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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

Darlene Yazzie is a Computer Support Technician within the Computations Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Darlene Yazzie

"Science and math has to be demonstrated as a “fun” thing with excitement to entice interest in elementary students; this will pique their interest throughout their school years. STEM can help students understand that having a successful career takes hard work and self-determination to persevere and do well in school."

Ulrike Meier Yang is leading the Computational Mathematics group at the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Ulrike Meier Yang

"Do not be afraid to ask questions when you do not understand the material. Do not give up when things get difficult. It also helps to find a mentor or working group. Things always get easier when one can discuss them with others. And most importantly, have fun."

Suzanne L. Singer is a post-doctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she supports engineering and energy security with projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Women @ Energy: Suzanne Singer

"We need to expose Native Americans and other underrepresented, and often underserved, populations to science and math at an early age and continuously stimulate STEM education. There are some efforts to identify cultural and socioeconomic barriers to academic success, foster learning opportunities across many education levels, and provide support mechanisms through mentorship."

Carol Meyers is a mathematician at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, working in the areas of counterterrorism, energy grid planning, and nuclear enterprise modeling.
Women @ Energy: Carol Meyers

"I love that I get to think about a diversity of big problems, such as: how do we modernize the country’s electric grid? How can we safeguard the nation’s nuclear deterrent? What kinds of countermeasures are most effective in combating terrorism? I feel very fortunate that I have had the chance to work on such big problems and contribute my own small part to addressing them."

Pascale Di Nicola works at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and is in charge of a working group for pointing performance and is a core member of the Target & Laser Interaction Sphere.
Women @ Energy: Pascale Di Nicola

"Find yourself a good mentor, somebody who will engage you in pushing your limits and will know what you can do even when you feel you are not able to. Look for what talents you have in your team, as there is a lot to learn from them too. Be passionate about what you are doing, feel responsible for your work, be proud of what you achieve but remember that this is more often a team effort than an individual success."

Punita Sinha is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is currently the group leader of the B Physics Simulations CS group leader, where she works on and manages a team of computer scientist s working on HPC (high performance computing ) multi-physics, massively parallel simulations codes.
Women @ Energy: Punita Sinha

"We need to have girls and women get comfortable in the scientific arena, which starts when they are very young. Having people who work with, or have jobs related to STEM fields, around them gives them a role model, and/or familiarity with the area. Our media tends to focus on entertainment and political news, only the public TV or public radio tend to have shows or events on science."

Teresa ‘Terri’ Quinn is responsible for an organization consisting of three divisions with over 400 technical staff working in high-performance computing, computer security, and IT at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Terri Quinn

"My advice for women and girls is to don’t let others erode your confidence in your abilities. You have every right to be who you want to be and to pursue whatever career that interests you."

Dr. Tanzima Islam is a postdoctoral research staff member working in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Tanzima Islam

"I believe early exposure to the fun side of science and math goes a long way in sowing “dream-seeds” in kids about STEM. This can be done by arranging hands-on science demonstrations where kids can do something cool such as basic chemical experiments or working with older kids to write software for switching the lights on or off with voice command."

Lisa Belk is the Information Technology (IT) Manager for the Global Security (GS) Principal Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Lisa Belk

"The single best way to enter my field of work is to earn a college degree! That degree will follow you wherever you go in life and serve as the starting point for your career, so be mindful about picking a major that will serve you in the long term. Embrace the idea that your career will change over the course of your working life, but that degree will help define the direction. Adding graduate degrees to your portfolio further enhances the opportunities that will be presented to you throughout your career."

Dianne Gates-Anderson is an Environmental Process Engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where she began working in 1996.
Women @ Energy: Dianne Gates-Anderson

"I loved chemistry from my very first chemistry course in the tenth grade. Of the sciences, I found chemistry the most fascinating because you can use the principles of chemistry to explain so much about everything around you."

Evi Dube is a computational scientist who has worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for almost 30 years.
Women @ Energy: Evi Dube

"I think the key is to have these groups realize the job a combination of experiment, team work, individual contributions, computations, travel, growth. I know my daughter worries that she will be “stuck in meetings and sitting all day” which is a huge turn off for her. Understanding that the job is a mix of social and individual time, with the growth aspect and challenges I think will be a draw."

Annie Kersting was first hired at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow and really enjoyed doing cutting-edge science on important problems. Photo by Julie Korhummel (LLNL)
Women @ Energy: Annie Kersting

"Get a great education, become an expert in your field, but also consider a double major, as multidisciplinary training is really a must these days. Take writing classes, because being able to clearly and concisely convey your thoughts in writing is a very important skill. Don’t give up and pursue your dreams."

Anh Tu Quach, pictured in black, third from right, on a tour of the world’s largest, most energetic laser, the National Ignition Facility, with esteemed visitor Duy-Loan Le, Texas Instruments’ first female Senior Fellow.
Women @ Energy: Anh Tu Quach

"Science revolves around inborn curiosity; observe any baby intensely examining a colorful new object or one who repeatedly throws a toy down to see how many times the adult will pick up the toy in this “experiment” to witness this natural curiosity. We need to take care not to let that curiosity whither and die. We need to tend that fire through targeted programs, diverse mentors, and accessible resources."

Dr. Lidija Sekaric manages the SunShot’s Technology to Market Program. Her team’s portfolios spans start-up incubation programs, technology commercialization pathways, innovation in manufacturing, cost analysis, and strategic programs and analysis.
Women @ Energy: Lidija Sekaric

"Second, we do need to find a way to communicate how rewarding it can be to work in these fields and what impact innovation and invention has. At the basic level, if we give solid math and basic science foundation to every young kid, there will be not just a larger population that will appreciate science, but also one that will demystify what it takes to be in STEM and one that will be prepared to pursue it as a career."

Yahel De La Cruz is a Software Engineer for the Information Communication Services Department matrixed to Strategic Human Resources Management Directorate at  LLNL.
Women @ Energy: Yahel De La Cruz

"Providing STEM opportunity and exposure, in addition to becoming a role model, can change a young girl's view of her future career and open door to limitless opportunities. Women in the workforce can volunteer to mentor young junior high and high school students. Even something as simple as bring a young engineer to work for half a day might spark interest in technology."

Sarah C. Chinn is a Deputy Group Leader for the Forensic Science & Assessment Support group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Sarah Chinn

"One of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of STEM work is the ability to clearly communicate your results. One of the best pieces of advice my undergraduate research advisor gave me was to take a writing class. Scientists are constantly writing papers, proposals, and presentations. When you can become captivated by an eloquently written research proposal or journal article, that is a beautiful thing!"

Kristine Montheith is a computer scientist at Laurence Livermore National Laboratory. Photo from BYU News.
Women @ Energy: Kristine Monteith

"I get to research some really interesting and academically challenging problems. I enjoy being able to contribute to national security and feel like the work I do makes a difference. Also, I have the most amazing supervisors and co-workers. Every day, I get to associate with brilliant and fascinating people. It's a privilege to work with them."

Lori Diachin is the Director for the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) in the Computation Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) .
Women @ Energy: Lori Diachin

"If you love solving problems and being challenged, then explore STEM topics as the basis for your career. For me it was important to develop a good network of supportive colleagues and mentors to give advice and help me navigate difficult situations. Try not to second-guess yourself too much – you’re very likely much better than you give yourself credit for!"

Dr. Carol Woodward is a computational scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where she has also served as a Group Leader and Postdoctoral Program Manager.
Women @ Energy: Carol Woodward

"When a child believes they are good at something they don’t hold back on it. We need to further sustain the interest into upper grades and college through extra-curricular projects and events and through courses accessible to more than just the “top” students."

Kim Budil is the Nuclear Counterterrorism Program Manager in the Global Security Principal Directorate at LLNL.
Women @ Energy: Kim Budil

"Be open to opportunities; most of life is more luck than design. Build a network of people to support you through good times and bad. Take time to celebrate your successes and others."

As Associate Director for Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dona L. Crawford leads the Laboratory's high performance computing efforts.
Women @ Energy: Dona Crawford

"Starting in elementary school, we need to communicate the exciting parts of what we’re doing in a way that connects with aspiring young scientists. Then we need programs to sustain their interest."

Jessie Gaylord is a lead software engineer for the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Jessie Gaylord

"Be curious and try new things, and when you find something you are good at go for it. Make sure to lay a solid foundation for what you want to do in school. Find people in the field to help you get started, to get support from when you need it, and to make friends with so you have fun while you work."

Dr. Rose McCallen is the Project Lead for the ALE3D Research and Development Team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Rose McCallen

"I believe the biggest influence for me pursuing and sticking with my dreams in STEM was my family. My parents believed in my potential to pursue my dreams and they told me that determination and hard work is all it would take."

Renée Breyer is the Deputy Associate Director for the Strategic Human Resources Management Directorate and the Benefits Plan Administrator for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Renée Breyer

"For female students to consider a STEM career, they need personal encouragement from instructors or counselors at an early age. In addition to hearing encouraging words from instructors and counselors, women need to see—in posters, videos and career events with women actually working in STEM disciplines—what a typical day looks like for women employed as technicians in STEM workplaces."

Kris Kulp is the Group Leader for the Pharmacology and Toxicology Group and the Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Institutional Postdoc Program.
Women @ Energy: Kris Kulp

"My high school guidance counselor once told me “girls from our high school don’t get to be doctors”. Fortunately, I was too stubborn to believe him, but we need to make sure that this type of ignorance is gone from our thinking."