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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 February Member of the Month is Rana Karimi!

Rana Karimi is an Engineering Project Manager for PepsiCo, working on the Packaging Automation team at the Frito-Lay North America headquarters in Plano, TX. As a Project Manager, she is responsible for leading the deployment of automation projects for Frito-Lay plants nationwide, providing technical input on capital allocation and expenditures, and unifying cross-functional teams from around the world. In this role, Rana is a change agent in leveraging technology and robotics to improve packaging productivity for America’s largest food and beverage company.

Rana joined PepsiCo in August 2017. She previously worked in Houston for Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil and gas service company. At Schlumberger, she gained experience in operations and held engineering roles in manufacturing, quality, and production planning in which she was largely responsible for optimizing manufacturing processes in a highly engineered, make to order environment. In her last role, she leveraged her manufacturing experience as a SAP business system trainer during the company’s global IT Transformation.

Rana is passionate about promoting women in engineering and STEM. As a SWE Professional, she has served as a volunteer or coordinator at dozens of outreach events in Houston and Dallas. After joining PepsiCo, she supported the Engineering department’s Women in Engineering Retention Initiative by raising awareness of the benefits and resources of SWE. This advocacy led to gaining management’s support of SWE memberships. Before relocating to the DFW Area, Rana was a math tutor for high school girls for four years. She worked with students on Algebra I & II, Geometry, and Pre-Calc. Rana enjoyed seeing her students develop confidence and proficiency in math.

Rana received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2013. From a young age, Rana enjoyed her math and science classes and always sought to be challenged. The opportunity to use her strength in math and the broad career prospects are what drew her to pursue engineering. At UT, she was involved in SWE as Community Affairs Director and led many outreach events held on and off campus. She was also active in the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) as a mentor for first-year female students in mechanical engineering and helped organize the flagship event, “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” She balanced her engineering workload with playing the French horn in the Longhorn Band, and performed at each UT football game for four years.

On a personal note, Rana enjoys traveling and photographing different parts of the world. Her goal is to visit at least two new countries every year.  She is also an avid cyclist. As a rider and fundraiser for the MS150, she made the 180-mile bike ride from Houston to Austin every year since her junior year of college. As an engineer at heart, Rana enjoys making her own personal care products and experimenting with natural ingredients in cooking and baking. Rana also enjoys language classes and has professional working proficiency in Spanish and Farsi.

“I strongly identify with SWE’s mission of advancing the careers of women engineers. A well-balanced, diverse workforce is more successful at innovation than a homogeneous workforce. Yet, women are still underrepresented in engineering and technology. In recent years, while women earned more bachelor’s degrees than men, fewer than one-fourth of engineering degrees were earned by women. We need to improve these figures and close the gender gap. SWE does a great job of working toward closing the gap by providing a strong network of support, tools, and mentorship to empower women engineers to overcome challenges, bond together, and build our professional skills and confidence.”

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