Horton receives 2022 annual SWE award

Karen Horton, professor and coordinator of mechanical engineering technology at the University of Maine, has been awarded a Fellow Grade award from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Horton is a SWE senior life member and has been a part of the organization since 1981. 

SWE is a nonprofit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in engineering and be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders, according to the SWE website. 

Each year, SWE recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the STEM community and the advancement of women in engineering, according to the SWE blog, All Together. This year, there were 21 different awards given to a total of 267 recipients. Out of the 267, seven, including Horton, were awarded the Fellow Grade. A Fellow Grade award honors SWE members who show continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession. 

Horton, who has been a member of the mechanical engineering technology faculty at UMaine since 1997, has also been the advisor of the award-winning UMaine SWE chapter since 2003. Horton has also served as the SWE counselor and was awarded the outstanding SWE Counselor award in 2010 for her achievements with the group. The chapter provides UMaine students of any gender the opportunity to volunteer and attend different events, including the regional and national SWE conferences. Under Horton’s leadership, the UMaine section has received both outstanding section and mission awards. 

Throughout her professional career, Horton has made it her mission to embody exactly what it means to be a Fellow Grade recipient. “She has been an active leader in community organizations wherever she has lived and she has served as a role model for girls and women in engineering. Her leadership activities over many years have furthered the mission, objectives, and goals of the SWE,” noted the nomination for the award.

Horton will be recognized at WE22, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women engineers and technologists on Oct. 20-22 in Houston, Texas. Horton, along with all other recipients, will also be celebrated in the WE22 Virtual Awards Hall.