady found herself in a position to work with a radiologist who had been practicing for 20 years. His expertise and knowledge of the field made it possible to create intricate solutions to various problems encountered during hemodialysis treatments. Together, they developed a device specifically designed for hemodialysis patients. This was the start to her entrepreneurial path.
“Working on this project was a tremendous learning experience for me,” she said. “Not only did I get to be part of the creative process by taking part in ideation and needs finding, but I also got to put my skills to use through prototyping, testing, and the regulatory process.”
Lovelady is highly accomplished. She has earned multiple awards and honors, including the Bulldog Brenckman Award in 2017, LSU AgCenter Service Awards (2014 & 2015), State of Texas Service Award (2010) and Alfred P. Sloan Scholar (2009). Her research contributions have appeared in countless academic journals, making her a respected name in her field.
As evidence of Lovelady’s success through research is the fact that it has positively impacted multiple industries and facilitated needed advancements in such areas as biomedical engineering, computer science and education. Without a doubt, Lovelady is a leader who embodies dedication to her craft with enthusiasm as she strives for progress within our collective societies.