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Society of Women Engineers

WE17 Highlights – Speakers, Sessions, Panels, and Events You Won’t Want to Miss

WE17 is only a few weeks away! Check out some of the highlights as you get ready for SWE’s Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.

Published On: October 2017

WE17 offers hundreds of speakers, sessions, panels and events. Check out some of the highlights below as you get ready for SWE’s Annual Conference, the world’s largest for women in engineering and technology.

This year, we are expecting record-breaking attendance at the Austin Convention Center, so there will be longer lines than usual at registration, hotel check-in, and various events throughout the week. Please be prepared and patient. We also encourage attendees to become familiar with safety and emergency procedures at the Austin Convention Center.  WE17 is only a few weeks away and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

WE17 Highlights

  • Visit here for the Online Conference Planner
  • Download the WE17 App on your mobile device through iTunes or Google Play
  • Sign up for WE17 text alerts by texting “SWE WE Conference” to 56512

Ice Cream Social & Dueling Pianos
Let’s all come together and kick off WE17 with our Dueling Pianos Ice Cream Social! Two keyboardists from the original Texas rock ‘n’ roll dueling piano bar will throw down at this first-ever event with wildly entertaining performances. Request songs, connect with other WE17 attendees and sponsors, and enjoy a cool dessert! Sponsored by 3M, ArcelorMittal, Denso, General Motors, and United Technologies Corporation.

NXP Foundation – Young Women’s STEM Leadership Forum
The NXP Foundation will launch the inaugural Women’s STEM Leadership Forum to honor the best and brightest young women and their academic and innovative achievements. The deadline to apply to attend the Young Women’s STEM Leadership Forum has been extended to Friday, October 13. This pre-WE17 event will take place at NXP headquarters in Austin, TX and is open to undergraduates and graduates. Learn more here.

Opening Keynote Breakfast with Lorraine Bolsinger: Be Big, Be Bold, Be an Engineer
During our WE17 Opening Keynote Breakfast, Lorraine Bolsinger, Vice President, GE Corporate Leadership Acceleration Program, will use her own experiences to explain how to succeed as a leader in engineering and technology. Note: a ticket is required for this event.
8:30 am – 10:00 am, ACC, Ballroom DEFG
Thursday, October 27

Social Media Lounge
The Social Media Lounge was created to showcase and enhance SWE’s social media engagement. Take photos and videos of yourself and friends while interacting with others on SWE’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and other social media.
9:30 am – 5:00 pm, ACC, Level 1 Lobby
Thursday – Saturday, October 26-28

Career Consultations
Do not miss this unique opportunity to visit a professional career coach for a minimal fee. Professional career coaches will offer personalized, one-on-one career consulting which will take place over the course of the conference. Participants meet to discuss career-related issues they have including career development, CV/resume writing, cover letter writing, leadership development, professional etiquette, networking, diversity, conflict resolution, and others. Each consultation will last 30 minutes. Visit here for more information.

Speed Networking – Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI)
CLI needs professional SWE members for 45 minutes of speed networking! CLI provides custom programming to college students selected for their leadership potential. Meet six CLI students in a facilitated networking experience.
Thursday, October 26
11:45 am   12:30 pm
Hilton Austin (just across 4th street from the Austin Convention Center)
Sign up Today!

Plenary: Men as Diversity Partners – Being a Champion of Women in Engineering
Creating an inclusive work environment requires a commitment and full engagement in all levels of an organization. A distinguished panel of senior male leaders will share their insights on the business case for gender diversity along with how they have championed diversity and inclusion as executives and colleagues. Some specific attention will be paid to sponsorship and mentoring as a component of advancing diversity initiatives within organizations. Both men and women are encouraged to attend this lively and informative plenary session.
10:30 am – 11:45 am, ACC, Ballroom D
Thursday, October 26

Newell Brands Networking Lounge
Everyone at conference is looking for a place to sit, connect and recharge. This is an area to relax and connect with other attendees. We invite you to visit and learn more about Newell, the lounge sponsor.
9:30 am – 5:00 pm  ACC, Level 1 Rotunda
Thursday – Friday October 26-27

WE17 Career Fair
More than 300 exhibitors will be meeting and interviewing engineering and technology candidates for job opportunities and internships in industry, government, academia, and nonprofit organizations.
ACC, Exhibit Halls 1-5
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm Thursday, October 26 (Open to both Collegiates and Professionals)
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Opening Reception + Career Fair)
9:30 am – 10:30 am Friday, October 27  (Professionals Only)
10:30 am – 4:00 pm Friday, October 27 (Collegiate and Professionals)

Plenary: What’s Your Moonshot?
The term “moonshot” is rooted in NASA’s ambitious Apollo moon program. Like the Apollo program, today we understand it as an ambitious, exploratory, and groundbreaking project that is often pursued without an expectation of near-term profitability and, in some cases, is not based on a full investigation of potential risks and benefits. The idea or metaphor of the moonshot has received considerable attention over the last couple of years (e.g., the effort to cure cancer) especially in light of the many audacious and aspirational goals set by those in the engineering and scientific community. This plenary session will concentrate on the moonshots of the panelists’ organizations and how they may be addressing a complex challenge through a radical solution and/or breakthrough technology, and what they have done as leaders in their respective organizations in getting the formula right.
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm ACC, Ballroom D
Thursday, October 26

Pathfinders Lounge
The Pathfinders Lounge is a place for late-career and retired members to socialize, network, renew old friendships, and discuss topics of general interest in an informal setting throughout the day. A message board will be provided for people to leave notes, and resource swaps are encouraged, such as books, tapes, seminar ideas, coaches, and more! First-time attendees and all members are encouraged to visit this lounge to meet with the seasoned leaders of SWE. And check the daily schedule for the special “Meet the SWE VIPs” event on Saturday.
10:00 am – 5:00 pm ACC, Room 9A
Friday – Saturday, October 27-28

Plenary: How Does She Do It?
Female leaders in business and technology have to manage increasing complexity and dimensions of their lives and careers. They need to understand how to handle the unique demands and find a style of leadership that allows them to succeed at work — and outside of work. Panelists will describe key decisions, lessons, and experiences that have shaped their lives in striking a balance.
8:30 am – 9:45 am, ACC, Ballroom D
Friday, October 27

State of Women in Engineering
Join us for this comprehensive presentation to learn more about current research trends on the state of women in engineering. During this special event, you will hear from the SWE Literature Review authors as they frame the discussion and point to the current research landscape regarding data on women in engineering, gender bias, workplace culture, intersectionality, and more. We’ll examine SWE’s own research, along with industry leaders, and look ahead to the future.
1:00 pm  – 2:30 pm, ACC, Room 6
Friday, October 27

Plenary: HI vs. AI – Will the Robots Win?
Robot rebellions are the stuff of movies, but what will be the future of robots and more specifically the role of artificial intelligence across a variety of industries? Our panelists, will be asked about the current and future state of artificial intelligence and how it will augment, support, drive, and challenge human intelligence and existing economic models.
8:30 am – 9:45 am, ACC, Ballrooms DEFG
Saturday, October 28

Celebrate SWE! with Keynote Speaker Mary Petryszyn
“Unleashing Discovery” will focus on a woman’s journey in the traditionally male-dominated field of engineering. Mary Petryszyn, Sector Vice President and GM at Northrop Grumman Corporation, will use anecdotes from her own career with a focus on trailblazing, mentoring, and performance. She will emphasize both the unique challenges and commonalities faced by women around the world. Finally, Mary will connect to the careers of her female colleagues who are working on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Note: a ticket is required for this event.
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, ACC, Ballrooms DEFG
Saturday, October 28

The Mrs
Don’t miss The Mrs, Austin’s all-female rock band playing after Celebrate SWE! They are mothers and women in their 30’s and 40’s working in a male-dominated industry, and their mission is to empower and connect with women like them. If you like the Go-Go’s and Wilson Phillips, you’ll love The Mrs. Note: No ticket is required for this event. All registrants are welcome.
9:20 pm – 10:30 pm ACC, Ballrooms ABC
Saturday, October 28

Sponsored by:
Brown – Executive Master
SWE – Diverse Podcast