Second Women in Engineering conference a success

On Oct. 7, approximately 100 NMSU College of Engineering students gathered at the Las Cruces Convention Center to obtain a perspective of the roles of females in the engineering profession. The conference was sponsored by an I.D.E.A. grant from the Office of the Provost at New Mexico State University and the Dean of the College of Engineering.

Women in Engineering conference

Chemical engineering professor Jessica Houston (right) visits with colleagues about her research at the Women in Engineering Conference

“Out of nearly 2,500 students currently enrolled in the College of Engineering, only 479 are women,” said Ricardo B. Jacquez, dean of the college. “Events like this are important to help, encourage and support them to continue on their paths toward graduation and fulfilling careers.”

The 2nd annual Women in Engineering conference was a half-day event beginning with a meet and greet networking exercise, followed by a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Dr. Connie Phillips. Phillips earned her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University and is currently the president of the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education. Phillip’s focus includes strengthening the STEM (science, technology, mathematics and engineering) opportunities in the district and she encourages our local students to enter these significant, challenging, and essential careers.

After lunch, students and faculty showcased their research in a poster session. Earning First Place was Kristina Padilla, an industrial engineering undergraduate student whose adviser is Dr. Hansuk Sohn. Second Place was won by Samantha Drake, a chemical engineering student whose adviser is Dr. Jessica Houston. Earning Third Place was Alejandra Arteaga, a chemical engineering master’s student whose adviser is Dr. Jessica Houston.

The event concluded with a panel of successful academic and industry engineers telling their stories about their roles as NMSU graduates. The panelists were Alla Kammerdiner, assistant professor in industrial engineering; Hongmei Luo, assistant professor in chemical engineering; Patricia Nava, associate dean, University of Texas at  El Paso; and Adrienne Widmere, technical support administrator, City of Las Cruces.

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