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Women @ Energy


The Women@Energy series showcases profiles and videos of inspirational women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers at the Department of Energy.

The profiles and videos highlight what inspired these women to work in STEM, what they do day-to-day in their jobs, their ideas for engaging others in STEM, tips, and more. Soon, the Women@Energy series will also include sample classroom lessons to engage middle school girls with the Women@Energy series.

We hope the stories and videos inspire women to think about their possible future in STEM. 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

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."

Argonne internet project manager Pam Richmond designs websites and e-learning to support programs in environmental remediation.
Women @ Energy: Pam Richmond

"I think we need to encourage failure, not for the sake of failure, but to discover how to learn from it and succeed in spite of it. So many people don’t take a chance because they think they won’t succeed. I think we also need to show that STEM careers can be very rewarding in many ways."

Metallurgical and Materials Engineer Ozgenur “Ozge” Kahvecioglu Feridun works on scaling advanced cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries at Argonne’s Materials Engineering Research Facility.
Women @ Energy: Ozgenur Kahvecioglu Feridun

"Diversity in background always helps. No matter what you end up doing, a diverse set of skills will provide you with the ability to approach problems in novel ways that perhaps help you find a solution more quickly."

Angela Fioretti is a Joint Ph.D student at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, focusing on photovoltaic materials research.
Women @ Energy: Angela Fioretti

"What excites me about my work is knowing that every day I come into the lab, I am making a difference. I am thrilled to see the rapid and dramatic changes to our energy landscape that have taken place in such a short time, and it is even more exciting to know that solar energy is a real contender in our current energy market."

Teresa Alleman is a senior chemist with the Fuels Performance Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Teresa Alleman

"Take a long hard look at what skills you offer and how it fits into different areas of STEM. You could find yourself working in an unexpected area and realize it’s where you were meant to be all along. But, if you pigeonhole yourself, you will never know what opportunities are out there."

Kirstin Alberi is a Senior Scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Kristin Alberi

"Above all, be persistent and have confidence in your abilities. You will undoubtedly encounter problems that seem impossible to solve at first but are surmountable with some determination and effort. Also, surround yourself with truly excellent people and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally."

Barbara Goodman is the Associate Laboratory Director, Mechanical and Thermal Systems Engineering at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Barbara Goodman

"Engineering has allowed me to work in a variety of different fields including biomass, hydrogen, vehicles, buildings and wind while doing hands-on research, project management, analysis, and people management. When I entered the engineering field, I had no idea how limitless the opportunities would be over the course of my career."

Lieve Laurens is a senior research scientist in the Bioprocess Research and Development group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Lieve Laurens

"...There are so many aspects about science and especially biochemistry that remain to be uncovered and often the only way out of a research dip or impasse is the passion, fascination and drive to continue. So anything we can do to light the fire in young women and girls about science can really make a difference."

Chemical engineer Jennifer B. Dunn is an active supporter of women interested in entering STEM fields. An avid nature lover and environmentalist, she leads the Biofuel Life Cycle Analysis Team at Argonne National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Jennifer B. Dunn

"My work requires a technical background and also relies heavily on communication and collaboration skills, which many women have in spades and enjoy using. My advice to young women interested in a STEM career: stay well-rounded!"