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On Nov, 14, the Dallas  SWE chapter hosted a meeting at Parr Library and watched a webinar called, “The Lies of the Impostor Complex, Disarming the Critics, the Power of Your Authority and the Support All Around you,” by  Tanya Geisler.  In the webinar Tanya discussed:

  1. The 12 lies of the Impostor Complex and their corresponding truths.
  2. Learning how to identify techniques for how to deal with critics.
  3. Learning how to identify how to connect deeply with your authority.
  4. Learning how to assemble support structures.

During the webinar the attendees discussed some of their experience with Impostor Complex and how they learned to overcome it.  You can view this recorded webinar, its predecessor, “The 12 lies of the Impostor Complex,” and many others at the SWE Advance Learning Center. These resources are FREE to SWE Members!

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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 November Member of the Month is Liong So! Liong is a Senior Project Manager working with City of Dallas Department of Public Works since November 1999.  She has developed capital bond projects from alley groups, bridge repair groups, and complete streets from design and procurement to construction and project closure. Last year (2016) she finished the Cedar Crest Bridge and Gateway project which included a scenic overlook adjacent to the bridge, architectural structures and Trinity new lighting.  The project augmented the Dallas Trinity River Corridor by providing connectivity to the Great Trinity Forest, Trail Systems, and Managed Wetlands. The project was intended to attract business and people to develop, revitalize, and transform the South Dallas Area.

This year, she started construction on another complete street which will open the connection of Goodnight Lane to Interstate 635 in Royal Lane area (Korean Town). Korean business owners and local residents have been so enthusiastic about this new construction; the editor of Korean News sent her an article about Royal Lane on September 29, 2017 with her picture on it, the title and the story was in Korean Language with Chinese characters. As an engineer she was very amused: Liong is of Indonesian Chinese descent, but she did not understand the article, as she could not read it, but she was happy knowing that her picture was there!

Before working at the City of Dallas, Liong worked as a geotechnical engineer in several DFW geotechnical engineering companies.  In 2012 Liong wrote a technical paper, “Field Evaluation of Stabilization in Swelling Clay for Concrete Pavement,” about field evaluations and the result of independent laboratory studies of subgrade stabilization of highly expansive clays in Five Alleys (built in 2008) and Korgan Street (built in 2009).  This paper was submitted to and presented at ASCE Texas Fall Conference, 2012 in Fort Worth.

Liong holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from Southern Methodist University (SMU), a  Master of Science (MS) in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Civil/Structural Engineering from Trisakti University, Jakarta, Indonesia. She also has a Texas Professional Engineer (PE) license and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). In her spare time, Liong likes gardening: she grows eggplant, tomatoes, bitter melon, okra and papaya. She also likes driving cross-country!

Liong was born in Indonesia and experienced working as an engineer where woman engineers are highly appreciated, treated equal or even better, as an engineer first and woman second. In the US, woman engineers often experience mistreatment; from  horrible bosses, hostile environments, the old boys club mentality, being intimidated, belittled, or just being treated as though they are just highly-trained technicians. Woman engineers experience back room cronyism seemingly designed to elevate incompetence and keep them down. However, Liong has also found that there are still honest people in construction who respect women engineer.

Women in America continue to battle for equal pay; so Liong believes that understanding how money works is important for our success in our careers and our lives in general. Understanding finances will take you to your American dream, such as owning a house or being debt free, and pave the road to financial independence. She considers it an honor to serve on the Dallas SWE Investment Committee and to be part of this organization that continues to provide scholarships and a bright future to young women in STEM.

I’ve been a SWE member since I graduated from NJIT (1992). This October I attended the WE17 Conference in Austin, and as always it was a huge conference with many opportunities to meet thousands wonderful women in STEM gathering to get invaluable support, networking and professional development. I always admire smart, talented and energetic women engineers who want to learn, develop and practice their leadership skills to become smart and effective leaders in SWE. SWE is an awesome outreach organization that provides the technical skills and social knowledge to support the success of women leaders through their careers in today’s complex global markets. I believe that these smart women engineers contribute to SWE’s evolution as a strong women’s organization.
~ Liong So


Robotics competitions begin at noon on December 8 through Saturday December 9 at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco. However, many judging and informational events will be held on the UTD campus in Richardson.

The Women in Technology Event will be held on Friday, December 8 from 8:00am – 10:00am in the UT Dallas Visitor Center. The event is for the 200-250 young women who are on the various BEST/UIL Robotics teams – mostly high school students with a few middle school students. The game for this year’s competition is called Crossfire and is based on emergency responder actions.

The event will start at 8:00am with a breakfast taco buffet, followed by a traditional panel session and then the speed mentoring event. The seating in the Visitor’s Center will be round tables with a goal to have 1 professional at each of the approximately 35 tables provided.  At 9:00am, we will shift from the panel session to the speed mentoring event. Each table will have 4-5 students and we plan on rotating 3 times during the hour. If you’d like to participate as a speed mentor, please contact Lynn Mortensen.

We’re also looking for women who contribute to technology supporting first responders (radios, vehicles, equipment, etc.) to participate on the panel or as a table mentor. If you know of anyone, please share this information or send Lynn a note and she can contact them.

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SWE members, please join us for our Holiday Potluck Brunch! We will also be collecting STEM books for 2nd through 5th graders to be given to the Dallas Public Library and distributed to branches in need.

To find out more about becoming a SWE member, visit our About Us webpage or email us at dallas.swe@gmail.com.

When: Saturday, December 9, 2017, 11:00AM – 1:00 PM

Where: 1473 Summerhill Dr, Carrollton, TX 75007

Cost: FREE to SWE Members and guests. Just bring your favorite brunch treat to share!

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Would you like to share your background and experiences with the next generation of engineers? Join TCU SWE on Thursday, Nov 30 at 6:30pm as a panelist! If you are interested in participating, please contact Brenda Torres for more information.


Holiday Book Drive

Dallas SWE and the Dallas Public Library need your help in providing fun and engaging STEM books geared towards 2nd through 5th graders. Every month the library provides children with the opportunity for discovery by hosting STEM events and provides them with books to take home after the events.  Dallas SWE would like to donate these books to branches in need.

If you would like to participate, Dallas SWE will be collecting books at our November 14 Professional Development Meeting and our upcoming December 9 Potluck Brunch (details and location TBA).  If you are unable to attend these events and still want to donate you may contact our VP of Membership, Amanda Posadas at (214) 458-6220or aposadas1@gmail.com to arrange a pick up.  All donated books will be given to the Dallas Public Library and distributed to a branch in need determined by number of donations.

Please reach out to Amanda if you have any questions or concerns.


On Saturday, November 4, 2017, 20 Dallas SWE members were treated to lunch at Urban Crust as part of our Fall Membership Appreciation event. There were many new and familiar faces at the event. The group introduced themselves and were soon sharing their stories with one another and celebrating our success at WE17 with four section awards and several members who received job offers from the career fair. We are fortunate to have a very diverse membership base with representatives from many engineering disciplines, career stages, industries, and cultures! Members were thanked for renewing their membership and reminded of the opportunity to become lifetime members. We also had a drawing for special member renewal buttons and two copies of SWE’s book of inspirational thoughts from Corporate Partnership Council (CPC) members, Be That Engineer. After lunch, many members stayed to catch up with old friends.

Look for our spring appreciation event in the months ahead.  If you missed this event we have several upcoming events including our November Professional meeting and December potluck brunch (details to be announced soon). Please plan to join us, we would love to meet you!

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In cased you missed our announcements over on the Design Your World website, we’d like you to know that our location for this Saturday’s event has moved to Legacy Prep Academy in Plano!


Legacy Prep Plano

601 Accent Drive
Plano, TX 75075

Click below to read more on important road closure and parking information.

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Join Dallas SWE for our November Professional Development Event

After SWE announcements and some light refreshments, we will watch and discuss a SWE Advance Learning webinar entitled “The Lies of the Impostor Complex, Disarming the Critics, the Power of Your Authority, and the Support All Around You” by Tanya Geisler. This meeting is open to all (men and women, SWE members and non-members alike), and children are also welcome (use your discretion, child care is not provided).

When: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:30-7:30pm

Where: Parr Library, 6200 Windhaven Pkwy, Plano, TX 75093

Cost: FREE to SWE Members (as are all SWE Advance Learning Webinars!), $5 for non-members and guests

Eventbrite - Dallas SWE Nov 2017 Meeting & Webinar


WE17 was another record-breaking SWE conference with over 14,500 registrants in attendace Oct 26-28. Twenty-one Dallas SWE members attended WE17 in Austin this October! Many attended for SWE business meetings, some to find a new job or recruit at the career fair, some to present their best practices and lessons learned to attendees, and for others this was their first introduction to any SWE conference event! Career Fair companies from our area included TI, Schneider Electric, ExxonMobile, Abbott, Rockwell Collins, Raytheon, Emerson, and AT&T.

Presenters from Dallas SWE included:

  • Uche Maple, Rockwell Collins – Epic Careers in Systems Engineering
  • Stephanie Watts Butler, Ph.D, Texas Instruments – Stand Out! How to Pitch Yourself & Own the Career Fair
  • Nandika D’Souza, Ph.D, University of North Texas – Insights on Getting Research Funded
  • Susanna Biancheri, At&T – What is the Internet of Things…and how will it change my life?

SWE Governance Changes

You may have seen social media posts announcing some important votes that took place on Saturday in our SWE Senate. The motions proposed to make changes to our SWE governance structure (including dissolving SWE Regions, new Senate selection process, the addition of a new special senator) ALL PASSED. Dallas SWE member Kate Van Dellen, one of our Region C Senators, was instrumental in providing our feedback to the Senate and working with other SWE leaders in support of these changes. If you have questions about how these changes affect you or your SWE leadership options, please email us at dallas.swe@gmail.com or visit the SWE Governance website for more details.


Several Dallas SWE members received awards at WE17. Lynn Mortensen, long-time Dallas SWE Scholarship Committee Chair and Design Your World Volunteer Coordinator, received a SWE Spark Award for exceptional advocacy of women in engineering that not only informs the heart of her successful career, but continues to grow steadily stronger in retirement through SWE and through service to the community. Read more about her contributions in her SWE Magazine profile.

Shelley Stracener, FY18 Dallas SWE Section President, received the SWE Region C Distinguished Service Award for her 15 years of volunteer leadership and mentoring in two SWE professional sections, Region C, and on the SWE Magazine Editorial Board.

Saumya Rawat, a Dallas area high school student, was also recognized at the WE17 Award Banquet as a SWENext Global Innovator for her involvement as her robotic’s team outreach coordinator, creating programs for underrepresented students to introduce them to robotics technology. View the SWENext Global Innovator winner videos here.

Our Dallas SWE section won four SWE Mission Awards at the WE17 Celebrate SWE banquet. This was an entirely new award criteria structure and submission form so we’re very proud that we were able to navigate those challenges and achieve this level of success quite proud to be recognized in the following areas:

  • SWE Mission Award Gold-Professional – This is the highest overall award level for the new SWE Mission Award structure and recognizes our section’s commitment to SWE‘s Core Values and Strategic Goals based on results from our activities across 10 categories.
  • SWE Mission Best Practice – Global – This is a category-specific award for our section’s features in SWE‘s global publications (SWE Magazine and All Together Blog) for our DYW Parent & Educator program, partnerships with other SWE sections, and multicultural engagement with NSBE and SHPE. Supporting activities included our enthusiastic sharing of SWEsocial media posts, and our section members’ SWE leadership involvement at every level of the Society (section, collegiate section faculty advisors / counselors, region senators, Society committees).
  • SWE Mission Best Practice – SWE Resource Promotion – This is a category-specific award for our sharing of SWENext promotional materials, SWE “Future Engineer” buttons, and our engagement with a local Girl Scout / SWENext pilot program. Supporting activities included website recaps of Dallas SWE‘s participation in Society Conference and Region C Conference, the exceptional number of SWE Outreach Metric Tool entries fro our section members (27!), and sharing of SWEsocial media posts / resources.
  • SWE Mission Best Practice – Public Policy – This is a category-specific award recognizing our members’ attendance at Congressional Visit Day and SETWG, a Girl Build Event at the Arlington Public Library, and numerous Dallas SWE member visits at local public school career days and speaker events. Supporting activities included our close engagement with local ISDs and our extensive reach through DYW’s mailing lists and social media footprint.

Invent It, Build It

Several of our members volunteered at Invent It, Build It, SWE’s signature outreach event during WE17! Students participated in STEM activities with SWE members, while parents and educators learned about engineering careers, scholarships, and resources to help their students stay interested in STEM.

Personal Reflections from Attendees

“The breakfast keynote reminded me to jump in and get uncomfortable. It was reassuring that taking a calculated risk and not listening to “queeze” feeling is not only okay, but encouraged. I worked with the Small Business and Entrepreneurs Affinity groups, and we are working on having more input to conference programming in the future. Anyone interested in joining can look us up on facebook. From the Senate prospective, it was valuable to meet with so many people one-on-one to ensure I’m speaking for my constituents as well as helping communicate governance changes. HQ will be rolling out a ticket system in the Spring/Summer to track email responses.”
~Kate Van Dellen, SWE Region C Senator

“This conference was special; it was the first time I went with my daughter, a woman engineering student. For various reasons women will think a SWE conference is not something they have time for due to parent, child caregiver responsibilities. I brought my daughter up in Dallas SWE, doing outreach Girl Scout awards, gaining from the mutual support women engineers give each other. I have returned refreshed, working on strategy for others and myself to realize potential.”
~Nandika D’Souza

“SWE conferences are always a time for me to recharge and refocus my personal and professional priorities. I really enjoy spending time with old SWE friends and making new ones through the multitude of networking opportunities and professional development sessions. Seeing SWE history in the making with the Senate votes at WE17 was very cool. You really haven’t fully experienced SWE if you haven’t attended a conference, so make plans to join us at a future event!”
~Shelley Stracener, Dallas SWE President

“This is my second time at the Society conference and I found it inspirational and educational. I loved meeting fellow engineers in my field and discuss challenges, best practices, trends and technologies. The GE AviationTour introduced me to data analytics in aviation. I liked all the sessions WE17 offered, some of my favorites were “Internet of Things” by Susanna Biancheri and “The Case of Two Gigs” by Urvashi Tyagi and Anuradha Gali. Moderating the lightening talks was a great volunteering opportunity for me as well. Overall WE17 was an amazing conference.”
~Shilpa Nagaraj, Collin College SWE Counselor

“The Ice Cream Social and Headshot Lounge were GREAT,  turnout for the Lightning Talks and exhibitors was impressive. The Convention Center venue was great and Austin was a WONDERFUL host city! Once again, attending was a wonderful way to reconnect with former SWE colleagues from across the country.  I’ve been a member since 1981, and it was so nice to spend time with both old and new SWE friends!”
~Susanna Biancheri

“I always leave the conference so energized and excited about the contributions of women engineers. Attending the awards dinner to celebrate our Dallas SWE winner, Lynn, was very inspiring and leaves me encouraged to reach out to both men and women to continue striving for equality in STEM. Seeing the conference sell out this year is a testament to the need for this great organization.”
~Amber Scheurer, Dallas SWE Secretary

“I had an amazing experience at WE 17. The career fair and all the networking events were awesome. The career fair prep webinars at the SWE learning center really helped me to get the most of out the fair. There were so many excellent talks on various topics and my favorite is “How to have a real conversation about career development” by the UTC team.”
~Sween ButlerAs a SWE newbie and first-time conference attendee, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I attended the conference in Austin. My goals were more personal than professional. I wanted to get out of my shell, meet new engineers and make new friends. Those goals were definitely accomplished! I found “my people/my homies” at this conference. For me, the conference was inspirational and humbling. The speakers were smart, professional, goal-driven, and confident. I relished in this world where female engineers outnumbered male engineers, if just for a few days.  It was a time for reflecting on where I am in my career and where I want to be. On whether I am being used to the best of my potential and whether I am owning my future or letting it be dictated for me. The conference was a great experience and I hope to attend again in the future. Thanks for such a warm welcome to the SWE family!”
~Nicole Hughes

“WE 17 was amazing event. I love going to the sessions that are held because I always learn something new that will help me personally and professionally. My key takeaways are to never give up on yourself, continue to learn and always sit at the table.  My favorite session was “Thriving in a male Dominated Environment”. I had a great time and am looking forward to next year.”
~Uche Maple, Dallas SWE Executive Vice President

Photo Gallery

Here are a few photos from WE17. You can view more photos at our Facebook album here. SWE has also uploaded professional photos to a Flickr Album.

If you weren’t able to join us for WE17, save the date for these two upcoming conference opportunities to meet other SWEsters face-to-face.

  • Replacing Region Conferences, the closest WE Local event to us is in Tulsa, OK January 26-28, 2018. Registration is slated to open this week: visit the WE Local Tulsa event website for details.
  • The next Society Conference is WE18 in Minneapolis, MN October 18-20, 2018. Mark your calendars and plan to join us!

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