Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Region J Scholarship Fundraiser by SWE PNW

As we bid a fond farewell to Region J, we'd like to do one last thing to solidify the region's legacy. Region J plans to use its remaining region funds to endow a second scholarship. They are currently a little short on the necessary $25,000 required to endow a new scholarship. SWE PNW voted as an EC on April 22, 2018 to commit to a fundraising goal of $1,500 to help Region J close the gap to reach $25,000.

Endowing this scholarship will be Region J's final act. We hope you will join us in enabling the region to empower women to succeed one more time! If you are able, please make contributions through the link below by  Friday, May 25, 2018.
Margaret "Pritch" Pritchard

The new scholarship would be named for Margaret (Pritch) Pritchard, aka the “Godmother of Region J.” The new scholarship, if endowed, would have the following criteria:
  • Renewable for 5 years
  • Scholarship Recipient Class Status: Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate
  • SWE collegiate membership required
  • Any engineering major
  • Geographic location preference: Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho
  • Geographic selection based on College location, not home address
Statement from Daria Wightman, who co-chaired the 1996 SWE National Convention:
I would love to have an endowed scholarship in Margaret Pritchard (Pritch)’s name. Pritch was the godmother of the Section and Region J. She helped with the 1996 Convention in Portland and used her connections to provide local native American entertainment. 

She also mentored many of us in the Region as well as had SWE friends throughout the US. Since she traveled for her consulting engineering work, she was more comfortable being a member at large. However, she attended the Region conferences and Section activities when she was in town.

Pritch was a pioneer in the engineering field as one of the first SWE members in the Region. She solved engineering problems in water, wastewater, manufacturing, laundries, and energy around the world as well as in the United States.

She was quite a character and inspiration. She lived in Milwaukie and Oak Lodge, Oregon all her life and has been interviewed by local historians and SWE. As a pioneer in the field of engineering and consulting, she would be a great role model for young students applying for the scholarship. Her life would have so much more power to inspire and motivate and it would keep her memory alive.

To learn more about Pritch, check out these links:

Have questions about this SWE PNW Fundraiser?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Region J Senator Write-in Candidate Campaign

As a part of the transition to the new SWE Governance structure, Region J will be voting on the first 3-year term Senator. With the nomination and petition period for Region Senators now closed, this means that Region J does not have any slated/petitioned candidates for our ballot.

After dialog between Society and Region leaders, Region J is going forward with a Write-In Candidates Only via Society Ballot option.

This will allow the Society ballot to determine the outcome of the Region J Senator elections, but write-in candidates will be the only option. The member with the most votes who meets the qualifications for the position per the bylaws and consents to take the position would be the new Senator.

On behalf of the Region J leaders, I am happy to present our write-in candidate, Linda Thomas. I have personally known Linda for many years - and I think she is a great candidate for the first 3-year term Senator. I encourage you to read her candidate statement below and write her in on the society ballot that will be coming to you within in the next couple of weeks.

If you have any questions on the write-in campaign, the Senate, or the SWE governance chances, please email me at

Kind Regards,
Theresa Krack
FY18 Section Representative

Linda Thomas, F. SWE, Write in Candidate

I am asking my fellow SWE Region J members consider me as a write in for a Senator candidate for the next three years.  I am willing to represent you as Senator.  What I bring to the position was representing you as a past president in SWE PNW, a lieutenant governor, governor, Director of Regions, and also as a Member at Large representative.  My accomplishments in these positions resulted in my recognition as SWE Fellow and Woman Engineer You Should Know.

My passion is providing SWE members a voice in deciding the direction of the Society. It is our organization, and incumbent we understand the society’s strategy and direction , communicate this to the membership, so we can effectively participate in the society, and continue its mission and vision.

SWE is about to enter a new governance model in July 2018. At the same time, we want SWE to continue serving as an organization crucial to the development females in STEM, from grade school to seasoned engineers of all types. We need to understand and communicate how this change will enable us to participate in SWE fully as members and stakeholders.  Also, we need to understand the Society’s strategic plans so we can help shape its direction.

My experiences in SWE Leadership from the ground up gave me perspective on how to ensure we all have a voice in SWE governance.  And I want to continue ensuring we all have a voice in SWE governance.  I want to be that voice to help communicate the Society’s strategies. When you receive that ballot in April, please consider writing me in as a candidate. Please contact me at for any questions.

Thank you for your support! And thank you for supporting SWE!
Linda Thomas

SWE Election Timeline

On March 30, 2018, the mailed letter will go to any members that do not have an email in their membership record.

On April 1, 2018, an election email will go out to all members with an email in their membership records.

On April 27, 2018, a reminder email is sent to all members with an email in their records.

Both communication types (email and mailed letter) indicate that voting can be done either online or a paper ballot can be requested.

All online voting must be completed by May 1, 2018.

All paper ballots must be returned to the contracted teller by May 4, 2018.

Senate & Governance Links

Friday, March 23, 2018

How iD Tech & Alexa Café Inspire Girls in STEM

*The following blog post is a product of the partnership between SWE PNW Outreach and iD Tech and Alexa Cafe. You'll find a promotional code at the bottom for their summer camps. SWE PNW Outreach loves the programs that these groups have created and we are happy to showcase them to our membership.*

How iD Tech & Alexa Café Inspire Girls in STEM

Today, women earn more than 50% of all bachelor’s degrees, but only 18% of those degrees awarded in computer science go to females? (According to the National Center for Education Statistics).

To combat such a trend, we know the push for STEM must come much sooner than college. When minds are young – and free from stereotypes about STEM being for “boys only” – is the time to strike.

This is where iD Tech can help change the conversation!

Summer programs like iD Tech are on to something.

In 2014, iD Tech, the #1 summer tech camp for kids and teens, recorded only 12% of their entire camp population as female; a figure far from what would deem “acceptable.”

As a result, iD Tech set out on a mission to close the pervasive gender gap by launching Alexa Café, an all-girls program blending tech, entrepreneurship, and social activism. These week long camps provide time for girls to learn how to code an app for charity, design a mobile game, or even engineer wearable electronics—all while collaborating with new friends at some of the nation’s top college and university campuses, like the University of Washington.

Now, fast-forward to 2017. The current percentage of girls enrolled at iD Tech jumped to 25%; that’s an increase of over 300%. They’re expecting even more girls for Summer 2018.

What is iD Tech doing to attract more girls to STEM fields that are traditionally “reserved” for men?

One, they’re shattering stereotypes.
Engineering, video game design, robotics? The Alexa Café course lineup flies in the face of the notion that certain fields are only for boys.

When you couple such empowerment with confident and bold, women camp instructors who possess the tech know-how and leadership required to inspire young girls, such stereotypes leave the building long before that exciting first day of summer.

They’re providing STEM role models, too.
Many instructors at Alexa Café are females majoring in STEM fields, or graduates already working in computer science, game design, and more. They’ve walked the walk, and can confidently and effectively talk the talk, encouraging young female campers with their own experience-based tips and guidance.  
Lastly (but not least), they’re combining tech with philanthropy.
When it comes to comparing iD Tech programs like iD Tech Camps to Alexa Café, you can go as far as saying that Alexa Café is successful because it’s taking everything offered to the co-ed population at iD Tech, and offering it in its same form to the girls of Alexa Café. There isn’t any watering down in the course content; just a few name changes.

But with that said, there is also a big difference between the programs, with something that is only presented at Alexa Café, but plays just as pivotal a role in the program’s success—the emphasis on philanthropy and “1-for-1” social movements.

Such a focus works because, when it comes to introducing any new skill to a child, you’re bound to have much better success if you a) appeal to their existing interests and/or b) show them that their work and ideas can have a true, tangible impact on the world around them.

Alexa Café does both.

It’s not just “what do you want to create today?” which is awesome in its own right, but more of “what do you want to create today that will change the world of tomorrow?”

Such a prompt encourages campers to dig a level deeper, and come up with project ideas based around how tech can make a positive, lasting impact on local communities and beyond.

Celebrate Women’s History Month by giving your daughter a summer learning experience she’ll never (want to) forget. Find an Alexa Café location near you or learn more about all of iD Tech’s summer programs

For SWE members, iD Tech has provided a promo code to use when signing our kids and teens up for these summer camps!

Use Promo Code SWEPNW18 to save $75 until 5/31/18.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Purchase SWE PNW Gear

We are now offering two clothing options, a black jacket and grey cardigan, both pictured below, for you to represent and promote SWE PNW! Below you will find information on option selections, survey link, cost information, and sizing options. Please pay the deposit by April 16 to ensure delivery by May 6th, our annual SWE PNW banquet.

  1. Review items, sizing options below.
  2. Go to the Google Forms Survey to select which item you want
  3. Either send the $30 deposit to via paypal, or visit
  4. Dana will send invoices if you have not paid your deposit by the following Friday.
  5. All surveys need to be completed by April 15th, and deposit paid by April 16th.

Option A) Shown on left. Black Jacket with white embroidery.
Made for movement, this sophisticated stretch twill fleece jacket has a smooth face and brushed fleece backing. Tonal welding details at the pockets and streamlined tailoring give it a refined look for indoor and outdoor uses. Beautifully shaped, feminine collar. Reverse coil zippers. Front zippered pockets. Contrast Eddie Bauer logo heat transfer on the right hem. Made of 13.8-ounce, 94/6 poly/spandex fleece with an anti-pill finish
Care Instructions: Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low. Remove promptly. Cool iron if needed. Do not use softeners
Ladies Sizes: XS-4XL
Final cost approximately $65


Option B) Shown on right, Grey cardigan sweater with white embroidery.
Modern, two-toned cardigan. 60/40 ring spun combed cotton/acrylic. Patch pockets. Rib knit cuffs and hem.
Care Instructions: Machine wash cold. Lay flat to dry. Cool iron if necessary.
Ladies Sizes: XS-4XL
Final cost approximately $45


Option A (Jacket) on left, Option B (Cardigan) on right

Please fill out the survey and pay the non-refundable deposit by April 16. Final payment will be due upon receiving item. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Women at Work Podcast

Guest Contributor: Shari Wang

What are the unique challenges women face in the workplace? Although there are more women in the workplace, the challenges we face haven't changed that much. So how do we address that?

Harvard Business Review recently launched a six-episode podcast about gender and the workplace, called "Women at Work". The podcast includes expert advice and experiences, the latest research, and real-life situations and experiences from the three female hosts of the podcast. "Women at Work" is hosted by HBR editors Amy Bernstein, Sarah Green Carmichael, and Nicole Torres. They speak about their experiences from various stages of their career, from associate editor to executive editor. 

The first episode, “Make Yourself Heard,” features sociolinguist Deborah Tannen, who discusses the linguistic differences men and women use in the workplace and how that affects the conversation. It also provides practical advice to stop interruptions and make yourself heard in meetings. The podcast is structured in short segments.

"Women at Work" is available at or through any podcast app on Apple or Android.

This guest article is part of SWE PNW's Contributor's Choice series, where section members submit a topic/article that they'd like to share with the section.

Shari Wang is a core team member of the SWE PNW Virtual Brand Team. She is an Industrial Engineer at Boeing, transforming the production system of the 767 program through continuous improvement and data analytics. Shari enjoys singing with the Seattle Women’s Chorus and volunteering for the Industrial Engineering University Relations Team at Boeing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reinvent: Speaker Panel

We are excited to have a great group of panelists joining us for our Reinvent panel this January!

Our panel is going to walk us through how they have "reinvented" themselves both professionally and personally in addition to guidance on how they themselves deal with attempting to balance these two aspects of their lives. All three of our panelists have pivoted and made significant shifts in their career trajectories. They will talk about their decision making process through their journeys of the past in addition to how they think about future decisions they will have to make. There will be a facilitator of the panel who will lead the discussion with pre-set questions and then will open up a Q&A session to the audience for continued dialogue with the panelists.

The panelists will be:
  • Vidya Subramanian, founder of DevOpsly
  • Coonoor Behal, founder of Mindhatch
  • Sara Abdelmottaleb, Product Manager in Azure at Microsoft
Read below for their full biographies and pictures!

Please register for the event at the following Eventbrite link here:

Vidya Subramanian

Vidya Subramanian is an entrepreneur with a passion for education and a technologist who believed in DevOps and pushed for it before the word was in existence. 

Her firm Devopsly LLC helps startups and enterprises alike with operational excellence strategies building road-maps to execute the technical solutions for transforming software teams to be DevOps centric through incremental architectural changes.

Vidya is results driven and customer oriented and her leadership skills has helped teams at Expedia, GE, Boeing to start their journey towards engineering and operational excellence.

Vidya has built and managed teams across the globe including Europe, China, India, Thailand and the United States. She believes that for any company to be successful in today's world, the technology and software teams must be able to function across various locations seamlessly. Her deep empathy and respectfulness towards local cultures and language barriers help technology teams thrive globally as one unit despite geographic distribution.

A computer engineer by education, Vidya started her career as a Software Development Engineer in Test in the Windows 2000 division of Microsoft. She has been part of the .com boom and bust in the late 90s and has been part of teams of founding engineers for many products including Egencia – Expedia’s corporate travel product.

Vidya provides mentoring through SWE as well as other organizations and she is most passionate about supporting women in tech and keeping women in tech. She is an investor in Seattle area startups and has advised Seattle area devops startups.

Besides technology constantly learning and growing as an adult is her most important life philosophy. Most recently, Vidya learnt to ski.

She is most passionate about supporting the needs of girls and women and works with a non-profit in India. In her free time, she loves to be a dance teacher for her daughter’s group or sail. She has a captain’s license as a sailor.

Coonoor Behal

Coonoor honed her creative problem-solving skills during her years as a strategy and innovation consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP. For part of her time there, she worked in the firm's Global Innovation Network, spearheading and managing open innovation challenges across more than 100 member firms, and was awarded the prestigious GovLab Innovation Fellowship. Coonoor was also a trained and sought-after facilitator of design thinking workshops, innovation cafes, and Deep Dive sessions during her time at Deloitte, and is an expert in designing sessions that encourage and inspire interactive and experiential learning.

Coonoor has delivered Design Thinking consulting and training projects, and facilitated workshops for a variety of clients, including innovation companies, international law firms, restaurants, multinational banks, consulting firms, and international monetary institutions. She is a graduate of Adaptive Path's User Experience (UX) Intensive and has studied product design with the Wharton School of Business.

Coonoor has designed and delivered Organizational Improv trainings focused on creativity, listening, team building, empathy, public speaking, customer service, innovation, leadership, and collaboration to a variety of clients, including international law firms, “Big 4” consulting companies, major universities, and strategic communications agencies. She is also a regular guest lecturer on “Improvisational Mindsets for Leadership” at The George Washington University School of Business.

With years of experience as an improv comedian and teacher, Coonoor brings levity, adaptability, and composure to every experience and is an expert in using improv techniques to enhance collaboration and ideation. Her Innovation Facilitation sessions are experiential and engaging, using creative stimulus to help clients get more of the best ideas faster. She is certified in “Creative Facilitation and Design” by Retreats That Work.

Sara Abdelmottaleb

My name is Sara Abdelmottaleb. I love to learn, and I live to help people.  

My current passion is technology, as reflected in my work as a Product Manager at Microsoft. I am married to a hardcore software engineer, and a mum of an adventurous six-year-old daughter. My life has been a journey of discovery and learning, which I intend to continue in the pursuit of Technology Management MBA.   

I was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. At age 15, I returned to Cairo to earn my high-school and college degrees. I earned my BA in Hebrew Language and Literature with honors from Cairo University.

As a young woman, I developed an interest in competitive Archery. I earned a spot on the Egyptian national team and competed in both national and international championships over the course of 11 years.

The highlight of my Archery career was winning a bronze medal in the African Championship in 2010.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

2017 PSEC Awards - Call for Nominations from SWE PNW!

It’s time to recognize the accomplishments of our outstanding members!

The Puget Sound Engineering Council offers 7 annual awards; view details and past winners on their website:

Please help us identify deserving SWE members by December 1, 2017.

Submit your suggestions to with the subject "PSEC Award Nomination: Award Name" and include the following:
  • Your name/email
  • The potential nominee’s name/email (can be self-nominating)
  • A brief description of why the potential nominee deserves the award
Our committee will consider all submitted and nominated SWE PNW members, following up as needed to gather more information. We'll select one SWE PNW nominee per award and work with that nominee to complete the official PSEC Awards Packet. These awards will be presented at the PSEC Engineering Awards Banquet on February 10, 2018 at the Museum of Flight.