Episode 86: Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Past SWE President, Nora Lin
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), SWE is highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander women engineers. For our first podcast during AAPIHM, Le Si Qu, SWE’s Asian Connections Affinity Group Co-Lead, interviews Nora Lin, retired engineering project manager at Northrop Grumman and past president of the Society of Women Engineers, FY 2010. In this episode, Nora discusses her career in STEM, her experiences as a past SWE president and advice for aspiring engineers and technologists.
About Nora Lin:
Nora Lin received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics in Taiwan and earned her Master’s in Physics from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Nora had broad experience in software engineering, systems engineering, and engineering project management in the Defense Industry for 35 years. She retired as a Chief Engineer of her programs from Northrop Grumman Corporation in October 2018.
As a Fellow and Life member of SWE, Nora has dedicated herself and volunteered tirelessly in pursuit of SWE’s mission for more than two decades. She has held various SWE leadership positions, including President in FY10. Nora was one of the first class of Leadership Coaches and has supported succession planning, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, outreach, award selection related efforts during her SWE journey. After her SWE presidency, she chaired the SWE Leadership Election Task Force and served on the Nominating Committee and Conference Advisory Board. She has also been participating in the review and selection of SWE conference workshops/presentation submissions for several years.
In 2003, Nora started an enterprise-wide Northrop Grumman Women Engineers (NGWE) Employee Resource Group (ERG) to provide networking and development opportunities across many sites. Nora served as the first chair and as an advisor afterwards until her retirement from the company. She campaigned within Northrop Grumman for SWE membership and strong participation at the SWE annual conference. Her efforts helped NGWE achieve many successes including increasing the Northrop Grumman SWE conference participants from 30+ in 2003 to 200+ in 2019 and fostering many SWE leaders at various levels. NGWE has made a significant impact on the image and visibility of women engineers within her company. It has also helped improve the company’s retention and recruiting of women engineers and supported its reputation and brand as an employer of choice for women engineers. The company, with her assistance, also endowed the Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award with SWE in FY11.
As a first-generation immigrant, Nora enjoys reaching out to other technical professionals to not be constrained by the limitation and boundaries set by others. Nora was recognized for the Women of Color in Technology Career Achievement Award in 2008 and the Asian American Engineer of the Year Award in 2009. She also received the SWE Advocating Women in Engineering Award in 2016 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2018.
Make sure to check out our Asian Pacific American Heritage Month blog series which highlights prominent Asian American and Pacific Islander engineers and several members of the Asian Connections Affinity Group.
- Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Podcast: The Experience of Being an Asian American Female Engineer
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Asian-American Engineers, Part 1
Browse through all of our SWE podcasts on SWE’s SoundCloud.