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Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy showcases talented employees at the Department of Energy who are helping change the world through transformative science and technology work. View profiles of employees across the country at our headquarters and National Laboratories, and learn what inspired these women to work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, what they do day-to-day in their jobs, their ideas for engaging others in STEM, tips, and more. Browse through the hundreds of profiles here and share your favorites on Pinterest

We hope that these stories 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

Dr. Mina Bissell has been recognized for her lifetime contributions to the fields of breast cancer research, the enhanced role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and the nucleus environment to gene expression in normal and malignant tissues.
Women @ Energy: Mina Bissell

"I have always been passionate and curious 'to know' why we are who we are. In high school and then college, I enjoyed the STEM courses and then realized how much of what we do that is important for people's lives and well beings comes from the work and labor of those who work in STEM fields. Thus I decided to be a chemist in college, a bacterial geneticist in graduate school, and once I began to work with cancer viruses during my postdoctoral work, I became interested in cancer research." Read more from Mina on her profile here.

Mayling Wong-Squires is a Mechanical Engineer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Mayling Wong-Squires

"It is a privilege to work in a place where no day is alike and everyone is working towards a common cause: understanding the basic structure of matter...As interesting as the work is, the people make the Fermilab a special place to work. I am lucky to work with scientists, engineers, technicians, designers, and support staff from all walks of life, from all over the country and all over the world." Read more from Mayling on her profile here.

Anne Marie March, Assistant Physicist, Argonne National Laboratory
Women @ Energy: Anne Marie March

"I recall my excitement in my high school physics class when I realized that mathematics could quantitatively predict the outcome of physical phenomenon (and that calculus was actually good for something!) and my amazement in college when I came to understand how experiments could be designed to explore the workings of the universe on scales far beyond where our five senses can take us. I am very grateful to all those who introduced me to this intriguing way of understanding the world and feel very lucky that I can work in science." Read more from Anne Marie on her profile here.

Melissa R. Ujczo-Kovachich is currently an IT Project Manager for the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Women @ Energy: Melissa Ujczo-Kovachich

"What excites me is taking the potential in new technology and delivering capabilities to the customer which makes the mission easier to accomplish. There are a million details required to deliver a capability to the end user in a manner that makes it immediately usable. It is watching those details that brings joy to my day." Read more from Melissa on her profile here.

Sunita Satyapal is the Director of the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Women @ Energy: Sunita Satyapal

"My main advice is to take as much math (first) and science (second) as you can at an early age (and at any age!)- and get 'hands on' experience through science projects and hobbies. Get as much summer work experience as possible. Do as many different things as you can. Keep asking questions and don't worry about whether they are good questions. If you're hesitant then use this rule: If you cannot think of the answer yourself in less than a minute, then go ahead and ask the question. You learn so much more by asking questions." Read more from Sunita here.

Maya Gokhale has been a Computer Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) since 2007. Her career spans research conducted in academia, industry, and National Labs, most recently Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Maya Gokhale

"I would first encourage people to study as much math as possible. I'd also encourage students to seek internships and get as wide experience as possible in fields that interest you. What drew and kept me in this field was the opportunity to do real, concrete projects and see the tangible results of my work."

Becky Verastegui is Directorate Operations Manager for the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Becky Verastegui

"Making math, technology and science appealing to everyone needs to start very early - kindergarten is not too early! Elementary school teachers need to be comfortable with these areas and build them into the curriculum for everyone. This science, technology, engineering, and math emphasis inspiration for all needs to continue throughout all the school years." Read more from Becky on her profile here.

Dr. Jill Fuss is a Research Scientist in biophysics and biochemistry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working on understanding the molecular basis for cancer and aging.
Women @ Energy: Jill Fuss

"Science has an image problem. I think it is important to redefine the image of a scientist as a man working alone in the laboratory to that of a diverse team of researchers working toward a common goal that has huge societal impact. Scientific research is actually very social—the best labs are supportive, vibrant, and creative environments that interact with researchers from around the world. When women, girls, and underrepresented groups have a chance to see research in action, they want to be a part of it." Read more from Jill on her profile.

Dr. Jana Thayer works on the Fermi gamma-ray space telescope.
Women @ Energy: Jana Thayer

"I love the enthusiasm and dedication that everyone brings to each new experiment, especially in light of the fact that almost everything that LCLS does is new and exciting and has never been done before (or couldn't be done before). There are essentially two new experiments every week in LCLS, and you can really feel everyone pulling together to make them work and to get the best data possible out of each one." Read more from Jana on her profile here.

Dr. Ingrid Repins is a senior scientist and principal investigator for kesterite photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Ingrid Repins

"I feel so lucky that every day I get to work on a problem that is socially important and uses my training and skills in science. I love to be working with other people who are excited about science – and on top of all of that, I get paid for it. Twenty years ago I never would have thought that I could have a career in photovoltaics, but it has grown by factors of ten in my lifetime." Read more from Ingrid on her profile here.

Kawtar Hafidi is an experimental physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, studying how fundamental particles, namely quarks and gluons, form nucleons and nuclei.Photo from Crain's Chicago Business.
Women @ Energy: Kawtar Hafidi

"Follow your passion. It is hard work but you can do it. Learning is a journey and a constant process. Once you find your niche, you’ll know it – you’ll feel that what you are doing is not just work, because it doesn't stop. I go home, but I don't stop thinking about science." Read more from Kawtar on her profile here.

Kavita Ravi is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow at the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PI).
Women @ Energy: Kavita Ravi

"It is important to start really young with kids to get them interested, playing and working in STEM. We should not let prejudices like "math is hard" sneak in and squash those at an early age. We can think consciously about this in the education system, and focus on making it interesting and fun in preschool and elementary school with experiments. What happens in science clubs should be mainstream curriculum."

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Kathy Yelick

"I think a real issue is lack of understanding about what scientists in disciplines like physics, chemistry or computing actually do; there are few examples in the popular media and the fields may seem too abstract to young students... I think programs that help explain what we do, and how it is used to solve important societal problems are at least a piece of the solution." Read more from Kathy on her profile here.

Dr. Julie Segal began work at SLAC in 2011 to research and develop radiation detectors for the LCLS and other science research applications.
Women @ Energy: Julie Segal

"It is really fun to work in an environment where people are excited about what they are doing. Having worked in industry for many years where my job tended to be very focused on a specific technology and/or task, I like being in a research environment where your job is more varied. And you get exposed to all sorts of scientific topics; researchers from all over give talks at SLAC." Read more from Julie on her profile here.

Joyce Yang is a Technology Manager at DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office.
Women @ Energy: Joyce Yang

"Working at the Department is a dream come true – it is a genuine privilege to serve the nation in this way and use my training and experience to work on critical national issues. Being a public servant is a great joy for me, and I wake up every day and know that my work has an impact for the tax payers." Read more from Joyce on her profile here.

Triveni Rao is the Associate Division Head of the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and also holds the position of Senior Physicist.
Women @ Energy: Triveni Rao

"I was a picture perfect geek, but luckily for me, I did not know that I was one. In Indian society at that time, it was not only accepted, but was expected that you focus on studies and excel in them. When I was growing up, no one told me that women were not wired to be scientists or mathematicians or that I was doomed at birth to nonscientific endeavors. In my blissful ignorance, I proceeded to become Physicist." Read more from Triveni on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Joy Andrews

"Don’t be intimidated by things that are difficult. For me science and math didn't always come easily, but when I kept trying and practicing I eventually got it in a way that was satisfying. I still need this type of determination because for the research we do, knowledge and techniques are changing rapidly, and I am always learning new things." Read more from Joy on her profile here.

Joanna Fowler works in the Biosciences Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a Senior Chemist. She also holds the positions of Director of Brookhaven’s PET Program, Adjunct Professor of the Chemistry Department at SUNY at Stony Brook, Adjunct Professor of the Biomedical Engineering Department, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Adjunct Professor of the Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Women @ Energy: Joanna Fowler

"We should never underestimate the impression that a happy, successful woman or minority scientist working in a respectful and supportive institution makes on a young person who is trying to decide on whether to go into science."

Dr. Jasmine Hasi is an expert in designing and fabricating silicon radiation sensors for high energy physics and macromolecular crystallography applications.
Women @ Energy: Jasmine Hasi

"Alas, the world of technology and science is still a man’s world, but over the last decade or so, I have seen an increase of women who are making a difference and a name for themselves. However, I do believe that these remarkable women are not being noticed in society or media, and believe that these successful women should be more vocal and possibly need more media coverage so that young girls (target audience) can acknowledge these powerful icons and feel inspired to follow in the same footsteps." Read more from Jasmine on her profile here.

Dr. Hye-Sook Park has developed experimental techniques in plasma physics, materials science, nuclear physics, and astrophysics that have significantly enriched fundamental science, applied science, and national security science.
Women @ Energy: Hye-Sook Park

"I wanted to demonstrate that I could be as smart as the boys in science. Physics was the male-dominated field when I was young in Korea. I wanted to see whether I could be in this ‘forbidden’ group. I now know that the science community is not forbidden to the girls – it is just so amazingly unexplored field for both boys and girls." Read more from Hye-Sook on her profile here.

Gabriella Carini is a Staff Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Research and Engineering Division.
Women @ Energy: Gabriella Carini

"I’m excited about my work at the Energy Department because it allows me to continuously take on new challenges and work with people of any age that keep the same interest and excitement about what they do as when they were students." Read more from Gabriella on her profile here.

Gabriel Orebi Gann is an Assistant Professor at U.C. Berkeley and works in LBNL's Nuclear Science Division. Photo by Ben Ailes.
Women @ Energy: Gabriel Orebi Gann

"The best part about my job, and the thing that keeps me going when it gets tough, is the people I get to work with. I have certainly learned that there is no such thing as a stereotypical physicist: there is room for everyone here, from competitive gymnasts, marathon runners and rowers, to opera singers and rap artists, to gourmet chefs and published authors." Read more from Gabriel on her profile here.

Farah Fahim has been working as an ASIC development engineer at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since 2009.
Women @ Energy: Farah Fahim

"I feel networking is very important in the field of research, getting to know the right people, reading latest technical publications and being perceptive makes a lot of difference. Serendipity plays a huge role too. I also think getting a mentor is very important, it definitely helped me a lot." Read more from Farah on her profile here.

Emanuela Barzi has tirelessly devoted herself to applied superconductivity and its technological applications for the next generation of particle accelerators.
Women @ Energy: Emanuela Barzi

"For some reason that still eludes me, but that I think has much more to do with perception and some kind of atavistic bias than we may be ready to admit, women are not treated equally yet, and those who assess the opposite are presumably talking politics. We have to change the culture by opening our minds. Our STEM community would be ideal to start changing things, thanks to scientists’ and engineers’ strive for truth and objectivity." Read more from Emanuela on her profile here.

Eileen Vergino, standing, at a water quality workshop she helped lead in Jordan with her colleagues from Iraq.
Women @ Energy: Eileen Vergino

"I truly care about the work I do. Having a chance to participate in science that really makes a positive contribution to US national security is what gets me out of bed everyday. I came to the Lab because I have always believed that the work matters." Read more from Eileen on her profile here.