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Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy

Our new feature, Women @ Energy, showcases a few of our talented and dedicated employees here who are helping change the world, ensuring America’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. View profiles of women across the country, sharing what inspired them to work in STEM, what excites them about their work at the Energy Department, sharing ideas for getting more underrepresented groups engaged in STEM, offering tips, and more. 

We hope that the stories of these, and many more, women in STEM can inspire others as they think about the future. Only 24% of the STEM workforce is female, an alarming gap as over 51% of the workforce overall is female. 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 annemarie.horowitz@hq.doe.gov

As an agronomist (University of Milan, Italy, 1981), Ms. Cristina Negri leads the phytotechnologies R&D activities at Argonne as an Argonomist.Environmental Engineer at the Process Technology Research Energy Systems Division.
Women @ Energy: Cristina Negri

"Role models, role models and more role models. They will change the stereotypes that surround women’s perceived interests and what is “appropriate” for a woman – there should be more role models readily available that offer young people (women and other underrepresented groups) an opportunity to see themselves in STEM professions." Read more from Cristina on her profile here.

Shawna Waugh is a mathematical statistician for the Office of Petroleum and Biofuels Statistics at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Women @ Energy: Shawna Waugh

"I started my career solving puzzles, an activity I enjoyed early in life! I enjoy the creative process (brainstorming, identifying alternative approaches and outcomes, establishing boundaries for a problem, and utilizing analytic and systems techniques useful in approaching problems, professional and personal."

Rebecca Abergel, Ph.D. is a Staff Scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Rebecca Abergel

"We need to change the vision that people have of scientists. Too often, when we ask younger children if they know a famous scientist, they refer to Albert Einstein, and envision an older man with a crazy hairstyle. Taking science classes in school should be considered as "cool and desirable" as being on the football team, and we can only change this perception by continuously disseminating and explaining what we can achieve with science and who is behind it." Read more about Rebecca on her profile here.

Ashfia Huq is a Lead Scientist of the Powgen beamline, in the Chemical and Engineering Materials Division at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Ashfia Huq

"Do it because you love it and you can’t imagine doing anything else. Don’t let anyone bully you, stick to it and don’t give up when it gets hard."

Karena Chapman assembled advanced battery materials into sample holders that can be placed in a detector at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory where high-energy X-ray beam will reveal the structure of the chemical elements.
Women @ Energy: Karena Chapman

"It is not always clear how what we learn at school as science relates to problems in the world in which we live. Programs which provide girls with a hands-on discovery experience and an understanding of how what they learn can be used to address new problems and to devise creative solutions is important for demonstrating why STEM matters and for inspiring the next-generation of STEM professionals."

Tina Henne, in the purple scarf, stands with participants in Argonne's Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day in February 2013.
Women @ Energy: Tina Henne

"I get to work with people who are passionate about making our world cleaner, safer and more sustainable. The Department of Energy mission is also well aligned with my research interests. As a microbiologist, I studied bacteria that can live in very toxic environments. Figuring out how they are able to live in such harsh places and potentially using that knowledge to help clean up the environment was like solving a mystery. So, in a way, I got to be a microbial sleuth!"

Jill Deem is the Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Services for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Women @ Energy: Jill Deem

"Energy is one of the biggest challenges in the world. To have a part in supporting a better future for generations to come is what this job is all about for me. My job as CIO is the kind of job you could do in many fields and organizations. But supporting the renewable energy mission is motivating and exciting for me."

Ritimukta Sarangi is a Staff Scientist for the Structural Molecular Biology Division at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Ritimukta Sarangi

"I feel STEM education should be made more engaging and connected to everyday life in order to attract girls and young women. Since family and teachers play such an important role in the early development of academic interests, they play a vital role in shaping future generations of innovators, regardless of gender, and both play vital roles in encouraging girls to explore STEM topics."

Robin Goldstone is a computer scientist working in the High Performance Computing (HPC) division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
Women @ Energy: Robin Goldstone

"I am surrounded by smart people from all disciplines: physicists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists all working together to solve some of the world's most challenging technical problems. It is exhilarating and rewarding." Read more from Robin on her profile here.

NREL Principal Scientist Sarah Kurtz leads a tour of the Outdoor Testing Facility for the Congressional Staff at The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). (Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL)
Women @ Energy: Sarah Kurtz

"Treat all feedback as opportunities. Find the place where you fit in, personally. Research is fun, because there are always new things to do, but it is highly competitive: so choose a level of contribution at which you can be the strongest contributor around. If this means that you are a technician in the lab, that is something to be proud of: a good technician can be very difficult to find." Read more from Sarah on her profile here.

Young-Kee Kim is the Deputy Director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and a Louis Block Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago
Women @ Energy: Young-Kee Kim

" It is very exciting for me to see talented diverse teams of scientists and engineers, assembled from both the National Laboratories and Universities, tackle great scientific and technical challenges to create the new tools that enable us to push the boundaries of our scientific knowledge." Read more from Young-Kee on her profile here.

Vivian Stojanoff, a scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, holding a protein crystal model. Stojanoff uses x-rays at the National Synchrotron Light Source to study how atoms are arranged in protein crystals, because the arrangement affects how proteins function.
Women @ Energy: Vivian Stojanoff

"I suggest being flexible, because very few people end up doing exactly what they planned for in high school. It is important to have direction, so major in the subject you like best, don’t forget the other sciences, and keep an open mind to take advantage as opportunities arise." Read more from Vivian on her profile here.

Elaine McCluskey has worked as a civil /structural engineer and project manager for thirty-five years.
Women @ Energy: Elaine McCluskey

"I get excited when we are able to work together to design and build equipment and facilities that can enable research into fundamental questions such as why is there more matter than anti-matter in the universe. Since this is a long-term experiment, I know that we are literally enabling basic research for future generations." Read more from Elaine on her profile here.

Johanna Nelson is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Science at Stanford University.
Women @ Energy: Johanna Nelson

"My parents always supported the notion that their daughters were smart, powerful women who could accomplish anything into which they put their hearts and minds. “Power to the women!” was and continues to be one of our family battle cries." Read more from Johanna on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Tameka Kirk

"I would advise the women that are studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to think big and join the groups or organizations within your communities of interest schools and universities to network and build partnerships, form an alliance and interact with and network with the professionals currently working in this environment." Read more from Tameka here.

Susannah Green Tringe, Ph.D, is the Metagenome Program Lead at DOE’s Joint Genome Institute at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Susannah Green Tringe

"I think it's important to expose kids to science and scientists early, so they're comfortable thinking about science as something they can do. I also think labs and universities could do more to make scientific careers compatible with raising a family, which would benefit all young scientists and reduce attrition." Read more from Susannah here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Sue Cange

"One of the pivotal moments that helped me decide to pursue a degree in one of the STEM areas was an introduction to a woman who took the time to explain the benefits of a STEM education. I was introduced to her in my senior year of high school and was eager to listen to the advice that she provided." Read more from Sue here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Simona Rolli

"We live in a world, which is shaped in every aspect by science and technology. We have drugs to cure most of our ailments, we fly airplanes, we use computers to keep connected globally (the world wide web was invented at CERN!) and the list goes on and on... The first step is to educate, and show the young generation that science is good and opening up unlimited possibilities." Read more from Simona on her profile here.

Ms. Maria Stanton is the Project Manager for Incident Management and the Joint Cyber Security Coordination Center (JC3).
Women @ Energy: Maria Stanton

Check out other profiles in the Women @ Energy series and share your favorites on Pinterest

LaDoris (Dot) Harris is the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.
Women @ Energy: Dot Harris

"The ability to help others is the most fulfilling thing about working in the federal government. In my current position, the work I do can help small businesses, Minority Serving Institutions, and communities across America who are seeking access to the Energy Department’s resources. I enjoy giving back to students and communities through my work, and working on problems that have national impact." Read more from Dot on her profile here.

Dr. Nancy Jeanne Brown is a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Nancy Brown

"Energy and environment are in lock step. The goal of protecting the environment while facilitating and optimize energy production inspires my research, which is concerned with improving our ability to accurately simulate reactive flows that describe combustion and atmospheric phenomena." Read more from Nancy on her profile here.

Dr. Rosio Alvarez is the CIO at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she serves the computational needs of scientists that carry out $.8B of sponsored research in photon, computing, environmental, energy and bio sciences.
Women @ Energy: Rosio Alvarez

"Working for a place that is solving the biggest challenges that the world is facing is probably the most exciting and inspiring work you can do. Here at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, we are looking at how to solve some of the biggest health, energy, and environmental challenges. They will have a huge impact on the country and world for many, many generations to come and that makes you smile when you come to work each day." Read more from Rosio on her profile here.

Wende Wiles, PMP, RMP, is the IT Project Management Director for Information Management in the Office of the Chief Human Information Officer, helping to implement project portfolio management for the new DAYS ServiceNow ITSM project (delivering IT project, change, incident, and service management).
Women @ Energy: Wende Wiles

"What’s really exciting and has inspired me is the value I think being in a STEM role can add for translating technical information to the business and IT requirements from the business to define new opportunities. Technology advances may go unused if the business side does not see the potential in a way that speaks to them in their language. This has kept me challenged over the years working both as a provider and a consumer of IT services." Read more from Wende on her profile here.

Cereda Amos joined the Department of Energy, Office of the Chief Information Officer in October of 2011 as the Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (JC3) Program Manager and was brought on board to work on the development phase of JC3.
Women @ Energy: Cereda Amos

"We can engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM professions by educating middle school and high school Science, Technology, and Mathematics teachers on opportunities in both the private and public sector. Many schools have clubs that invite speakers to talk about their profession and encourage the students to look early at what their future choices in college studies. Plugging in early is important as it opens up the possibilities, many of which they may not even know about." Read more from Cereda on her profile here.

Patricia Hoffman is the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Women @ Energy: Patricia Hoffman

"Stay with it and be persistent! Network and ask questions with the people who are knowledgeable about the STEM field which interests you. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks. Often times, where you start your career may not be in the same area where you end. The good thing about having a STEM background is that it is a solid foundation for you to build your experience upon." Read more from Pat on her profile here.