Washington University in St. Louis

University Advancement

2019 Women & Engineering Leadership Society Summit

St. Louis, Missouri

April 6, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM CDT


The goal of the Summit is to strengthen women engineers affiliated with Washington University by providing workshops and speakers centered around personal and professional development. The event will connect alumnae and students who can learn from one another and expand networks.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Innovation Hall
Cortex Innovation Community 
4220 Duncan Ave
St. Louis, MO 63110

Complimentary parking will be available.

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Breakfast featuring

Aaron Bobick
Dean and James M. McKelvey Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

Aaron Bobick joined Washington University in St. Louis as Dean of the McKelvey School of Engineering and the James M. McKelvey Professor on July 1, 2015. Prior to Washington University, he was a professor and founding chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the  Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the faculty since 1999.

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Each session is 60 minutes.
Participants must choose one breakout per session.

Breakout Session #1
9:40 - 10:40 a.m. 
Career Paths are NOT a Straight Line or What It's Really Like to be a Female Engineering Graduate Student

Breakout Session #2
10:50 - 11:50 a.m. 

How Remarkable Women Lead or When Engineers Encounter the Community

Career Paths are NOT a Straight Line presented by engineers from Bayer US Crop Science

Toni Wilkins, BS '96
Project Engineering Team Lead, Bayer US Crop Science

Toni Wilkins is currently the Seeds Project Engineering Team Lead in the Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence organization.  In this role, Toni leads the project engineering team, championing > $40M annually in small capital projects supporting the North America Row Crops, Vegetables, and Breeding organizations.  Toni joined legacy Monsanto in 2010 providing automation, process control, resource management, and operations leadership in the Automated Greenhouse in RTP, NC. Prior to joining Monsanto, Toni spent 14 years working for companies such as Intel Corporation (Albuquerque, NM), Corning Inc. (Wilmington, NC), and Amkor Technologies (Raleigh, NC). In these roles, Toni gained a wide cross section of experiences in manufacturing support, problem solving, Lean/Six Sigma process improvement, project management and team leadership. Toni earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1996 from Washington University.

Toni will be joined by her Bayer colleagues.

Kelly M. Brendel, MBA '00
Global Engineering Integration Process Manager, Bayer US Crop Science

Kelly Brendel's current role is Global Engineering Process Integration Lead.  In this role, she is responsible for the integration of engineering and capital management processes globally both pre- and post-Bayer acquisition. Kelly graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a certificate in plastics/polymer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She earned an master's degree in business administration in 2000 from Washington University.

Amy Stroman
Principal Process Engineer, Bayer US Crop Science

Amy Stroman is a Principal Process Engineer in Bayer’s Crop Science division.  In this role, she is responsible for leading the process design for multiple capital projects ranging from $5MM to $950MM.  Amy has been in this role with Bayer (legacy Monsanto) for five years.  Amy earned a Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1993.  

Andrea Weber
Project Engineering, Bayer US Crop Science

Andrea Weber is currently a Project Engineer working in the Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence organization for Bayer Crop Science.  In this role, Andrea manages projects > $10M supporting North American Row Crops and Crop Protection organizations.  Andrea joined legacy Monsanto in 2015 managing >$1M project for North America Row Crops organization. Andrea earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering & architectural engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology.  She expects to graduate in May with a master's degree in business administration from Webster University.

What It's Really Like to be a Female Engineering Graduate Student

Hear from some inspiring female students on what it’s like to be in engineering graduate school in 2019. Panelists span multiple engineering disciplines and have had various job and internship positions. They will describe why they chose to go to graduate school and openly share the experiences, challenges, and joys that came with it.

Chelsey Dunham is a PhD candidate biomedical engineering (5th Year). She earned a bachelor's in biomedical engineering from Yale University.

Julie Speer is a PhD candidate biomedical engineering (3rd Year). She earned a bachelor's in biomedical engineering from Drexel University and has experience with internships in industry due to Co-op experience. Julie is an Olin Fellow.

Mimi Guo is a PhD candidate mechanical engineering (1st Year). She earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University, bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Oakland University, master's in mechanical engineering from Oakland University, and worked in the automotive industry for three years before coming to graduate school.

Pradeep Prathibha is a PhD candidate energy, environmental & chemical engineering (3rd Year). She earned a bachelor's in chemical engineering at Cornell University and is the chair of AGES.

Charlotte Guertler is a PhD candidate mechanical engineering (5th Year). She earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering at Yale and masters in mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Yana Malysheva is a PhD candidate computer science (1st year). She earned a bachelor's in mathematics and computer science and masters in applied mathematics at University of Illinois and Urbana-Champaign.

Sruti Mallik is a PhD candidate electrical and systems engineering (1st year). She earned a bachelor's in electrical engineering at Jadavpur University and a master's in electrical and systems engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

When Engineers Encounter the Community

Heather Robinett, BS '95
Director, AT&T
City Councilwoman - Ward 2, City of Ferguson

Heather Robinett is the Director of a software architecture and sytems engineering team at AT&T. She is the VP of AT&T's Mentoring for Advocates for Women in Tech (AWT) and helped launch 63 technical mentoring circles with over 1000 mentees this year. Heather currently serves as the City Councilwoman of Ward 2 for the City of Ferguson and serves as a guest speaker with Sandra Matteucci in Engineers in the Community. Heather earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1995 from Washington University and a master's in information systems from University of Phoenix.

Sandra Matteucci
Director & Senior Lecturer, Engineering Communications Center
Washington University in St. Louis

Sandra Matteucci began teaching Technical Writing at Washington University in 2001. Today, she teaches technical writing and works in the Engineering Communication Center, a walk-in writing consultation service for undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty in the McKelvey School of Engineering. Sandra worked closely with the Gephardt Institute for Community Engaged Learning, and earned a grant to create an immersion pilot course entitled “Destination Ferguson: Sustainability through the Lens of Ethics, Leadership, and Conflict Management,” which fulfilled one credit requirements in Engineering.  This successful pilot course has evolved into a course entitled “Engineers in the Community”. She earned a bachelor's in government and Latin American studies from the University of Texas, Austin and masters in liberal arts from Washington University. 

How Remarkable Women Lead

How Remarkable Women Lead is a 2011 book published by the McKinsey Centered Leadership Project to share its goal of strengthening women leaders by establishing links between joy and happiness to work through elements of Centered Leadership. This year 100 women in the Women & Engineering Leadership Society read this book. This panel led by alumnae mentors in the Leadership Society program will guide participants through discussions of the elements: meaning, framing, connecting, engaging, and energizing. 

Nancy Pendleton, MS '93, MS '93
Vice President of Engineering BDS, Mission Systems, Boeing

Nancy Pendleton is the vice president of Mission Sytems for Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) Engineering. In this role she is responsible for executing mission systems on Boeing platforms, as well as aligning and developing processes, metrics, and mission systems environments. Nancy also serves as the senior chief engineer for Mission Systems, Payloads and Sensors. She is responsible for the technical integrity of all Boeing Mission Systems including the identification of technical risks, developing mitigation plans and corrective action, and leading technical experts to resolve issues. Nancy earned a bachelor's degree in electrical and electronics engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla, now Missouri University of Science & Technology. She earned a master's degree in management of technology and engineering management in 1993 from Washington University. 

Tedan Hu, MS '14
Quality Engineer, Stereotaxis

Tedan Hu joined Stereotaxis, the global leader in innovative robotic technologies designed to enhance the treatment of arrhythmias and perform endovascular procedures in 2015 as systems test engineer and is currently quality engineer. She is also involved with Sling Health as the director of creative content and deep learning. Tedan earned her bachelor's degree in biochemistry and biotechnology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2013 and master's in bioengineering and biomedical engineering in 2014 from Washington University.

Tricia Copeland, MIM '03, MBA '03
Senior Director of Information Security Risk and Compliance, Magellan Health

Tricia Copeland is the senior director of information security risk and compliance for Magellan Health, an American for-profit managed health care company, focused on special populations, complete pharmacy benefits and other specialty areas of healthcare. Tricia earned her bachelor's in biology from Truman State University in 1997, masters in information technology and business administration in 2003 from Washington University. 

Lisa Steinhoff, BS '00, MEM '06 
Engineering Director - US Hardware, bioMerieux

Lisa Steinhoff currently serves as the US Director of Engineering at bioMerieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics offering microbiological testing solutions for medical and industrial applications.  Since 2001, she worked at bioMerieux as engineering manager for instrument development and held a global role in systems engineering. Lisa earned her bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering in 2000 and a master's degree in engineering management in 2006 from Washington University. 



12 - 1 p.m.

Lunch Keynote featuring

Christine Lorenz, BS '86
Chief Operating Officer, Cohesic, Inc.

"Stories from a Career in Medical Technology"

Dr. Christine Lorenz currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Cohesic Inc., a startup company in Calgary, Canada focused on improving patient care through improving data collection and analytics in cardiovascular diagnostics.  Prior to this she held a variety of management roles in the healthcare businesses of Siemens over nearly 20 years, most recently as VP, Research and Clinical Collaborations in Siemens Molecular Imaging.  She worked for Siemens in the UK, Germany, and the US with a focus on R&D in the medical imaging field.  She has worked in both diagnostic imaging and image guided surgery.  Prior to her Siemens career, she was in academic medicine, first as an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Vanderbilt University and then as an Associate Professor of Medicine (cardiology) at Washington University in St. Louis as head of a lab doing research in cardiac MRI.   She holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Washington University and was a Langsdorf Scholar.  She was also one of the first Washington University students to participate in an exchange program with INSA, a university in Lyon, France.  Her MS in mechanical engineering and PhD in biomedical engineering were obtained at Vanderbilt University, and she later earned an MBA from the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin, Germany.  Christine believes strongly in the power of education and in Washington University’s mission and is a scholarship sponsor and a member of the National Council for the McKelvey School of Engineering. 

1:10 - 1:45 p.m.

Reflection Workshop

1:50 p.m.

Closing Remarks*

*The day will conclude with a tour of the Cortex Innovation Community

Hotel Details

Are you coming from out of town? The following hotels are offering special rates for our guests during April 5-6, 2019.


Room Rates

Reservation Details

The Cheshire $140night plus tax Phone: (314) 933-9400
Click here to make your reservation online.
Drury Inn & Suites, Forest Park $117/night plus tax Phone: (314) 646-0770
Click here to make your reservation online.
Group Code: 2364601
Drury Inn & Suites St. Louis Brentwood $135/night plus tax Phone: (314) 647-7300
Click here to make your reservation online.
Group Code: 2364602

Please mention "Washington University Engineering" when making your reservations.

Reservations must be made by Monday, March 18.

We look forward to seeing you at the Leadership Society Summit!

*Seating is limited

*Business casual attire is requested, wear your WashU colors.

Questions? Contact engineering.alumni@wustl.edu or (314) 935-8730.

Connect with Women & Engineering:
Women & Engineering alumni
LinkedIn Group


4220 Duncan Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Google Map



Questions? Contact engineering.alumni@wustl.edu or (314) 935-8730.