Friday, March 13, 2015

WE14: A Global Exchange for Change

SWE's annual conference took place in Los Angeles, CA at the end of October. The fun-filled weekend was packed with lectures, dinners, expos, and networking opportunities - in total, I attended 23 different events!

For me, the most influential portion of the conference was the inspiring female leaders in the engineering community. In particular, three of these women stood out: Tara Mohr, Jessica Matthews, and Felicity Briody. Tara Mohr, the author of Playing Big, spoke about how to leverage your strengths to excel in any area; her key points included silencing your inner critic and unhooking from praise and criticism.

Another thought-provoking speaker, Jessica Matthews, preached the importance of understanding the impact of an innovation in the emotional and social realms by citing examples from her company, Unchartered Play. Unchartered Play creates children's toys (soccer ball, jump rope) that harvest the kinetic energy of play - the harvested energy is then used to power a light, which makes a huge difference in the lives of people in communities without electricity around the world.

Furthermore, Felicity Briody, shared her passion for engineering education in Australia by describing her engineering event model called Power of Engineering. Power of Engineering events have successfully increased enrollment in high school math and science classes as well as raised interest in pursuing a STEM career. The variety and quality quality of the events at WE14 were unbeatable. Can't wait to see what Nashville has to offer next year!

(By Grace Lefebure, originally published in the SWE PNW Newsletter, November 2014)

Honors for SWE PNW Members

Boeing Technical Fellowship
Congratulations to the SWE-PNW members who have been selected as one of Boeing’s Associated Technical Fellows for 2015. The Fellowship provides a technical career path as an alternative to a management career path, with compensation and benefits increasing with leadership responsibilities. The entire Fellowship membership represents roughly the top 4.5 percent of Boeing's technical and scientific employee population.

  • Gross, Gwen; EO&T, Boeing Research & Technology; Materials, Process & Physics; Tukwila, Wash.
  • Matheson, Evelyn; Commercial Airplanes, Airplane Development; Electronic & Electrical Engineering; Everett, Wash.
  • Miller, Adrienne; BDS, Phantom Works; Systems Engineering; Tukwila, Wash.

SWE PNW Member Honored by Women of Color STEM Conference
The Women of Color STEM Conference celebrates superior achievements and leadership of minority women in the fields of engineering, science, technology and mathematics (STEM). The conference also provides encouragement and promotes educational opportunities for professional women and aspiring students in these fields.

The Women of Color STEM Conference is produced by Career Communications Group, a Baltimore-based multimedia service company founded in 1982 to promote engineering science and technology to minorities. Among the honorees at the event in Detroit, the following SWE PNW member was honored as a Technology All-Stars for innovative contributions to STEM-related fields: Melinda Hanczyc (works for Boeing Commercial Airplanes).

(Originally Published in the SWE PNW Newsletter, December 2014)

The Next Generation of Communication & Interaction for SWE PNW is Coming!

We are launching an exciting new effort to update the virtual interface we offer for our section.

The first step: our webpage!

We are transitioning our webpage to new servers and updating the format (and content). This change will be happening over the Thanksgiving weekend and hopefully will be up and running by the first week of December. There may be some hiccups with the transition due to the holiday, so bear with us.

Beyond that, there are going to be some great things in the works to help build and improve over virtual brand and the interface we provide to all of our members.

If you want to follow along with the details of where we are at, the status of things in work, and hints of the great things to come, head on over to Google+ and circle us there (SWE PNE Virtual Brand). If you want to help, send us a message there or through our email.

So have patience as we goes through these updates - and get excited for the awesome things to come!

Theresa M. Krack
SWE PNW Virtual Brand Coordinator

(Originally Published in the SWE PNW Newsletter, December 2014)

November 2014 Events & Activities Recap

General Body Meetings Recap

During the second week of November, SWE PNW hosted three general meetings and happy hours in various locations throughout the Puget Sound.

Thank you to all who were able to come out and make these events a success! Members had the opportunity to learn more about SWE and meet other members from across the section.

We look forward to meeting more PNW members at future events and encourage continued feedback from each of our members on what you would like to get out of SWE this year; whether through outreach events, social networking, or professional development.

(Originally Published in the SWE PNW Newsletter, December 2014)

Summer 2014 Events & Activities Recap

Here's a recap of some of what we did over the summer of 2014:

Seawall Tour
SWE-PNW had a great turnout for our most recent tour – this time getting an in-depth look at the City of Seattle’s Elliot Bay Seawall Project. Jessica Murphy returned as our tour guide, sharing the vast complexities of such a unique project. 
Jessica spoke previously at a Tech Talk, returning for a tour by membership request. The tour group gathered at Pier 62 and walked south to the Seattle Ferry Terminal, stopping at locations where construction is in work. Currently, construction can be seen periodically along the route, with open sections roped off and viewable to the public.

Summer Socials
We had a great time at our June and July Socials at Lazy Boy Brewing and La Palmera, respectively. 

(Originally Published in the SWE PNW Newsletter, August 2014)

August 2014 Event & Activity Recap

Check out some of our August 2014 Event Summaries below:

Planetarium Event
On Saturday, August 23rd, approximately 20 SWE-PNW members and their family and friends enjoyed an evening of stargazing at the University of Washington’s planetarium housed in the Physics-Astronomy auditorium. This informal show was led by Kristine Washburn, faculty advisor for the Everett Community College’s SWE-Collegiate Interest Group.

She guided participants through the night time sky as viewed from Seattle, farther north from Alaska, and even from below the equator, identifying the north star and surrounding constellations along the way. We looked at star clusters, nebulae, planets, and galaxies that have been mapped over a significant period of time with the cooperation of universities as well as government and private industries. It was a highly engaging and interactive session.

2014 ISEC Family Science Fest
Our outreach volunteers headed to the Museum of Flight for the 2014 International Space Elevator Consortium's (ISEC) Family Science Fest on Saturday August 23rd.

We had a booth at the event along with many other STEM outreach groups and our activity was paper helicopters. The kids had a blast finding out the differences between the big helicopter and the small helicopter and seeing what happens when you switch the orientation of the rotors. We even had some helicopter races by dropping two of them from the second story of the museum and seeing which one hit the ground first! Thanks to all of our volunteers!

(Originally Published in the SWE PNW Newsletter, October 2014)