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What do you want to see from Dallas SWE this year? Help us make the most of our organization and improve your leadership skills by becoming a Committee Member or Chair! We are an all-volunteer organization and need YOUR help to make Dallas SWE great. If you’ve already emailed us within the last month or so, no need to submit a separate entry in the form: our officers will be in touch with you soon.


With our Member of the Month program, Dallas SWE seeks to recognize some of our non-officer members whose technical contributions, leadership accomplishments, or SWE volunteer service are particularly noteworthy. If you would like to nominate a Dallas SWE member for his/her contributions, please email us.

Our July Member of the Month is Kate Van Dellen! Kate witnessed an airplane crash when she was a teenager and her dreams of flying grew into dreams of creating safer skies. In her aerospace engineering career she has worked with cargo aircraft, business jets, helicopters, anti-missile systems, satellites, and unmanned aviation. Her specialties included flight test, systems engineering, and emergency field support.

She credits SWE with launching her career and enjoys giving back to the organization. She has been the Membership Committee Chair for the entire Society, and currently serves as a Region C Senator. SWE awarded her the Outstanding Collegiate Member Award in 2008 and the Distinguished New Engineer Award in 2015.

When Kate and her spouse moved back to Texas in 2015, she took a risk and started her own company focused on STEM learning and motivational speaking called, New Trees Education. The name is based on Kate’s philosophy that knowledge grows. She blogs for the Huffington Post and has been featured in local magazines. She was also recently featured on SWE’s YouTube channel, speaking on the importance of SWE’s Core Values.

I’ve moved thousands of miles for my career, multiple times, and my constant has been SWE. At one of my first SWE section meetings in a new town, I really connected with this one member, Janine. She had also recently moved, and I couldn’t get over how awesome her jacket was. I needed a new professional wardrobe, so I asked if she would come help me pick some items out. Fast forward to a couple years later, and she was helping me pick out my wedding dress. In fact, most of my bridesmaids were SWE friends, because I’ve met so many lifelong friends.
~Kate Van Dellen

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It’s the beginning of SWE’s fiscal year 2018, and our leadership transition meeting was last Saturday. We have a great team this year, and we’re here to serve YOU! Join your FY18 Dallas SWE Officers at an informal Happy Hour. Get to know us, find out what we’ve got planned for this year and how you can get involved, and share your ideas on how to make Dallas SWE even better. We look forward to seeing you!

When: Thursday, August 3, 2017 5:30-7pm

Where: Good Union BBQ – CityLine
1150 State St #150, Richardson, TX 75082

Cost: FREE to all. Food and drink will be available for purchase by individuals. Please RSVP below.

Eventbrite - Dallas SWE Happy Hour: Meet Your Leadership Team

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You may have seen our blog posts or heard from a friend about WE17 in Austin. If you’re considering attending this Society of Women Engineers Conference this year, read on to learn more and we hope to see you in Austin in October!

What is a WE Conference and why should I attend?

We’re glad you asked! WE Conferences are Society-wide conferences where women engineers and advocates gather from across the globe to meet, present on technical, industry, academic, K-12 outreach, leadership, and professional development topics, conduct SWE business, host a career fair with over 300 exhibitors, and celebrate accomplishments of the past fiscal year through awards and recognition of individuals and groups. The number in the conference name denotes the calendar year in which it takes place. WE conferences have grown significantly in past years and last year’s in Philadelphia, PA boasted over 12,000 attendees! Check out some videos from WE16 attendees here and our  WE16 in Philadelphia recap post from last year to see why  SWE conferences are so awesome!

It’s three full days of inspiration, fun, and excitement, and attendees report returning home recharged and motivated to take charge of their careers, lead with confidence, and be positive forces for women in engineering in their own organizations. If you’ve never attended a Society of Women Engineers Conference, this year is a great time to experience it close to home! If you’re sold and want to attend the conference, visit the event website to register and secure your hotel room reservation today!

How much does it cost?

We won’t lie, any venue large enough to house and support tens of thousands of attendees is not cheap. Professional member registration runs $460-$565 and hotel rooms are $200-300 per night. However, the fact that it’s just down I-35 this year, within driving distance of Dallas, presents an opportunity for significant savings sans airfare. Here are some other ways you can offset the cost of attendance:

  • Register early! Early bird discounts run through September 25, 2017. Also check out the discounts for retired, unemployed, and STEM re-entry professionals.
  • Volunteer: 4 hours of volunteer service as a conference helper will save you 50% on registration. Spots are limited, so if you’re interested in this opportunity, apply ASAP.
  • Ask for your employer to sponsor all or part of your trip as professional development training. If your company will have a Career Fair booth at WE17, they may be willing to reimburse your costs in exchange for a few hours evaluating resumes or interviewing candidates. WE conferences also offer CEU sessions so if you need credit hours as a part of your job training, check out those options during registration.
  • Carpool and share a room with a friend: see the Travel Coordination section below!

Special Events

We often get questions about a few optional special events during conference which involve additional cost. Read below for information to help you decide whether to attend: keep in mind that these events sell out, so register quickly to reserve your spot.

  • Thursday morning Keynote Breakfast: This is the big opening session of the conference with several thousand attendees in one large ballroom. It is usually sponsored by one or more SWE Corporate Partnership Council member companies and includes a dynamic and inspirational guest speaker. The breakfast is sit-down and catered, usually continental, at tables of 8-10 people each. Meet someone new and enjoy an great program! If there is enough interest, the venue may support satellite overflow rooms with the program streamed over an AV system and breakfast served to attendees there.
  • Industry and City Tours: Each WE conference features opportunities for you to visit nearby engineering companies and enjoy some local flair! These tours do sell out quickly so make sure to reserve them ASAP during your registration, or volunteer to be a tour guide to enjoy the tour and get a discount on your registration!
  • Friday evening Award Banquet: This is the “Academy Awards of SWE;” a celebration of SWE individual award winners, corporate benefactors, seasoned professionals, and steadfast SWE advocates. It is mostly geared towards professionals, but collegiates will also enjoy seeing the accomplishments that a lifetime of engineering, service, and SWE contributions can bring. The evening will feature several award-winning guest speakers with the keynote address given by this year’s SWE Achievement Award recipient (TBA). The dress code is formal (cocktail / floor-length dress or dressy suit) with a three-course dinner served at tables of 8-10 people in a large ballroom.
  • Saturday evening Celebrate SWE Banquet: This is an event geared more towards collegiate and SWE section / group celebrations! We anticipate the new SWE Mission Awards will be presented at this large session: Dallas SWE has applied for several. The evening will feature several guest speakers with a keynote address. The dress code is semi-formal (cocktail dress or dressy suit) with a three-course dinner served at tables of 8-10 people in a large ballroom.

Dallas SWE Travel Coordinationcarpool

Our leadership team often carpools and shares hotel rooms to save on travel costs, especially if we’re paying our own way. If you’d like to participate as well, fill out our WE17 Coordination Survey and we’ll try our best to connect anyone who wants to carpool or share accommodations! Don’t forget to select whether you’d like to be included in our GroupMe app communications before and during the conference! Email us at  dallas.swe@gmail.com if you have questions. We can’t wait to see you there!


Through June 30 we ran two member appreciation programs with prize drawings! The winners were selected via random number generator (we’re engineers, after all).

Sween Butler, a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of North Texas, won our SWE polo prize drawing for submitting an entry to our FY17 Feedback Survey. We’ll use the results of this survey to inform our activities in FY18 and there’s still time to make your voice heard. Submit your entry by July 15!


“One of the best things I like about SWE is their outreach events that promote awareness about STEM education among young girls, parents, and communities. I enjoy volunteering for these activities because encouraging girls to pursue science fields is a vision that is close to my heart. Dallas SWE has given me the opportunity to connect and network with talented and supportive women engineers who have inspired me as I transition from collegiate to professional life as a scientist.” ~Sween Butler


Michelle Engler, a Senior Aircraft Engineer at American Airlines, won our $100 gift card drawing for renewing her membership before the June 30 early bird cutoff! We appreciated every loyal Dallas SWE member: if you haven’t already, please renew your membership for FY18 today! If you’re unsure whether you’ve already renewed, just log in to the swe.org membership portal to double check. We’ll also send reminders to non-renewed members in the coming weeks. You may also consider becoming a SWE Life Member and never worry about renewing again! Find out more by checking out the SWE Life Member contract. Email membership@swe.org with any questions you may have!

“I love meeting new people through SWE and have especially enjoyed our brunch outings.” ~Michelle Engler

Thanks again from your Dallas SWE FY18 leadership team, and congratulations to our drawing winners!


UT Arlington is running engineering outreach programs this summer and they’re looking for career speakers to share their experiences in STEM with 7th – 12th grade students. The speaker schedule is NOW through July 20 from 12:15pm to 1:05pm. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Carter Tiernan at tiernan@uta.edu.

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Check out the two volunteer opportunities below shared with us via Million Women Mentors!


Dallas: Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Adventure Day Camp Volunteers

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is seeking subject matter experts to assist with hands on activities in a variety of STEM related fields. Additionally, you’ll mentor girls during lunch by answering girls’ questions about your career during our lunch Mentor Moments. Volunteers needed daily Monday-Thursday July 17-20, and July 24-27. Program runs 9am-4pm. Learn more and connect in Texas STEM Connections.


Dallas: Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Solar Eclipse Event Volunteers

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will gather to see nature’s most wondrous spectacle — an eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. Girl Scout families are invited to a special event and viewing at the STEM Center of Excellence where we’ll discover the science behind the Great American Eclipse, make solar s’mores, and so much more. Learn more and connect in Texas STEM Connections.

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Join us and Fort Worth SWE Saturday, July 22 from 10am-4pm at the Frontiers of Flight Museum for some fun STEM activities in celebration of Moon Day!

If you would like to volunteer to help us inspire the next generation of engineers, please click the button below! You don’t have to stay the whole day, just let us know when you’re available in the registration form. We need your help to make this a great event for all the visitors to the museum!

Eventbrite - Moon Day Outreach - July 22, 2017

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With our Member of the Month program, Dallas SWE seeks to recognize some of our non-officer members whose technical contributions, leadership accomplishments, or SWE volunteer service are particularly noteworthy. If you would like to nominate a Dallas SWE member for his/her contributions, please email us.

Our Member of the Month for July is Lynn Mortensen. Lynn is currently following her passion as a STEM advocate and volunteer after spending 30 plus years in the aerospace and defense industry. She started her career as a Computer Scientist with a degree from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. She retired from the Raytheon Company in 2013 having held many positions within the company in program management, product development and engineering management including vice president of engineering of a $3B business segment.

During her career, Lynn was the recipient of several awards including the Malcom R. Currie Innovation Award and Raytheon Womens Network Woman to Watch Award. In 2011, she was selected as a Women Worth Watching in Technology from the Diversity Journal. As a Raytheon executive, Lynn supported several SWE conferences as keynote speaker at the Raytheon & Navy sponsored collegiate luncheons as well as different sessions on mentoring.

Lynn is active in the community promoting STEM education through her participation as a member of the Tech Titans STEM Talent Team, the University of Texas at Dallas Jonsson School of Engineering Industry Advisory Council and leader of the STEM Team, and the University of Texas at Arlington Engineering School Board of Advisors.  Lynn is also active with the Collin College Department of Engineering as a mentor to students, partner in outreach activities, and member of the Convergence Technologies Business & Industry Leadership Team.

As a member of the Dallas Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Outreach Committee, Lynn has taken on leadership roles for the signature Dallas SWE Design Your World STEM Conference for Girls and as the lead for the Scholarship Committee.  Lynn is also an active volunteer at BEST robotics events and at High Tech High Heels Speakers Bureau as both a speaker and member of their Grant Review Team. Lynn is a member of the STEM Advisory Board for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) helping GSNETX identify technologies and activities for the Girl Scout STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars.

Lynn continues to share her experiences with the next generation of engineers in the hope of increasing the number and diversity of engineers for the future.

“Being retired, I now have the time to volunteer with organizations where I can share my experiences with women and minorities as well as focus on the K-12 and post-secondary STEM pipeline. SWE offers me the opportunity to do both through our many events and meetings and our phenomenal scholarship and Design Your World outreach programs. By sharing my experiences with other SWE members, I hope that I’m helping them have a more rewarding career and personal life. Being able to connect Dallas SWE to other organizations that I work with is definitely creating value across our community and hopefully, helping increase the number of women and minorities in STEM. Dallas SWE has many innovative and accomplished members and I’m honored to work with everyone.”

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Many thanks to those who were able to attend our FY17 End of Year Celebration and Member Appreciation event last Saturday, June 10. We had a great time at WhirlyBall, enjoyed some tasty food and drinks, and took some time to recognize the successes of this fiscal year. You can view more photos on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to check out our FY17 Year in Review Newsletter.

During this event we presented gifts to each of our FY17 Officers, and the following awards:

  • Dallas SWE Distinguished Service Award: Nandika D’Souza, Ph.D, for her service as FY17 Executive Vice President and, in past years, VP of Outreach, for mentoring and supporting future SWE leaders, and for advocating for women in academia.
  • Dallas SWE Distinguished New Engineer: Amber Scheurer, for her contributions to our section communications, professional development events, and dedicated outreach volunteerism. Amber will continue as Secretary in FY18, so stay tuned to your email inbox to enjoy more of her excellent work.
  • Dallas SWE Outreach Mentor Award: Terriekka Cardenas, for her STEM Outreach service in Dallas SWE and other community service organizations. Terriekka is our new Vice President of Outreach for FY18 and we look forward to her contributions there!
  • Dallas SWE STEM Advocate Award: Lynn Morensen, for her service to STEM Outreach activities in Dallas SWE, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, and Tech Titans, and for her dedicated mentoring of upcoming STEM leaders.

Thanks to our FY17 Officers, Committee Chairs, and all the volunteers who helped make this year another great one for Dallas SWE! We are looking forward to FY18 and will be transitioning responsibilities to our newly elected officers in the coming months. If you are interested in serving on a committee or as a Committee Chair, you can check out our Committee Descriptions to learn more about your choices. Email us to let us know where your passions lie and help us make Dallas SWE even better!

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