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WIE Tech Summit for Women in the National Laboratories

This one-day meeting occurred at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, NM, USA on August 7, 2018.  It was on the topic of women in government service. We had participation from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the state of NM. The Los Alamos Northern New Mexico section also provided scholarships for Santa Fe Community College students to attend the tech summit.

The morning focused on mentorship and sponsorship, and the afternoon was a potpourri of technical talks. The day started off with a keynote from John Sarrao, who is the Principal Associate Director for science, technology, and engineering at LANL, on the topic of “a diversity of thought” that showed the importance of engineering to the national security mission.  A panel of female executive leaders at LANL, including NJ Nicholas currently the only female Principal Associate Director at LANL, answered questions on the topic of sponsorship and mentorship over their careers.  They covered a wide range of topics, including having to restart your career, making decisions about work/life balance, and advancing as a technical leader in national laboratories.

The Center for Creative Leadership finished the morning with a workshop on mentorship and sponsorship. The afternoon’s topics were wide-ranging from radiation effects in nano-scale electronics to simulating the design of the entire universe, from smart cities to unconventional computing paradigms, and most importantly the role of IEEE in helping advance technical women. All of these afternoon talks highlighted the rich variety of work done in the national laboratory system. At the end of the day, it was decided to hold another summit next year at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state.


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