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Women Engineers You Should Know: Kristen Graf

Women engineers make real change in the workplace and in our communities. We honor them in our SWE Magazine series “Women Engineers You Should Know.”
Women Engineers You Should Know

This article is part of SWE Magazine’s Spring 2017 Issue. To view it on your mobile device, download the SWE Magazine app! Download it on the App Store or get it on Google Play.

Kristen Graf

A dynamic leader in the field of renewable energy, Kristen Graf is the executive director of the nonprofit organization Women of Wind Energy (WoWe), a position that allows her to blend two of the issues she feels most strongly about — advancing renewable energy and advocating women in society. A 2001 graduate of Cornell University, Graf received her B.S. in agricultural and biological engineering. She was active in the SWE section there, serving as a member of the executive team. During her time at Cornell, Graf also worked to expand the role of renewable energy in agriculture across New York state through the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

She spent five years as the clean energy program coordinator and research associate with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Boston. Her focus was renewable energy policy at the state and national levels, particularly wind and biomass energy in New England.

Graf’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. She was named a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program’s Eastern Region in 2011, and also received the U.S. Department of Energy’s C3E Initiative’s Mid-Career Achievement in Mentoring and Education Award.

A native of Pittsburgh, Graf resides in Brooklyn, New York. She enjoys riding her bike to work, spending time with her niece and nephew, and surfing off Long Island.

Who Are the Women Engineers We Should Know?

women engineersQuite often, those who are behind the scenes and out of the limelight make real change in the workplace and in our communities. It is our intention to recognize such women and make their efforts better known in our SWE Magazine series “Women Engineers You Should Know.”

Casting a wide net, SWE Magazine staff and editorial board members seek contemporary women whose lives have embodied the Society’s mission to: “Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force for improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.”

Through a variety of means, including fielding suggestions and conducting archival research, we will examine the stories of many women who have made a difference in these critical areas. Determining a final list is a daunting challenge, and our selections are in no way meant to be definitive. While some names you may recognize, many are not recognizable to most people. From a variety of perspectives, in different environments and moments in time, these women represent “ordinary” when doing “extraordinary” things. In saluting them, we are saluting all the women, known and unknown, past and present, who have advanced our mission.

Nominate women engineers to know for our next article. The deadline for submission of names is December 15, 2017. Submit nominations here.

With each submission, please include the following.

  • Nominee info: name, why her, links supporting your nomination, areas of expertise, where is she located
  • Nominator info: name, email, how you know the nominee

Thanks for your help, and look for the Spring 2018 issue of SWE Magazine.


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