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Women of ECE

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The goal of the Women of ECE group is to build a sense of community for women in the Cornell ECE department at all levels (students, postdocs, faculty) and share relevant information. This involves coffee/pizza hours for women in ECE, MAE and AEP, luncheons for faculty women in Engineering and various funding opportunities.

ECE Woman of the Month

Every month we celebrate an outstanding woman in ECE (student, postdoc, or professor). If you would like to nominate a candidate, please write Prof. Petersen at kirstin @

May 2018

Leah ForrestThis month we’re heading to the stars with Leah Forrest! Leah will graduate with an ECE bachelors degree in little under a month and start a new job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a System Integration and Test Engineer. This will not be the first time Leah tackles space–she has been the power team lead for the Space Systems Design Studio under Prof. Peck (former NASA Chief Technologist) since 2016 developing a 3U+ CubeSat to demonstrate autonomous rendezvous and docking in low Earth orbit. She delivered a beta copy of the CubeSat to NASA Langley Research Center in 2016, and is now working on the power team to create a second revision for the (approved) CubeSat Student Launch Initiative in 2019. But her journey to space doesn’t end there, she is also tailoring her project in the class of Multi-Agent Systems to simulate how many CubeSats may cooperate to rid low earth orbit of space trash. On top of all this, she found the time to work as a TA for ECE 3400 and in the Cornell Society of Women Engineers as the Finance Director and Corporate Liaison. Leah has received the Unitil Scholarship, the GE Women’s Network Scholarship, the Allegro Microsystems Scholarship and the Kiwanis Scholarship, and now she is May’s Cornell ECE Woman of the Month! 

Find previous ECE Woman of the month spotlights here.


The next scheduled events are:

  • May 6, 2018: PhEM meeting, 2:00pm, Upson 202

Group photo of a group of women in the PhEM (Physics, Electrical, Mechanical) meeting

Past events include:

  • March 2, 2018: Johnson Women in Technology Conference
  • December 7, 2017: Women in STEM lunch, 12:15pm-1:15pm, 401 Physical Sciences [For Faculty only]
  • December 2, 2017: Have pizza with fellow women in ECE/MAE/AEP, 1pm,Upson Lounge
  • November 21, 2017: WISE Luncheon for faculty women, 11:30-1pm, Upson 102
  • September 20, 2017: Coffee hour with fellow women in ECE/MAE/AEP, 4.30-6pm, Upson Lounge

The undergraduate women of ECE/MAE/AEP have created a slack channel. If you would like to join, please reach out to Prof. Petersen so she can connect you to the right people. If you would like to propose an event for women in ECE/MAE/AEP, please fill out this form and send it to Hadaskg and Kirstin @

Examples of group discussion topics:
  • How do I get 5 (!) recommendation letters?
  • What is the best way to land a good postdoc/industry job?
  • How do I solve my two-body issue?
  • How do I choose a good project to work on in my postdoc/faculty position in my Ph.D.?
  • If I TA during my grad studies will it help me get a faculty job?
  • How do I balance my career and family?
  • How do I get a summer internship?
  • How do I know what's an interesting job?
  • When I negotiate a faculty position or an industry job what kind of a startup/salary should I aim for?
  • How do I deal with (subtle) sexual harassment? When is it appropriate to speak up?
Important: Funds available for women@ece!

The ECE Women's Conference Travel Grants, Women's Professional Development Grants and Women's Technical Exposure Grants are funded by a gift from the IBM Corporation, with the goals of assisting in the retention of the current ECE female student population, increasing the presence of female scientists in high-rank ECE related positions both in academia and in industry, as well as in the recruiting of female students pursuing both graduate and undergraduate ECE degrees.

Please download (here) application forms for these 3 grants.