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We had a great group of about 20 people for our Happy Hour on Thursday! Attendees socialized with our Dallas SWE leadership team and enjoyed tasty food and drinks at Good Union BBQ in the swanky new CityLine urban complex in Richardson. We enjoyed spending time with old friends and meeting some new folks too! Thanks to everyone who was able to attend. If you couldn’t make it this time, save the date for our next professional development meeting September 19 and stay tuned for details!

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The President of Dallas SWE, that is! Welcome to FY18, everyone. I am looking forward to another exciting year of events and service to our local communities. Our leadership team and I am passionate about communication: if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions for Dallas SWE, please email us at dallas.swe@gmail.com or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. We want to interact with you!

If you’re new to Dallas SWE, we participate in a variety of activities each year, all of which we will post to this blog and our Google calendar (list in the right sidebar). We’ll send out bimonthly emails to highlight upcoming events, so subscribe to our mailing list (to the right) or follow us on social media. Here’s a sample of what we have to offer you this year:

  • We received your feedback that the predictable Tuesday schedule of the past few years precludes some folks from participating if they have standing commitments on Tuesdays. This year, our monthly professional development meetings which will be held on a variety of weekday evenings to accommodate a wider audience. These include some time for networking and a guest speaker, local industry tour, or SWE webinar about how to make the most of your engineering career. You don’t have to be a SWE member to attend, but members will always attend for free! Email us if you have suggestions or are interested in speaking at one of our meetings.
  • Social brunches are held about every two months on weekends and offer a time of additional networking without a formal program or speaker. These are open to all, with food and drink available for purchase by the individual.
  • After our success last year with joint community service and leadership development events with National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, we’ll continue those partnerships in FY18!
  • We have two large K-12 outreach events each year, called Design Your World STEM conferences, in the fall and spring. We also attend several smaller events throughout the year so keep an eye out for your opportunity to give back to K-12 students in our local communities.
  • We’ll also remind you about events not hosted by Dallas SWE but by other levels of SWE (Region C and Society events) or our local STEM partners. We hope you’ll find those useful!

If you’re not a member of SWE but would like to become one, the cost is an affordable $100 per year. A portion of your dues come back to our not-for-profit Dallas section to support the events and scholarships we sponsor. You’ll also get access to SWE’s extensive library of recorded webinars, their online career center, discounted registration fees for Region and Society conferences, an untold number of leadership opportunities to grow personally and professionally, and you’ll be a part of the largest network of women engineers (over 40,000 members!). Visit the Society of Women Engineers website and click “Membership” to find out more about the benefits and to join.

I have been a SWE member since my sophomore year of college (15 years!) and find the most value in the conferences and in the mentors and friends I’ve met in SWE (my “SWEsters”) from every industry, engineering discipline, culture, ethnicity, and career stage. This is especially true in Dallas where we enjoy an exceptionally diverse membership numbering 250 and growing. Our leadership team is amazing as well! Check out our Officer & Committee Chair page for an introduction to them, and contact us if you’re interested in joining a committee!

Thanks again for your interest in Dallas SWE, and we hope to see you at an event soon!

Shelley Stracener
Dallas SWE FY18 President


ALERT! This event has been rescheduled due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Harvey. See the leadership summit website at the link below for details.

We are excited to announce that the FY18 Region C Leadership Summit will be held Saturday, August 26 October 7, 2017, from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM at The Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX.

For those who don’t know, SWE Region C is comprised of collegiate and professional section members and Members at Large in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. The SWE Leadership Summit is an opportunity for all members to get leadership training, especially those who are SWE leaders and those interested in future SWE leadership. Led by outside Life Coach Jen Newman and the Region C Leadership Coaches, it will be a great weekend of learning and networking with your fellow SWE members.

For more information and a link to register, visit the Leadership Summit webpage here.

Then fill out our Dallas SWE travel coordination survey to plan carpool and room sharing partners!


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Moon Day at the Frontiers of Flight Museum honors previous space flight accomplishments and focuses on current and future activities in space exploration. The annual STEM-focused event, held on July 22, 2017, served over 2,000 visitors. The Dallas and Fort Worth sections of SWE had the pleasure of being joint exhibitors again this year.

We had a blast! Event attendees that visited our tables had the “shocking” experience of building different types of electrical circuits. They also had the opportunity to learn about structural engineering by making towers and domes out of tooth picks and jelly beans. Thanks to our amazing SWE volunteers! The activities were a hit and the event was a success. We can’t wait for next year! Check out photos below and more on our Facebook photo album.

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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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