Impact on Emerging Leaders and Mentors alike

"The TechWomen program’s success relies entirely on the support of companies and institutions like Berkeley Lab. Because of the mentor’s generosity in time, energy, and commitment to the TechWomen program, we are able to collectively further our mission to empower, connect and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

However, the TechWomen program benefits more than its Emerging Leader participants. TechWomen consistently finds that both their participants and mentor volunteers in the TechWomen community, like the mentors at Berkeley Lab, experience their own learnings and professional development gains." – TechWomen

"I learn so much about (the EL’s) country, culture, and how the rest of the world sees the U.S. Through the questions they ask, the projects they support - I see new perspectives and experience our world through their eyes." - TechWomen Mentor

"The program helped me in my evolving workplace dynamics by exposing me to different cultures and younger generations. This is the key to understanding how to be more inclusive and honor diversity." - TechWomen Mentor

"My mentorship was very helpful and insightful. It facilitated the development of new networks, exposed me to new technologies and gave me a new perspective on the application of STEM in our communities. It also facilitated growth in my personal life and taught me to better handle conflicts at work and home." - TechWomen Mentor

Norah Magero - Clean Energy for Last Mile Healthcare

Norah Magero (TechWomen Fellow 2022, Kenya), engineer and CEO of the NGO DropAccess, was mentored by Stephane de la Rue de Can, Shreya Agarwal and Reshma Singh, Energy Technologies Area. She also participated in multiple advisory sessions with ETA staff including Jonathan Slack, Howdy Goudey and Ashok Gadgil, received exposure to the Lab's technology for solar powered vaccine refrigerator design, and participated in Berkeley Lab's IMPEL program for cleantech commercialization.

A few months later, Norah participated in, and was the first Kenyan to be awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Tech Prize for Engineering Innovation. She won the prize for Vaccibox: a solar-powered, mobile medical fridge that can be used to transport vaccines to rural communities and remote clinics  in Kenya. Norah continues to promote effective healthcare programs in rural communities in Africa.

Yara Maalouf  - Geophysics to Protect Natural Environments

Yara Maalouf (TechWomen 2019 Fellow, Lebanon), was mentored by  Virginia Altoe and Suksham Barun from the Molecular Foundry. Yara also had the opportunity to interact with scientists at the Geophysics Division, and present a seminar on her work on "Predictions of Internal Erosion using Geophysical Techniques".  Through ensuing discussions, Yara gained a new perspective in her research program and confidence that helped her in successfully achieving her Ph.D. from Grenoble Alpes University on "Methods for detection of erosion in earth dams". During that time Yara was also a lab instructor and a consultant in geophysics projects in her country. 

Currently, Yara lives in France with her family. She works as a geotechnical engineer for WSP, one of the world's leading engineering and professional firms. At WSP Yara has contributed to delivering practical strategies to study, protect, enhance, and restore the natural environment"

Patu Ndango - Zero Waste Activism

Patu Ndango (TechWomen 2017 Fellow, Cameroon) was mentored by Romy Chakraborty, Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, and Dani Ushizima, Computational Research Division. Patu is the founder and managing director of Closed-Loop System Ventures Foundation, a waste management social enterprise that turns organic plant and animal waste into organic fertilizer. 

Patu went on to become a 2018 Obama Fellow. The Obama Foundation Fellowship supports outstanding civic innovators—leaders who are working with their communities to create transformational change and address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Patu also presented at the 2019 International Conference on Climate Action in Heidelberg, Germany. In her workshop, “Energizing Cities,” Using case studies from her work, Patu presented on developing innovative ways of managing waste in Cameroon, introducing the challenges, opportunities, and future plans for innovative waste management systems.

Rund Awwad - Clean Energy Transformation

Rund Awwad (TechWomen 2015 Fellow, Jordan) a mechanical engineer continued working with her Techwomen mentor, Reshma Singh, Energy Technologies Area after her visit to the United States. Empowered by her exposure and experience, she decided to launch a campaign and ran for Jordan's national elections (the first one after 26 years) on a platform focused on renewable energy access for all in Jordan. 

Rund also completed her Ph.D. at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Dr. Omolara Aladesanmi - Water Ecologist

Dr. Omolara (Titi) Aladesanmi (TechWomen 2015 Fellow, Nigeria) was mentored by  Romy Chakraborty, Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. 

Three years later, a 2018 Schlumberger Faculty for the Future fellowship brought her back to Berkeley Lab, where she began working alongside Romy Chakraborty, her Techwomen menor to work on assessing water pollution and investigating the remediation potential of bacteria isolated from creek water. Her research at LBNL focused on “Bacteria-enhanced Multi-metal uptake by Lemna minor and Spirodella polyrhiza, and their Tolerance Mechanisms”. She targeted three metals (Se, Pb, and Fe). This is a low-cost and environmentally friendly way of treating heavy metal pollution in water.

Sara Benyakhlef - Developing and Piloting Agrivoltaic innovative Solar projects

Sara Benyakhlef (TechWomen 2015 Fellow, Morocco) visited Berkeley Lab for the TechWomen day at the Lab that left a lasting impression.  She was at that time a Research Engineer & PhD student in Solar Energy. Since then she has interned at SunPower, CA  and is now a Project Manager Innovation and Energy Transition Solutions at EDF in Paris.

Anara Molkenova - Synthesis and fabrication of inorganic functional nanomaterials

Anara Molkenova (Techwomen 2017 fellow) visited Breunig Lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for an internship. During her visit, Anara conducted a literature investigation on the research trends in the development of porous nanomaterials for gas storage and transportation application. Moreover, she received valuable guidance and recommendations from Dr. Hannah Breunig on improving her research writing skills and preparing job applications for post-doctoral positions. Anara also had a chance to meet with inspiring women scientists, who worked in the research group that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and attend a guest lecture of Professor Steven Chu (Stanford University), co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics. 

Currently, Anara works as a postdoctoral researcher at Pusan National University in South Korea. She shifted her research focus to the development of biomedical engineering after she joined the Smart NanoBiomaterials Laboratory with Professor Ki Su Kim. Her general research focus is the development of novel synthesis and fabrication methods of inorganic functional nanomaterials. She conducts cutting-edge research focused on making breakthroughs in the development of lanthanide upconversion nanomaterials for various biomedical applications. Her broader research interests include photomedicine, aerosol and powder technology, chemical and biological sensing, photocatalysis, and energy generation/storage.