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Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy showcases talented employees at the Department of Energy who are helping change the world through transformative science and technology work. View profiles of employees across the country at our headquarters and National Laboratories, and learn what inspired these women to work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, what they do day-to-day in their jobs, their ideas for engaging others in STEM, tips, and more. Browse through the hundreds of profiles here and share your favorites on Pinterest

We hope that these stories can inspire others as they think about the future. Only 24% of the STEM workforce is female, an alarming gap as over 51% of the workforce overall is female. We can and should share our own STEM stories to help engage others and offer our voices on how our STEM careers have impacted us. Questions? Comments? Want to request a speaker? Get in touch by emailing annemarie.horowitz@hq.doe.gov

Nora Wang is an engineer in the Building Energy Systems group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Nora Wang

"So often, there’s this image of someone locked away in a laboratory all day. We need to help women and girls understand the scope of work that’s out there and the many different options. They can’t make the right decisions without adequate knowledge."

Laura Riihimaki is an atmospheric scientist in the Climate Physics group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Laura Riihimaki

"Beware of the glass ceiling that’s in your own head. Social pressure can make you think you shouldn’t be there, but you can choose to ignore that voice in your own mind. Focus on what you want to do rather than what you think you’re able to do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, being willing to say you don’t know something in order to learn it may actually be the smartest thing you can do."

Dr. Jennifer Comstock is currently the interim associate director of the Atmospheric Chemistry & Meteorology group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Jennifer Comstock

"We also need to encourage girls to think outside the box, ask questions, and not be afraid to raise their hands in class – too often peer pressure prevents them from trying to get involved. We need to provide them with experience and exposure to women scientists across all types of scientific disciplines so they understand the range of options."

Gokcen Kestor is a computational scientist in the high performance computing group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She focuses on performance and power modeling, analyzing the energy cost of data movement in HPC applications, and designing and implementing fault-tolerant algorithms for task-based applications.
Women @ Energy: Gokcen Kestor

"My whole life, all I ever dreamed about when growing up was to help people in a powerful way. I'm inspired by the fact that we know so much more about the world today than five years ago, and there are still so many things to discover to make the world a better place."

Dr. Patello is a senior project manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Gert Patello

"Women and girls just don’t suddenly get interested in science in college. They need to be put on the path young, ideally at the elementary level. We need to recognize interest and aptitude and encourage them and give them opportunities and provide supportive environments."

Dr. Emilie Hogan is a Computational Mathematics Scientist in the Computational Mathematics group at PNNL. She graduated from Rutgers University in May 2011 with a doctorate in Mathematics.
Women @ Energy: Emilie Hogan

"Seeing the “real world” before having to be in it gives you a good taste of what it will be like. Other than that, I think take a wide range of classes in college – make sure that you don’t have a narrow expertise, so you will be more valuable to the company."

Brienne Seiner is currently a research scientist in the radiochemistry analysis group which is under the National Security Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Brienne Seiner

"I recommend talking to people in the field you are interested in pursuing, even if that means sending emails or picking up the phone. There is no skill more important than networking and finding people that want to help and encourage your goals is vital for a successful career in almost anything."

Bing Liu, chief research engineer, is the team lead for the Building Energy Simulation Team in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Energy and Environment Directorate. Liu’s team advances technologies and concepts to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings.
Women @ Energy: Bing Liu

"I think it requires a fundamental change of culture and stereotype in the United State to engage more women and girls in STEM. We can provide more opportunity to girls at high school as summer interns and team up them with women scientists and engineers as mentors."

Allison M. Thomson is a researcher and group leader at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Women @ Energy: Allison Thomson

"Find a mentor who you trust and find inspiring, and explore as many areas of science as you find interesting. Don’t just think about “traditional” paths with a narrow focus – think creatively."

Faranak Nekoogar, Ph.D. is the lead researcher on Ultra-wideband Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Faranak Nekoogar

"Technical leaders need to be independent thinkers and doers, and we must encourage young women to be ambitious and not get discouraged by minor setbacks that might arise from a male dominated field of engineering. Overcoming hurdles, both technical and cultural, can be an enjoyable and enriching experience for women in STEM."

At Argonne National Laboratory, computational biologist Nicole M. Scott studies the relationship between patterns of microbes and diseases or environmental contaminants.
Women @ Energy: Nicole Scott

"I think people should see STEM as the best thing they could do for themselves. For one thing, even in the current economic climate, jobs are available. Second, STEM careers create value. What’s more, STEM jobs offer good salaries, and give women independence and freedom to pursue the lives they want."

Emily Shemon, a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, is passionate about showing young women that science, technology, and math careers are a possibility for them.
Women @ Energy: Emily Shemon

"Every middle-school student should have the opportunity to be paired up with a local STEM professional or teacher who will encourage their interests, get them involved in STEM-related extracurricular activities, help them decide their coursework, and let them know that STEM careers are a real possibility for them."

Natalia V. Saraeva is a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, where she serves as a project integrator lead for the research reactor conversion program.
Women @ Energy: Natalia Saraeva

"STEM is not for a particular gender, it is for a particular mindset: if you like math and science, if you have a curious mind and like to discover new things and/or solve problems—STEM is for you!"

Environmental Systems Engineer Corrie Clark is a team lead in Argonne’s Environmental Science Division where she analyzes the impacts of energy technologies on the environment and looks for ways to reduce those impacts.
Women @ Energy: Corrie Clark

"Don't let a negative comment or remark deter you from your goal. You'll meet a lot of people throughout your career and the majority of them will be supportive.Too often, students get discouraged by one person's opinion, and it's important to remember that it is just one person's opinion."

Argonne physicist Lydia Finney is developing new methods for fuels and metalloproteomics research at the Advanced Photon Source.
Women @ Energy: Lydia Finney

"I love the new challenges every day and solving problems that are important to our nation. My work is always new and changing."

Lara D. Leininger, Ph.D. has been a full-time Engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for over 14 years with experience as a Computational Analyst, Principal Investigator, and Program Manager of the Joint DoD / DOE Munitions Technology Development Program.
Women @ Energy: Lara Leininger

"Don’t ever underestimate yourself or your potential! Keep asking questions until you understand. Support others when they are asking questions. Support each other. Learn how to work as a team."

Neda Gray is the Information Systems Security Officer for the Operations and Business Principle Associate Directorate (PAD).
Women @ Energy: Neda Gray

" If we can convince mothers and fathers to treat their daughters and sons equally, to instill in them a sense of value for education, responsibility for their actions and decisions, love for others (not only family members), and a desire for spiritual enlightenment, we can begin to change the world."

Yuki Hamada has more than 10 years of experience in remote sensing and geospatial information technologies with a focus on terrestrial ecosystem sciences.
Women @ Energy: Yuki Hamada

"If my parents and I had not been fortunate enough to have our collective eyes opened to all of the opportunities available in higher education, I would not be working as a scientist at a national lab today. I am living proof that it is important, as a society, to encourage anyone from any walk of life who has the will and determination to pursue their chosen field of study to the highest level possible."

Charalynn is the Information Technology (IT) Manager for the Operations and Business (O&B) Principal Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Charalynn Macedo

"Take pride in everything that you do. You don’t always have to get it right – in fact, there will definitely be times you don’t. Just know you worked your hardest and did your best. And… Don’t ever, ever, ever, let anyone tell you “You Can’t”. Ever!"

Lisa Utschig joined the Photosynthesis Group as a Fermi Postdoctoral Scholar in 1995, and is currently a staff research scientist in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division.
Women @ Energy: Lisa Utschig

"My personal goal is to inspire by example. I don’t often talk about being a woman in science; I’m too busy being a woman who does science. I hope to inspire younger women scientists when they see that good science can happen by working part-time while raising three children."

Susan Coghlan is the Deputy Division Director for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) and the project director for the facility’s powerful supercomputing systems including Mira, the fifth fastest supercomputer in the world.
Women @ Energy: Susan Coghlan

"We need to make science more exciting, fun, and cool for young women, starting in early childhood and going through their college years. Part of this is encouraging them to be curious, to ask questions, and to be driven to understand how things work."

Elizabeth Sendich is an industrial sector expert with the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA), the statistical and analytical arm of the DOE.
Women @ Energy: Elizabeth Sendich

"Start early and start simple. We don’t have to tell every high-schooler to be an astrophysicist (or a chemical engineer), we want the general idea of maths, science, technology, and engineering to be fun at a time when young girls are still interested in play and learning is fun, not just text books."

Sheryl Hingorani manages Nuclear Weapons Strategic Planning and Enterprise Integration at Sandia National Laboratories.
Women @ Energy: Sheryl Hingorani

"For any STEM field, you should expand your horizons and pursue every chance to experience a variety of careers. Ask if you can job shadow your parent, a neighbor, a friend and see what they can show you. There are a lot of options out there, some you may never have thought of."

Katherine Riley manages a team of computational scientists at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.
Women @ Energy: Katherine Riley

"Computational science is an immensely powerful tool. Proving high performance computing power for the best computational science work in the world is inherently exciting. We engage these researchers and collaborate on all aspects of solving high impact science problems with novel, forward-looking methods on the most advanced computing hardware."

Computer scientist Sreeranjani (Jini) Ramprakash says she became hooked on computers in childhood. Her team at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility helps scientists worldwide use the facility’s supercomputers.
Women @ Energy: Sreeranjani (Jini) Ramprakash

"Don't let the quest for perfection prevent you from entering STEM fields. You do not have to be tough as nails to be in computer science or engineering. You don’t need to know all the answers, either. Initiative is the key to success."