Michele Putko is a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She came to UMass Lowell after retiring from a thirty-two year career in the United States Army.
A few of her military assignments include Associate Dean of Education at the National Security Space Institute, Colorado Springs, CO, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY and Chief of Logistics for the 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss, TX. She also served as the Logistics Task Force (LTF) executive officer for Operation Fuerte Apoyo (Strong Support) providing relief efforts for Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua and led the establishment of Logistics Support Activity (LSA) Anaconda, in Iraq.
After retiring from the military, Michele relocated to her home state of Massachusetts. She grew up in Berkshire County where she was the first female nominated to attend the United States Military Academy where she received a Bachelors of Science degree. She later earned two masters degrees: one in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, as well as a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University.
Upon arrival at UMass Lowell, Michele began teaching courses in thermal-fluids sciences and realized that Energy Literacy as well as Climate Literacy concepts could be easily incorporated into her technical courses. Using tools from Climate Interactive, last year alone, over two hundred college and high school students experienced meaningful role play simulations deepening their understanding of energy systems and climate change. Many of her students have commented that the simulations were so powerful that they contributed to everything from a change in desired career paths to changes in their everyday lifestyle.
When not advocating for increased energy and climate literacy, Michele and her husband enjoy visiting their six kids spread throughout the globe and spending time at their alternate home located in the Florida Keys.
“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”
— Baba Dioum, 1968
Dr. Michele Putko
Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
120 Perry Hall, UMass Lowell
Lowell, MA 01854