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Welcoming new faculty

Three faculty members joined HCDE in the 2017–2018 academic year, expanding the department’s expertise in areas of accessible and inclusive design, digital fabrication, and engineering communication.

Portrait of Leah

Leah Findlater, PhD
Assistant Professor


  • PhD, Computer Science, University of British Columbia
  • MS, Computer Science, University of British Columbia
  • BS, Computer Science, University of Regina

About Dr. Findlater

Leah Findlater is an assistant professor in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). She directs the Inclusive Design Lab, whose mission is to lower barriers to technology use and information access for users with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities. She has published over 60 papers in top-tier academic venues, ten of which have been recognized with Best Paper or Honorable Mention awards. She holds an NSF CAREER Award and her research is funded by NSF, the Department of Defense, Nokia and Google.

Before joining HCDE in 2017, Dr. Findlater was on the faculty at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, and spent two years as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the UW Information School.

Portrait of Dianne

Dianne G. Hendricks, PhD


  • PhD, Genetics, Duke University
  • BS, Molecular Biology , University of Texas, Austin
  • BA, Psychology, University of Texas, Austin

About Dr. Hendricks

Dianne G. Hendricks is a lecturer in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), where she directs the Engineering Communication Program for the College of Engineering.  

Dr. Hendricks joined HCDE in Spring 2018 from the department of Bioengineering, where she taught courses on technical communication, introductory engineering, ethics and social justice in engineering, service learning, design, and honors courses. Dr. Hendricks is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in engineering education. In the department of Bioengineering, she served as the faculty lead for Bioengineering Outreach, which engages UW undergraduates in providing engineering opportunities for underrepresented students in STEM. In addition, she is a co-founder and faculty advisor for HuskyADAPT (Accessible Design and Play Technology), and mentors student teams in designing solutions for people with disabilities.

In her role as Director of the Engineering Communication Program, Dr. Hendricks develops communication curriculum for all Engineering students, and teaches ENGR 231, Introduction to Technical Communication.

Portrait of Nadya

Nadya Peek
Assistant Professor


  • PhD, Media Arts & Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • MS, Media Arts & Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BS, Artificial Intelligence, the University of Amsterdam

About Dr. Peek

Nadya Peek is an assistant professor in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). Her work focuses on unconventional digital fabrication tools, small scale automation, networked control systems, and advanced manufacturing. Spanning electronics, firmware, software, and mechanics, her research focuses on harnessing the precision of machines for the creativity of individuals.

Before joining the HCDE faculty in February 2018, Peek was a postdoctoral research scientist at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms. She is VP of the Open Source Hardware Association, half of the design studio James and the Giant Peek, and plays drum machines and synths in the band Construction.