Society of Women Engineers Announces 2016 SWE Awards

The Society of Women Engineers announced today the recipients of its annual awards program, honoring leaders within various fields of engineering.

SWE Leadership Summit Update

The Society of Women Engineers announced today the recipients of its annual awards program. SWE awards acknowledge achievers and leaders within various fields of engineering. The annual initiative aims to recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession through contributions to industry, education and the community. Award recipients will be recognized at WE16, the world’s largest conference for women engineers, Oct. 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Penn.

“The men and women acknowledged in this year’s awards program have made a significant impact on their community as well as the engineering and technology profession as a whole,” said Jessica Rannow, president of SWE. “Leaders such as these individuals are what make it possible to remain a catalyst for change as we work together to empower women in STEM and close the gender gap in engineering.”

This year’s group of awards recipients includes a mixture of professionals and collegiates from some of the most influential businesses, corporations and universities across the globe. The awards recipients are as follows:

Achievement Award

The highest award given by SWE, bestowed for an outstanding technical contribution for at least 20 years in the field of engineering.

  • Stephanie Watts Butler, Ph.D., P.E., Texas Instruments

Advocating Women in Engineering Award

Honors individuals who have demonstrated professional excellence in their chosen STEM fields and have proven to be an advocate of women in engineering and SWE’s objectives.

  • Nora C. Lin, F.SWE, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Beth A. Mitchell, General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • Marla Peterson, Honeywell Aerospace
  • Natalie Hagan, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Shelly A.M. Wolff, P.E., F.SWE, HNTB Corporation

Distinguished Engineering Educator

Presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the engineering profession through education.

  • Pamela M. Norris, Ph.D., University of Virginia

Distinguished Service Award

Recognizes a SWE member or associate member who has made a significant contribution(s) to SWE for at least 20 years, especially at the local and regional levels or on Society-level committees.

  • Janis L. Mantini, F.SWE, retired
  • Frances Stuart, retired

Emerging Leader

Honors individuals who have been actively engaged in an engineering or technology profession, and has demonstrated outstanding technical excellence as an individual resulting in significant accomplishments and has 10-15 years of engineering experience.

  • Lindsay M. Forsyth, Chevron Corporation
  • Kelly Griswold Schable, The Boeing Company
  • Allison Goodman, Intel Corporation
  • Tracy Van Houten, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Christina Jackson, Ph.D., Honeywell UOP
  • Jaime Nelson, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Siobvan Nyikos, The Boeing Company
  • Laura Schafer, Emerson
  • Rashi Tiwari, Ph.D., The Dow Chemical Company
  • Janet Willett, John Deere

Entrepreneur Award

Honors women who started and/or maintained their own engineering, scientific or technology-based business for at least five years, and in doing so, serves as a role model to all women who have ever risked financial security for the possibility of uncertain rewards.

  • Michele S. Stuart, Efficiency Engineers, Inc.

Fellow Grade

Honor conferred on SWE members in recognition of continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession.

  • Ellen Ferraro, Ph.D., Raytheon Company
  • Cheryl Manning, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Nancy Manley, P.E., U.S. Air Force 78 CEG
  • Diane L. Peters, P.E., Ph.D., Kettering University
  • Holly J. Tieg, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Mary C. Verstraete, Ph.D., University of Akron

Global Leadership

Honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of engineering and/or technical management in an international setting.

  • Decie Autin, ExxonMobil
  • Louise Goetz, GE Oil & Gas
  • Barbara Rusinko, Bechtel National Inc.

Global Team Leadership Award

Presented to a team with women in technical leadership roles that meet or exceed project objectives while demonstrating innovative thinking to overcome global challenges.

  • Insider Risk Team led by Dawn Cappelli, Rockwell Automation

Outstanding Faculty Advisor

Celebrates an outstanding contribution by a SWE advisor to a SWE collegiate section.

  • Theresa Comerford, Colorado State University


Recognizes an individual who has charted her own path in the STEM fields by demonstrating a variety of outstanding career leadership activities in a technical field, as well as leadership in professional organizations and the community.

  • Christine A. Coverdale, Ph.D., Sandia National Laboratories
  • Lesley A. Polka, Ph.D., Intel Corporation
  • Mindy Rapp, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Holly Rollins, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Susan Stevenson, Praxair

Rodney D. Chipp Memorial

Celebrates the work of a man or company who has made a significant contribution to the acceptance and advancement of women in engineering.

  • Charles E. Browning, Ph.D., University of Dayton
  • Alfred Grasso, The MITRE Corporation
  • Robert H. Smith, Honeywell


Honors an individual who has contributed to the advancement of women by mentoring those around them.

  • Rhonda L. Childress, IBM
  • Reates Curry, Ph.D., Ford Motor Company
  • Erica Messinger, Keysight Technologies, Inc.
  • Carolyn Moore, ExxonMobil
  • Jeff Redmon, Caterpillar Inc.

Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award

Celebrating an individual’s rise to success in a significant management role and contribution to the decision-making process within their organization.

  • Jill M. Hruby, Sandia National Laboratories

SWE Distinguished New Engineer

Honors women engineers who have been actively engaged in engineering in the first 10 years of their careers.

  • Rachel Borchers, Boston Scientific
  • Gail Dyer, Corning Incorporated
  • Lesley Farah, Starkey Hearing Technologies
  • Stueti Gupta, John Deere
  • Sunita G. Lavin, Garmin International
  • Jacquelyn K. Nagel, Ph.D, James Madison University
  • Rebecca M. Reck, Ph.D., Kettering University
  • Casey Waggy, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
  • Amanda Weissman, SevOne
  • Allison Wright, Spirit AeroSystems

SWE Outstanding Collegiate Member

Bestowed upon SWE collegiate members who have made an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community and their campus.

  • Erica Brackman, The Ohio State University
  • Alyssa Deardorff, Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Elizabeth Dreyer, University of Michigan
  • Katie Gonzagowski, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Danielle Johnson, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Anna Lucrezia Oldani, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Rebecca Kandell, California Polytechnic State University
  • Danielle Schroeder, Drexel University
  • Rachel Unruh, Texas A&M University
  • Elia Zanella, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Work/Life Integration

Celebrates an individual who has worked to create programs that help women engineers and other employees balance the commitments of career, life and family.

  • Ingolf Prüfer, John Deere

Awards recipients will be honored at a formal ceremony at WE16, the world’s largest conference for women engineers, Oct. 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Penn. The conference gathers over 9,000 professional and collegiate men and women for educational sessions, interview opportunities and networking.

For more information about the Society of Women Engineers, visit For more information about WE16, visit

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