Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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, which are summarized at the end of this post.

Please help us identify deserving SWE members by November 16, 2016. 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 at the Museum of Flight on February 11, 2017. You can view past winners on PSEC’s website:

We look forward to helping our members apply for these great PSEC awards!

Academic Engineer of the Year
  • Has significantly advanced the state of the engineering art.
  • Has actively participated in interposing new technologies in society.
  • Has actively participated in improving the level and scope of engineering education

Government Engineer of the Year
  • Has contributed significantly in the application of engineering principles in Local, State, or Federal Government projects.
  • Has led in improving the application of technology for public benefit.
  • Has actively participated in improving the effectiveness of the engineering profession.
Industry Engineer of the Year
  • Has contributed significantly to the application of engineering in industry.
  • Has shown leadership in advancing or improving the industrial process.
  • Has demonstrated use of engineering to minimize environmental impacts.

Kenneth W. Porter Award
  • Has shown strong concerns for exposing young people (K-12) to engineering type of education. Please note: exposing young people beyond high school is a bonus but must have at minimum exposed K-12 to be qualified for this award.
  • Has to have shown through ceaseless efforts at E-week Fairs, Career guidance presentations, teacher coaching sessions and other opportunities; a drive and facility to deliver engineering type education to the classrooms.

K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher Award
  • Has actively worked in promoting and advancing STEM Engineering related education at the local K-12 level for 5 or more years.
  • Has worked closely with local engineering societies on STEM Engineering related education
  • Has performed exceptional activities towards improving K-12 STEM Engineering related education

WSPE Professional Engineer of the Year

  • Nominee is a professional engineer.
  • Has made significant contributions in the application of engineering to meeting community needs.
  • Has significantly advanced the art of engineering.
  • Has actively participated in community affairs and technical societies.

Young Engineer of the Year
  • The nominee must be under 35 years of age, between three and six years past the date of graduation, with a baccalaureate degree in Engineering, and must be a member of one of the Puget Sound Engineering Council member societies.
  • The nominee should show professional society participation such as serving as a committee member or officer, or providing support at society meetings or conferences.
  • The nominee should show progress in professional experience and attainments, and show progress towards or show registration as a professional engineer.

FY17 Awards Committee Call for Volunteers!

We're kicking off a new committee for FY17: the SWE PNW Awards Committee! Keep reading to learn more and where we can use your help!

Committee Description
This committee is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and selecting member candidates for various awards. This includes working with potential nominees to develop application packages for Region and National level awards, as well as award with PSEC and potentially around the Seattle area from other organizations.

SWE PNW Awards Program
This committee is also responsible for the annual SWE PNW Section Level awards program, which includes both section member and leadership nominated awards. These awards recognize SWE PNW members who exemplify the SWE mission at the local/section level. In FY16, SWE PNW launched of slate of awards and we plan to continue these in FY17.

Member's Choice
A peer-nominated award that recognizes a SWE PNW member for their work with the Section. Nominated by a current SWE PNW member; final selection made by the SWE PNW Leadership Team
Most Valuable Person (MVP)
Person that made a significant impact on Section leadership, development, or growth. Formally nominated by members of the SWE PNW leadership with suggestions from committee/section member.
Volunteer of the Year
Person that actively participated in or planning outreach events sponsored by SWE PNW. Formally nominated by members of the SWE PNW leadership team with suggestions from committee/section member.
Volunteer of the Year (Professional Development)
Person that actively planned, supported, and executed social, networking, and/or professional development events. Formally nominated by members of the SWE PNW leadership team with suggestions from committee/section member.

Call for Volunteers!
We are looking for Awards Chair to lead the committee members! The Chair would take the lead of the committee, working with Kalyani Mallela as the Section Rep responsible for the Awards.

We are also looking for individuals to join the committee. While the Chair will set the final committee structure, some of the potential committee roles we are looking to fill are:
  • SWE National Awards Application Lead
  • SWE Region Awards Application Lead
  • SWE PNW FY17 Section Awards Program Lead & Team Members
  • Industry Awards & Relations Liaison
  • PSEC Awards Lead
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the Awards Committee, please let Kalyani know and email her at We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Would you like to do an interview with Klispun Magazine?

Guest Contributor: Sarah Sharp

Hello SWE PNW!

My name is Sarah Sharp, and I'm a writer for Klispun Magazine, a publication produced by Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

I'm writing an article about women in engineering, in light of a new research study that will look into why certain predominantly Muslim countries have a greater percentage of women in engineering than the United States.

I would love to interview any SWE PNW member to talk about these statistics, the mission of SWE, or even your chosen profession.

The interview (which could be over the phone) will most likely be 15-20 minutes, especially if you want to keep it short. Otherwise, I would be happy to interview you as long as you want to talk.

I can provide the questions ahead of time. And I would like to talk with several people if possible.

My final deadline is Monday, October 17, so I would appreciate talking to people before then if possible.

Please contact me if you are interested in being interview. I appreciate your help on this!

Thank you,
Sarah Sharp

Monday, September 26, 2016

Call for SWE Speakers: South Seattle College

South Seattle College (SSC) in West Seattle prepares students for transfer into baccalaureate engineering and computer science degree programs.

We are looking for engineers who are interested in visiting any of our classes to describe the work they are doing or reflect back to when they were students. The students appreciate hearing these stories from the engineering community!

Fall quarter starts on September 26, 2016 and ends December 2, 2016.

Friday is the SSC engineering orientation class from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm (except for Veteran's Day or Thanksgiving).

There are also other opportunities during other weekdays.

Please contact Linda Thomas ( for available speaking opportunities or if you have questions.

Thank you!
Linda Thomas

Sunday, September 4, 2016

FY17 Election Results

The nomination committee is very excited to announce the new FY17 SWE PNW leaders. The newly elected EC is:
  • President: Grace Lefebure
  • Secretary: Connie Starr
  • Treasurer: Suzanne Hakam
  • VP of Outreach/Career Guidance: Rosie Pham
  • VP of Professional Development: Katie Elliott
  • Section Representatives: Elaine Reeves, Kalyani Mallela, Sonia Hingorany, Theresa Krack
The next step for the new officers is two folder. There is a planning meeting on September 11, 2016 and all members are encouraged to come. Details and sign up is here:

Officers are also encouraged to provide a statement so that we can launch our FY17 newsletter with candidate bios and statements to launch of first issue of the Notes from the Northwest for the year!

Thank you and congratulations to our FY17 officers!

Maria, Lisa, and Corine
Nomination Committee
Pacific Northwest Section

Thursday, August 11, 2016

FY17 Candidate Bios: Section Representative

The FY17 nominating committee is very excited to present the following candidate bios for the elected positions listed below:
  • Section Representative (elect up to 4): 
    • Elaine Reeves
    • Erin Kiselica
    • Julie Bennett
    • Kalyani Mallela
    • Kat Morrill
    • Sonia Hingorany
    • Theresa Krack
    • Wendy Jenkins

Section Representative

Elaine Reeves

Elaine Reeves has been living in Redmond for 4 years now after moving from Edina, MN to work for Microsoft as an EMC Test Engineer. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN in 2009 with a B.S.E.E. (Electrical Engineering), B.A. in Physics, B.A. in Vocal Music Performance, and a minor in Applied Mathematics. You may be wondering where the music fits into this, but Elaine says she obtained the music degree because while she thoroughly enjoy the challenges that are within engineering music feeds her soul, calms her, and gives her another way to express herself.

Elaine is currently one of the 3 section representatives of SWE-PNW. With her other co-representatives, she has been representing the SWE PNE section at the both local engineering group meetings and at the regional level. Previously in the Twin Cities SWE she was both a professional representative at both St. Cloud Stata & University of St. Thomas as well as Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee.

Being one of the section representatives this last year has been a very enjoyable and enriching experience. I would like to continue serving the PNW-SWE section in this role to help further the vision the section is working towards.

Outside of work I participate in the RunDisney races with my husband at Disneyland, Disneyworld, and at the end of September I can also include Disneyland Paris. We are currently looking forward to both my husband’s first trip to Europe and then to Hawaii next year.


Erin Kiselica

Erin Kiselica has been involved with SWE since her freshman year of college in 2007.  As a collegiate, she held a variety of leadership roles, including Outreach Coordinator and Webmaster.  As a professional, she most recently held the position of Section Representative for SWE Philadelphia and served as a judge for society scholarship applications in FY16.

Erin graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with her Bachelors in Computer Science in 2012.  She is currently a Software Engineer at Amazon, where she works on the Seller Experience team for Amazon India.  Outside of work, Erin is passionate about STEM outreach, and enjoys playing board games and traveling in her spare time.

As section representative, my primary goal is to keep strong lines of communication open between our section and the wider body of SWE, starting at the region level and onwards as we work through the upcoming governance changes.  As a section representative for SWE Philadelphia (which in fact covers most of southeastern Pennsylvania and some of New Jersey) in FY16, I have experience with reaching out to members in a geographically large and diverse section, and if elected, can use this to bring new ideas to drive member engagement. As a recent East Coast transplant, I am excited to get involved with SWE in the Pacific Northwest, and appreciate your consideration!

Julie Bennett

No candidate statement or picture provided.

Kalyani Mallela

Since 2008 Kalyani Mallela has held a variety of leadership positions at the local, region and society levels. Her passion and belief in SWE’s tag line “Aspire. Advance. Achieve.” reflects in her contributions to the organization. In SWE-MN, her contributions included leading and growing the outreach program, developing new programs to raise funds, mentoring the section leadership, developing goals for the growth and advancement of section, and leading the executive council to a successful year. Kalyani’s achievements have been recognized by the Minnesota Section with numerous awards including the “Most Dedicated Member” Award.  At the Region level, she has held key leadership roles including serving a one year term as Region H Senator. Kalyani has been instrumental in re-aligning the SWE Society Awards to better align with SWE Strategy by leading efforts to identify gaps, understand the impact, working with other leaders to develop new recognition programs, and implementing them. She has been recognized by SWE as New Faces of Engineering top nominee in 2014 and received SWE Distinguished New Engineer in 2016. She has been an active member and a leader within the SWE community and continues to support and bring awareness about engineering and diversity.

SWE Society Level Involvement:
FY15-Present Strategic Initiatives Committee Member
FY14-FY15 Global Leadership Award Coordinator
FY13 Chair, Awards & Recognition Committee
FY12 Chair-Elect, Awards & Recognition Committee
FY11 Co-Coordinator Collegiate Poster Competition and Professional Development Section Awards
FY11-FY14 Judge for Freshman Scholarships
FY11-Present Member of the Program Development Grant Committee
FY10-FY15 Member of the Outreach Committee
Region H Involvement:
FY15 Region H Senator
FY12-FY14 Region H Awards Chair
FY11-FY15 Region H Outreach Representative
FY11 Region H Nominating Committee Member
SWE Minnesota Section Involvement:
FY15 Newsletter Editor
FY14 President
FY13 Vice President
FY12 Fund Development Committee Co-Chair
FY12 Alternate Section Representative
FY11 Section Representative
FY10 Outreach Committee Co-Chair
FY09-FY15 Active Member of Professional Development Committee
FY09-FY15 Active Member of Outreach Committee

Kat Morrill

Kat Morrill is a Senior Systems Engineer with Honeywell Aerospace in Redmond, WA. Kat holds a BSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Kat has 15 years of experience testing software and hardware for a variety of aerospace applications including communication, navigation, radar and satellite systems. She has spent her career advocating diversity in engineering, including mentoring student engineers and interns at Honeywell. She also has experience working as a volunteer coordinator with a large organization in Phoenix. Her responsibilities included working with event planners to ensure volunteers were provided for large festivals and events in the Phoenix area.

I would like to work with the Society of Women Engineers to continue promoting diversity in engineering. Diversity doesn’t just include more women becoming a part of our profession, but also includes promoting diverse ideas and perspectives. I would like to work as a leader in our SWE section to continue promoting more diversity in our engineering community.


Sonia Hingorany

Sonia Hingorany moved to Seattle a little over a year ago for her full-time job. She currently works at Amazon in the North American Transportation group, focusing on contract negotiations with third-party transportation carriers and Amazon's strategic vision for its transportation network. She earned her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University where she focused on concentrations in Information Systems and Operations Management. Before earning her MBA at CMU, she previously worked at Accenture for five years in a Technology Consulting Manager role, specializing in systems integration and technical architecture initiatives for various Financial Services clients around the world. She also has her BS in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Cognitive Science from UCLA where she held a position on the SWE board for three years. She likes to play soccer and tennis and enjoy the outdoors including running, hiking, and skiing. She loves to travel; she has been to more than 30 countries and visited 40 states in the US. She also spends her time volunteering for the South Asian Heart Center, where she writes grant applications to corporations in hopes of raising funds to help support heart research and the prevention of heart disease.

I am running for the Section Representative role, specifically the Membership Committee, for the SWE PNW chapter. I have extensive experience in working on boards of organizations and conducting outreach activities to attract, engage, and retain members of an organization. Not only do I have experience doing outreach but also have successfully demonstrated stewardship on multiple occasions by training and developing members of the organization to take over key leadership roles. I have performed these activities through being involved with a variety of organizational work at school, from being on the SWE board for three years and having a key role on the Indian Student Union and Asian Pacific Coalition club boards at UCLA, to being Executive VPs of both the Business & Technology and Operations Management clubs at CMU. As mentioned, I also volunteer my time to raise funding for the South Asian Heart Center in Mountain View, CA. My proudest accomplishment while I was on the SWE board at UCLA was the main objective of the Evening With Industry Chair, which was to create a networking night where students and representatives from a variety of engineering companies from all over the country had the opportunity to sit down and have a more intimate conversation over dinner followed by a career fair. This signature event required a significant amount of outreach to companies to attend and help fund the event, marketing to students, and event coordination with UCLA. Hearing my fellow classmates tell me they secured interviews and ultimately internship or full-time positions as a result of the connections they made at the event made it a very rewarding experience.

I bring a unique sense of cross-functional leadership, collaboration, and strong communication skills to the table from my involvement in these various organizations as well as from my professional experience at Accenture and Amazon. I have led teams of 40+ individuals and have worked in a global capacity with a variety of business and technical teams. I am able to recognize talent and build upon one's potential when I see it. I believe this skill will serve well in this role where it is imperative to be able to engage members and determine if they are interested and capable of taking on leadership roles. My vision for this role is to be very hands on with and interactive when evaluating if someone is interested in a leadership role and will likely succeed at it. My idea here is to have those interested take on some type of task to complete or event to plan and let them learn the job by actually doing it with some guidance from myself and others on the board. Encouraging them to come up with an idea and own the implementation of it in my opinion is the best way to attract, engage, and retain members.

I'm very much looking forward to contributing to the SWE PNW chapter and look forward to meeting you all!

Theresa Krack

Theresa Krack has been an active participant and member of the Society of Women Engineers since her college days at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She completed a dual degree program in 2006, earning a B.S. (major: physics, minor: math) from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is passionate about continuing her development as a professional engineer but also strives to pay it forward to the next generation and continue to find ways to improve the SWE connections and mentoring for current members.

Theresa was a professional member of the SWE Wisconsin (SWE-WI) Section from 2006 to 2013. Her passion was to help bridge her interest in SWE with her life-long passion for Girl Scouting. In May 2012, she became the SWE-WI Girl Scout Liaison, working to keep SWE-WI involved with Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE), coordinating STEM outreach events for both groups.

When she moved to the Seattle area in the fall of 2013, Theresa worked to fit the SWE PNW events, both professional development and outreach, in her schedule of balancing moving, a new job, and completing a Master of Engineering Management. She wanted to quickly connect with her new local section and was able to start meeting new people and learning what SWE PNW has to offer.

As the SWE PNW Virtual Brand Coordinator, Theresa has lead the effort to revamp and develop an improved virtual footprint for the section over the last couple of years, focusing on improving the virtual space to better member-to-member engagement for the section. She transitioned and updated the section webpage, launched an integrated social media platform, launched a new newsletter format and blog, and has been working to streamline the behind the scenes infrastructure for the group.

In FY16, Theresa expanded her role with the section, taking on a Section Rep role and leveraging that to help improve communication from SWE at all levels to the local members. She also took on several major roles with the ABJ2016 joint regions conference, hosted in Seattle, including Co-Chair of the Programs & Speakers Committee, Website & Tech Support, and Day-of Logistics Coordination Team.

Theresa has been a Senior Certification Engineer with Honeywell Aerospace for about three years, being recognized as a Honeywell Outstanding Engineer for 2015, and has worked in the aerospace industry for approximately eight years. She works with aircraft certification, dealing with FAA regulations and compliance, and has worked projects ranging from certifying the use of cell phones on airplane in Europe to Honeywell’s Runway Awareness and Advisory System.

She hopes to continue supporting SWE as a Section Rep, building on the foundation of the virtual brand to facilitate improved communication and interaction between members (and officers!) in the virtual space.

Wendy Jenkins

No candidate statement provided.

FY17 Candidate Bios: Secretary

The FY17 nominating committee is very excited to present the following candidate bios for the elected positions listed below:

  • Secretary (elect 1):
    • Abiola Gaines
    • Connie Starr



Abiola Gaines

Please note that this candidate has withdrawn from the FY17 slate.


Connie Starr

I’m passionate about outreach to inspire young women to pursue engineering careers. This has led me to join SWE. I want to take a more active leadership role as Chapter Secretary. I’ve held the SWE Colleague Scholarship Chair in the 2015/16 scholastic year and was a Certificate of Merit committee member where I networked with academic advisors in the local area high schools and colleges to recognize women in engineering. I organized the judging of the scholarships and communication back to the schools. In recognition for this work, I received the PNW Chapter Outreach Volunteer Award. Additionally, I volunteered weekly for KISE, a SWE sponsored after-school science club, at Kimball Elementary School in south Seattle.

Academically, I hold a B.S. Material Science from the University of Washington. I also I helped found the UW chapter of Phi Sigma Rho engineering sorority with eleven other members. Today, our chapter has grown to over one hundred members.

Currently, I’m the acting manager of the Everett Quality Laboratories at Boeing. In my spare time I enjoy reading, jogging, and organizing everything.