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October/November 2018

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Diversity/Careers October/November 2018




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Neddy Perez receives honor from National Hispanic Business Group

New York, NY – Nereida “Neddy” Perez, Ingersoll Rand’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, was honored as 2018 Hispanic Corporate Leader by the National Hispanic Business Group (NHBG) at the nonprofit’s twenty-ninth annual gala and awards presentation held at the Cipriani Club in New York City in July.

“Neddy has long been recognized in the national diversity community as an outstanding corporate leader, and it is our honor to be able to recognize her for her great contributions,” said Ruth Alicia Sandoval, president of NHBG, in a letter to Ingersoll Rand chairman and CEO Michael W. Lamach, announcing the award.

“She has created and implemented a number of initiatives designed to remove corporate cultural barriers that prevent the advancement of women and underrepresented groups,” Sandoval said.

In addition to Perez, AT&T; chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson was honored for corporate leadership, and Placido Domingo, singer, conductor and philanthropist, received NHBG’s Legacy award.

“It was a humbling experience and honor to be selected from among several Hispanic corporate leaders, as well as share the space with two amazing diversity champions like maestro Domingo and Mr Stephenson,” Perez said.

Over the past ten years, Perez has contributed to the development of organizations including STEMConnector, which promotes cross collaboration among 100-plus companies, nonprofits, government agencies and corporations on science, technology, engineering and math initiatives. She has worked to increase the talent pipeline of women and minorities in the finance, oil and energy sectors through organizations such as the National Utilities Diversity Council, the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, and Ascend, one of Ingersoll Rand’s corporate nonprofit partners for recruiting.

Perez also has served on a number of committees and advisory boards designed to promote the growth of women, veteran and minority-owned businesses and increase their opportunities to do business with major corporations. Perez was instrumental in the creation of the first supplier diversity conference in the energy sector in New York, and created supplier diversity initiatives at KPMG, National Grid and Ingersoll Rand.

Perez joined Ingersoll Rand in 2011. Under her leadership, the company has made significant strides in its efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse working environment.

Founded in 1985, NHBG is an advocate for the Hispanic business community.


President Obama nominates retired Vice Admiral Manson Brown for position at NOAA

Washington, DC – Retired U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Manson Brown has been nominated to be the assistant secretary for environmental observation and prediction under NOAA. President Obama nominated Brown in July.

In a position once held by current NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, he will oversee the nation’s weather satellite programs, the joint polar satellite system (JPSS) and the geostationary operational environmental satellite-R (GOES-R).

Brown retired in May after more than thirty-six years in the Coast Guard. Over the last decade, he was a constant military executive presence at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards and career fair conference.

A 1978 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor of science in civil engineering, his previous commands were the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific, Sector Honolulu, and Group Charleston.

From 1999 to 2002, he served as the military assistant to the U.S. secretary of transportation, including duty as the acting deputy chief of staff for six months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In 2003, he served as chief for officer personnel management at the Coast Guard Personnel Command. From April to July 2004, he was senior advisor for transportation to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Working in a combat zone, he oversaw restoration of transportation systems, including two major ports.

Previous tours of duty include assistant engineering officer aboard the icebreaker Glacier, project engineer at Civil Engineering Unit Miami, deputy group commander at Coast Guard Group Mayport, engineering assignment officer in the Officer Personnel Division at Coast Guard headquarters, facilities engineer at Support Center Alameda, and assistant chief, civil engineering division at Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific.

Brown’s many military decorations include the U.S. transportation secretary’s Gold Medal, Legion of Merit, and Iraq Campaign Medal. In 1994, he was honored as the first recipient of the Coast Guard’s Captain John G. Witherspoon Award for Inspirational Leadership.

He holds masters of science degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in national resources strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is a registered professional civil engineer.


White House nominates Google’s Megan Smith as U.S. CTO

Washington, DC – President Obama announced in September that Megan Smith will serve as the next U.S. chief technology officer (CTO) and assistant to the president, succeeding Todd Park.

She will be part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The CTO leads administration-wide efforts to use technology, data and technical innovation to help meet the nation’s goals and the needs of citizens.

Smith is an internationally recognized and award-winning entrepreneur, engineer and tech evangelist. Most recently she was a VP at Google[x], where she worked on several projects, including co-creating the SolveForX innovation community project and the company’s WomenTechmakers tech-diversity initiative. For nine years before that, she was Google’s VP of new business development, and led the company’s acquisition of what are now Google Earth, Google Maps and Picasa. She was GM of Google.org during its engineering transition.

Before Google, she was CEO of PlanetOut, a leading LGBT online community; helped design early smartphone technologies at General Magic; and worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan in Tokyo. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge).

“Smith has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment,” Obama said. “I am confident that as America’s CTO, she will put her long record of leadership and exceptional skills to work on behalf of the American people. I am grateful for her commitment to serve, and I look forward to working with her and with our new deputy U.S. CTO, Alexander Macgillivray, in the weeks and months ahead.”


ASME elects Julio Guerrero of Draper Laboratory as next president

Cambridge, MA – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has elected Julio Guerrero, PhD as its president. He will serve from 2015-2016.

Guerrero, an R&D; and business development lead for Draper Laboratory’s Energy Systems (Cambridge, MA), began his term as ASME president-elect in July.

At Draper, Guerrero identifies ways to apply the lab’s expertise in sensors, controls, automation, data analytics, secure communications and advanced communications to improve the performance, safety and security of energy infrastructure.

“We’re thrilled to see Julio elected to a leadership role where he can help bring together the engineering community to solve real-world challenges as well as to groom the next generation of the technical workforce,” said Jim Shields, Draper president.

Guerrero, who has been an ASME member for more than twenty years, served as a member of its board of governors from 2011-2013, and as vice chair of its industry advisory board from 2008-2010. As president, he hopes to promote partnerships for technology development around the world, make the organization’s operations more efficient and increase involvement among young engineers.

Before he joined Draper in 2011, Guerrero was a principal scientist at Schlumberger Research, where he established research collaborations on subsea and land oil operations between Schlumberger and MIT, as well as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Guerrero, a native of Peru, has also given engineering course lectures at MIT for eleven years and served as a member of doctoral committees at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin. His undergraduate degree is in ME, and he earned his masters and doctoral degrees in 1995 and 1998 at UT-Austin, both in robotics.

ASME, which was founded in 1880, enables skill development, collaboration and knowledge sharing across engineering disciplines while promoting engineering’s role in society. The organization has 130,000 members in 158 countries.


Sandia Labs researcher wins $2.5 million, five-year Early Career Research Program award

Albuquerque, NM – Stephanie Hansen, researcher at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM), has won a $2.5 million, five-year Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for her fundamental science proposal to improve existing atomic-scale models for high-energy-density matter.

Thirty-five winners were chosen by peer review from about 750 proposals for the 2018 award. Hansen’s winning submission, “Non-Equilibrium Atomic Physics in High Energy Density Material,” describes an approach to improve simulation tools used to design high-energy experiments in dense hot plasmas, as well as the diagnostic tools used to interpret data from them.

“I am interested in the states of matter created at a variety of advanced radiation facilities, because every time an experiment is run in a new regime, we are surprised by the results,” Hansen said.

Hansen has a bachelor of arts in philosophy, a bachelor of science in physics and a doctorate in physics, all summa cum laude from the University of Nevada-Reno.

Early Career Research Program awards support investigations into advanced scientific computing research, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, high-energy physics and nuclear physics. To date, there have been 204 university and 102 lab awardees from thirty-eight states. Seventeen of the current year’s winners work at ten national labs.

“It has been an honor and joy to work with the exceptional scientists at the DOE labs, whose work really set the foundation for this proposal,” Hansen said.

Sandia National Laboratories is operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.


New AIChE program focuses on women engineers’ retention and re-entry

New York, NY – The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has announced a new initiative, Women’s Workplace Retention and Re-entry (W2R2), addressing the issues of women’s career navigation, work-life integration, and professional development. The project will debut with a special session on November 17 during AIChE’s 2018 annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.

The impetus was a 2012 report, “Stemming the Tide: Why Women Leave Engineering” by Dr Nadya Fouad, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for the Study of the Workplace. According to the report, women are more than 20 percent of engineering school graduates, but only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women, despite decades of academic, governmental and employer efforts to close the gender gap. Women leave engineering for many reasons, including dissatisfaction with workplace culture for women engineers, inflexible work schedules that impact family responsibilities, and the persistent pay gap between similarly qualified male and female engineers.

Organized by AIChE’s Societal Impact Operating Council, W2R2 is designed to help women engineers take control of their work lives. The session will kick off with a luncheon featuring a keynote talk by Fouad, who is an expert on the work choices of women and underrepresented minorities in the engineering workplace.

Fouad will also join a panel discussion including representatives from several women’s and professional organizations, who will discuss how employers address women’s recruitment, retention and re-entry. Roundtable discussions will give participants a chance to discuss their own workplace experiences and employment strategies, with topics ranging from career change to flexible work schedules to arranging temporary absences from the workplace. The feedback received during the session will lay the foundation for a plan to help AIChE and employers better support women engineers on issues related to workplace retention and re-entry.

W2R2’s organizers note that the competitiveness of today’s employers depends upon their ability to accommodate the changing needs of the workforce. “Women must work together with their employers to create the kind of workforce infrastructure that will allow them to make much-needed contributions to a global society facing significant challenges,” says Zenaida Otero Gephardt, chair of the AIChE societal impact council. “We simply cannot afford to exclude the contributions women engineers can and want to make.”

To find out more about W2R2 or to contribute to discussions about women in engineering, contact either of the W2R2 session co-chairs, Selma Mededovic at smededov@clarkson.edu or Zenaida Otero Gephardt at gephardtzo@rowan.edu.


Northrop Grumman’s Salt Lake City facility awards engineering scholarships to two young women

Salt Lake City, UT – Both 2018 recipients of annual engineering scholarships at Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Salt Lake City facility are young women. The Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Sector’s Engineering Scholars program, now in its sixth year, provides scholarships to high school seniors in communities where it has major facilities. The students must be interested in studying engineering, computer science, physics or math.

Sara Harper from Viewmont High School and Breannan Pack from Clearfield High School each received the merit-based scholarship. Their awards totaled $10,000 each, payable in $2,500 installments over four years. The awards were presented at an awards reception in June.

“These bright, talented students represent the future of engineering in our country,” said Jim Lupica, director of manufacturing and lead campus executive for Northrop Grumman in Salt Lake City. “I am proud that we can help these students achieve their educational and career goals.”

Northrop Grumman is a significant financial and in-kind contributor to educational outreach programs aimed at encouraging young people to consider engineering and science-related career fields. The Electronic Systems sector supports multiple programs to spur high school students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math.



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