The Monthly SWE Newsletter
April 2014
SWE News

WE13 Career Fair Connects Best with Leading Organizations

It was standing room-only in the ballroom at the Baltimore Convention Center as the Harlem Gospel Choir electrified attendees with a stunning set that opened this year’s Career Fair. The largest event of its kind, the WE13 Career Fair attracted 280 exhibitors and collegiate and professional members from around the world. During the course of the fair, organizations such as Exxon Mobil Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation and General Atomics exhibited on the conference floor in search of the next generation of engineering greats.

With WE13’s record setting attendance, it’s no surprise that this year’s Career Fair continued its trend as one of the most popular events at SWE’s Annual Conference. Noted by many attendees as a key reason for attending, it offers a chance for professional members to expand their network and initiate exciting new stages in their career, as well as an opportunity for collegiate members to refine their resumes and begin developing the connections that will help them kickstart their career. The success of this year’s career fair and its resounding popularity remain emblematic of SWE’s continuing mission to create a place and a voice for women in engineering.

The University of Dayton Collegiate Section hosts Joint Professional Development Event: Dr. Valerie Young’s Seminar on the “Imposter Syndrome” and GE Aviation Networking Event

“Your fear of being inadequate pales in comparison to your fear of being extraordinary”

Famous Canadian actor and comedian Mike Myers once said, “I still believe that at any time the No-Talent Police will come and arrest me.” On Sept. 17, the University of Dayton Collegiate SWE Section held a seminar with Dr. Valerie Young that discussed this common feeling of 'faking it,' which often seems to manifest for no reason in intelligent and motivated people. An internationally known speaker, she calls this feeling the “Imposter Syndrome.” In the engaging seminar, Dr. Young described this syndrome and discussed how we can not only detect it, but learn from it as well. Dr. Young has spoken to tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff at over 60 universities across the nation. She is known for her award-winning book “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive In Spite of It.” 

The Dr. Young Seminar was held at the University of Dayton in conjunction with a GE networking event. 

The joint Dr. Young Seminar and GE networking event was the section's first arranged speaker event as well as the first professional event of the semester. With more than 130 attendees, it was deemed a huge success by the students, eliciting numerous positive responses.

University of Dayton

Figure: UD Section officers and Dr. Valerie Young
From left to right: Treasurer Megan Grout, Vice President Katelyn Dvorsky, Dr. Valerie Young, President Katie Obbagy, Social Chair Abigail Spohn, Mentor Chair Sarah Buescher.

WE13 Photo Booth Images Reached over 100,000 people on Facebook

At WE13, the Society of Women Engineers introduced a photo booth that snapped candid photos of attendees with fun props. After taking a picture, attendees were asked to fill in the phrase “I love #WE13 because …,” capturing the lively atmosphere with a wealth of funny and thoughtful responses. More than 250 photos were taken at the iScream Social or the Spark Center. The top photo, snapped by collegiate members of the University of Florida Gainesville Section, won a $50 Amazon gift card for capturing the photo with the most likes. Their snapshot received more than 70 likes.

This infographic details how the photo booth was used from Oct. 24-26, including how many people engaged with the resulting images. Thank you to all the attendees who made this new feature a great success!

WE13 ChirpE

FY13 Fourth Quarter Scorecard

The SWE Scorecard provides quarterly updates on our progress toward achieving our strategic goals. The FY13 Fourth Quarter Scorecard displays the accomplishments of our section, region and Society leaders and members in FY13. Goals include:

  • Growing the Professional Outreach: There is an increase in women choosing to enter engineering and technology professions.
  • Professional Excellence: Women in engineering and technology excel professionally, and their achievements are showcased and valued.
  • Inclusive Global Community: Women in engineering and technology and SWE stakeholders find value in SWE as a diverse, inclusive and global community.
  • Membership: SWE is a first-choice organization for supporting women in engineering and technology.

The FY13 Fourth Quarter Scorecard is now available.

The Program Development Grant Committee Congratulates Sections/Regions for Approvals

The Program Development Grant (PDG) Committee would like to congratulate the following sections and regions for their recent grant approvals:

  • Boston Professional Section for First Lego League Teams, K-12 Outreach Program
  • University of Miami Collegiate Section for a Girl Scout Day, K-12 Outreach Program
  • Rocky Mountain Professional Section for their Mini-Conference Professional Development Program
  • Baltimore-Washington Professional Section for Science Olympiad, K-12 Outreach Program
  • San Buenaventura Professional Section for First Lego League Teams, K-12 Outreach Program
  • Embry-Riddle Collegiate Section for SWANS, K-12 Outreach Program
  • Low Country Professional Section for First Lego League and Jr. First Lego League Teams, K-12 Outreach Program
  • Central Florida Professional Section for Master of Your DNA, Professional Development Program
  • Central Florida Professional Section for A Day in the Life, K-12 Outreach Program
  • Space Coast Professional Section for WOW! That's Engineering, K-12 Outreach Program
  • Region C for their Conference K-12 Outreach Program

Please contact the PDG Chair Natalie Vanderspiegel with questions.

Tweetchats Build Excitement for WE13

SWE held its most popular tweetchat yet on Sept. 27, gathering more members than ever to discuss their growing excitement for WE13 and how SWE’s annual conference has impacted them over the years. President Stacey DelVecchio led the discussion, herself concisely advocating for the multitude of benefits that comes with attending. “Go! You’ll learn something and be refreshed about your career. You’ll meet people from all walks of life,” DelVecchio said.

September’s tweetchat focused on the many benefits that SWE’s professional members have experienced at past conferences and the events at this year’s conference that they are most looking forward to. Now, with WE13 quickly approaching, weekly tweetchats will be held in anticipation of the event. The first was held on Oct. 4 with members discussing how to build professional networks at WE13. The next will be held on Oct. 11 when participants will discuss how to get a job at WE13, while the last will be held on Oct. 18 when members will offer advice for planning for the busy WE13 weekend. These relaxed tweetchats offer a more informal discussion setting where members and participants can learn from one another and begin networking in advance of their departure for Baltimore. Each tweetchat will start on the day it is scheduled at noon CST.

Help spread the excitement for WE13 and start developing the professional relationships you’ll foster at WE13. Follow the #AskSWE hashtag to get involved with the upcoming tweetchats, check the tweetchat faq if you have any questions and keep an eye on SWE’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with the most recent WE13 announcements.

Applications Now Open for New Faces of Engineering - College Edition

Applications are now open for National Engineers Week Foundation’s New Faces of Engineering–College Edition. This third-annual event honors the best and brightest engineering students in the U.S. and beyond. Applications are now available and the deadline for submissions is Nov. 15. Nominees will be announced Feb. 13 immediately prior to the kick-off of Engineers Week 2014 (Feb. 16-22). Winners, to be announced on April 2, receive scholarships and national recognition in print and online.

The College Edition award recognizes third-, fourth- and fifth-year engineering students for their achievements and the program’s Facebook page is a forum where students can communicate with their engineering peers. The page also provides a source of academic and professional development as well as volunteer opportunities, available from National Engineers Week Foundation and their engineering association, university and corporate partners. Students can meet with their engineering peers in every field and learn about other events, licensure exams, internships, jobs, competitions, engineering associations and more.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in a bachelor of science engineering program at an ABET Accredited college or university or from an equivalent international educational institution and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must also be affiliated with one of the following engineering associations:

  • AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers)
  • AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society)
  • ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers)
  • ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
  • ASME
  • CIE-USA (Chinese Institute of Engineers)
  • NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering)
  • NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers)
  • NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers)
  • NOGLSTP (National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals)
  • SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers)
  • SME Education Foundation (Society of Manufacturing Engineers)
  • SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers)
  • SWE (Society of Women Engineers)

Students who do not currently belong to one of the above societies may still join a participating organization.

Funding for New Faces of Engineering–College Edition is provided by NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

“NCEES is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s New Faces of Engineering–College Edition, as we continue to support the recognition of outstanding engineering students,” says NCEES Chief Executive Officer Jerry Carter. “The program helps engineering students connect and find the resources they will need throughout their careers, while raising awareness of the impact of professional engineering licensure on our daily lives.”


NCEES is a national nonprofit organization composed of engineering and surveying licensing boards representing all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. An accredited standards developer with the American National Standards Institute, NCEES develops, scores and administers the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure throughout the United States. NCEES also provides services facilitating professional mobility for licensed engineers and surveyors. Its headquarters is located in Clemson, S.C.

About National Engineers Week Foundation

National Engineers Week Foundation works year-round to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession critical to public health, safety and welfare. The Foundation supports engineering outreach, education and celebration through a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. The Foundation and coalition are actively putting the E in STEM.

For more information, visit eweek.

SWE Leader Peter Finn Receives Forty Under 40 Award

Peter Finn, the Society of Women Engineers’ director of learning and development, has been named to Association Forum’s Forty Under 40 Awards. Finn was selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants for this accolade, which recognizes 40 up-and-coming association or nonprofit professionals who are under the age of 40.

SWE Deputy Executive Director Karen Horting wrote of his dedication and professionalism in her letter recommending him for the award and said it’s an honor to supervise such a motivated leader.

“He has a true passion for associations and the value they bring to members and stakeholders,” Horting said. “I feel confident when Peter is leading – whether it is people or a project – and I am grateful to be able to get his perspective when dealing with challenges in our association.”

Finn joined SWE in 2008 and has worked to expand the Society’s educational offerings for engineers at every intersection of their careers. Under his leadership, Finn’s division has enhanced SWE’s numerous educational offerings and become a leader in the industry of online and continued learning. Through his work in creating the Advance learning portal, SWE now offers an impressive array of webinars, podcasts, blog posts and formal resources for aspiring and established professionals alike. In this capacity and as a member of the board of directors for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), Finn’s specialized knowledge is highly sought and respected throughout the field. Finn also supervises content at SWE’s Annual Conference, which has increased 35 percent in attendance since 2009.

Prior to joining SWE, Finn worked at the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) where he created the PediaLink portal, an educational tool that is still utilized by a number of medical professionals. His resume includes time as the director of education and knowledge management for the Goldin Institute. In this capacity, he helped launched a national platform in Colombia, South America, aimed at assisting former child soldiers in rejoining mainstream society. Finn has worked with organizations such as Cardean University, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC., McKinsey & Co., Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to his career pursuits, Finn has taught courses at Northwestern University as an adjunct professor.

Finn holds a bachelor of arts in English literature and film from Clark University and a master of science in learning and organizational change from Northwestern University.

“I am humbled to be recognized on the same stage as so many talented, dedicated leaders within the nonprofit world,” Finn said. “I am passionate about my work and honored that the product of our effort at SWE has caught the attention of Association Forum.”

Finn will be honored during a reception on Dec. 16, as well as at the Forum’s Holiday Showcase Luncheon Dec. 17 in Chicago.

The Countdown to #WE13 Is On!

Just a few short weeks separate you from the biggest event of the year for women engineers! Registration is still available for #WE13, SWE’s banner event attracting more than 6,500 attendees for three days of learning and networking. Join your fellow SWE members and industry employers as they converge on the Baltimore Convention Center Oct. 24-26. Register now to secure your spot to Make Connections. Make History. this month.

This year’s annual convention features crowd favorites and new features sure to provide a lifetime of memories for all attendees. The Lava Lounge will be reinvented as the Spark Center, a space devoted to strengthening your relationship with SWE and your fellow members. This year’s Ice Cream Social will take a new spin on the season as the iScream Social, complete with a costume contest that’s sure to be frighteningly festive. Returning this year are the Lightning Talks and Mega Sessions, offering educational opportunities tailored to the unique needs of attendees.

Don’t miss this chance to widen your network, connect with potential employers and deepen your understanding of engineering at #WE13. Invest in you and register now.

Rapid Fire Sessions at WE13 Seeking Judges

The Graduate Community is hosting two separate Rapid Fire Sessions at WE13. Each graduate student below, selected through a competitive abstract submission review process, will deliver a five-minute presentation explaining how their research meets the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges in Engineering.

The panel is interested in having a diverse audience of professionals and academics participate as judges for the presentations. No previous experience or background work is needed to be a judge. If you are interested in participating as a judge please contact Marcella Vaicik and let her know which day you would like to participate (those who are interested can also participate both days, if they are available). Judges will listen to the presentation during the session and then fill out a short feedback form that is anonymous. At the end of the session the graduate student presenters will receive their feedback forms.

Rapid Fire Sessions are a great way to learn about cutting edge research in a short, easy to understand format. Graduate students are excited to share their technical work with people outside of their discipline at WE13 and to receive feedback to improve their technical communication skills.



Rapid Fire Presentation Day

Presentation Title

Banafsheh Behzad

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

Analysis of the United States Pediatric Immunization Market: A Game Theoretic Approach

Jennifer M. Knipe

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

Biodegradable Microencapsulated Nanogel System for the Oral Delivery of siRNA

Kaitlyn J. Bunker

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

High Dimension Droop Control for Wind Resources in DC Microgrids

Maria K. Jimenez

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

Depth-sensitive Detection of Oral Precancer with Oblique Polarized Reflectance Spectroscopy

Nishamathi Kumaraswamy

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

Biaxial Tissue Characterization to Obtain Mechanical Properties of Breast Skin

Shivani K. Gupta

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

Improved Screening Strategy for Activatable Recognition Proteins

Tabitha Voytek

4-5 p.m. Oct. 24

Measuring the 21-cm Sky Brightness Temperature Spectrum at High Redshifts

Angeli Gamez

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

The Impact of Wide-Base Tires on Pavement Damage – A National Study

Katherine R. Avery

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

Characterizing an Advanced Automotive Material Under Interacting Damage Modes

Maria Choi

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

Modeling of a Hollow Cathode Plume Plasma

Ritu Raman

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

A Projection Stereolithography System for High Resolution 3D Printing of Cells and Biomaterials

Suze Ninh

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

Synthesis and Fabrication of Endovascular Devices Used in Treatment of Wide-neck Intracranial Aneurysms

Yunshan Wang

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

MicroRNA Profiling Using Conical Optical Fiber Array

Rachel M. Unruh

10-11 a.m. Oct. 25

The Effect of Encapsulated Species on the Transport of Small Molecules Through Hydrogels

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