Outstanding Collegiate Member

Lily Coss

The University of Akron

For an exemplary record of academic achievement and discipline; for serving as an excellent role model and student leader; and for energetically expanding SWE’s influence at the collegiate level.

Lily Coss is a fourth-year undergraduate student at The University of Akron. She is on track to graduate in May 2024 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. She has maintained academic excellence throughout her college career and has been named to the College of Engineering Dean’s List, the Honor College Dean’s List, and the President’s List. She has received numerous additional honors.

In her internships with Gerber and GE HealthCare, she worked with the operations teams on efficiency, safety, and sustainability projects, including designing and prototyping part-specific production tools, improving databases, documenting delivery metrics, and determining solutions for unsafe chemical exposure in the workplace.

A dedicated Society of Women Engineers member, Coss has served as an outreach chair and as president of The University of Akron Collegiate Section. In these roles, she has spearheaded many events and initiatives to elevate women in STEM at her university and promote STEM to prospective students.

As FY23 section president, Coss worked with faculty members and local sponsors, increasing representation at WE22 over several years prior. She expanded the number of section leadership opportunities and positions by opening more chair positions and allowing several co-chairs to manage. By 2023, meeting attendance had increased 20% and membership had increased 55%.

At the Society level, Coss has participated in the Leadership Development Program beginner track and the outreach committee in the SWE Adult Advocate publications workgroup. In this group, she researched and wrote articles for adult advocates, including resources to aid their outreach projects and help them provide children with a basis in engineering education. Through these activities, Coss enjoys connecting with SWE members outside the university and significantly contributing more to the organization.

Outside of SWE, Coss participates in undergraduate student government and is an active member of the National Association of Engineering Student Councils (NAESC), previously serving as vice president of conferences. In this position, Coss led three conference coordinator teams across the United States. She worked countless hours to ensure that the first post-pandemic conferences were successful. She is now NAESC executive vice president.

As a dedicated mechanical engineering student, Coss proudly represents The University of Akron’s College of Engineering and Polymer Science Dean’s Team. As an ambassador, she helps host outreach events and visit days, sharing her university experiences with prospective students.

Coss is president of the Ohio Kappa Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society that values academic achievement and commitment to personal and professional integrity. In 2023, she received the A-Key Gold Award and Outstanding Junior Award from the university, acknowledging her contributions to the campus community and her involvement at the institution. She volunteers at the Salvation Army, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, and the American Red Cross.

Coss plans to pursue a career in manufacturing and focus on improving efficiency and sustainability in production. Outside of her studies, she enjoys traveling, painting, and drawing.