Movie Premiere Event


*CHICAGO PREMIERE! and Panel Discussion
MONDAY APRIL 29, 6:30PM at the Gene Siskel Film Center

Rafea is a Bedouin woman who lives with her daughters in a poor desert village on the Jordan / Iraqi border. She is selected for an intriguing program called the Barefoot College in India, and travels to join 30 illiterate women from different countries to train to become solar engineers.  SWE-CRS is pleased to partner with Human Rights Watch for this Chicago premiere!

Monday, April 29 at 6:30PM * Panel discussion to follow

Gene Siskel Film Center*
164 N. State Street, Chicago IL
Click here for Map and Directions.

$11 General Admission
$7 Student Admission (must present ID)
Click here to purchase tickets (+$5.50 convenience charges) – you can also purchase at the box office 1 hr before showtime.  OR be one of the first five SWE members to RSVP and get a free ticket!

RSVP to Negin J

Discounted parking is available for $14 for nine hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.

SWE CRS Networking Event at IIT

When: Friday, October 26th, 6 pm
Where: Hermann Hall, IIT Campus
3241 S Federal St, Chicago IL 60616
Cost: $5 for members or $20 for non-members

The SWE members of IIT have graciously offered to host a networking dinner with our section next Friday. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the SWE members from IIT for a bit of informal socializing.

The event will include a tour of the IIT campus with a focus on their unique architecture. Unlike classical campus layouts with their quadrangles, brick or limestone buildings, and sweeping lawns, this one was designed with an emphasis on industrial materials, such as steel and glass, and inspired by the look of factories and warehouses. The American Institute of Architects has recognized the campus as one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States.

RSVP to by Thursday, October 25th, 5pm if you are interested in attending!

How many ways can you launch a ping pong ball into the air?

Last Saturday myself and several other SWE members participated in the College and Career Expo at Harper College.  We had a booth full of information from Engineer Your Future and fun giveaway from some sponsoring companies.  We also had a room where kids could build ping pong call launchers using paint sticks, small paper cups, duct tape and wooden spindles.

The kids were a bit daunted to begin with because we gave them very little direction.  We wanted them to be creative and it seem to have worked.  They all impressed me with their design and construction skills, especially the ones who launched multiple balls at a time.  Let me assure you that they all earned their “Future Engineer” pins.


Stay In and Vote!

It’s a great privilege to pick your leaders.  Whatever level they are at, they can have considerable influence over your life.  It’s important to take the time and express your preference for how you should be led by voting.  Presidential campaigns are ramping up, but the most pressing election on your calendar should be the SWE elections.  You have until Tuesday, May 1 to pick next year’s leaders.

One of the best part about SWE elections is that you can do it from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.  If you are a member, you should have received information with a unique code.  Go to, type in the number, read through the bios, and make your choices.  If you need help, call 312-596-5223 and a live person will walk you through it.

Less than 5% of the SWE membership voted last year.  Do your part to get that number up!


National Center for Women & Information Technology Summit

Thankfully, SWE isn’t the only organization out there that supports women in industries where they are significantly underrepresented.  One of our sister organizations is the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT).  They are hosting a summit in Chicago May 22 – 24 for which SWE is the local host as our National Headquarters is here in Chicago.

The best part about this summit is that it is free!  Participants have the opportunity to attend flash talks and workshops related to women in IT and of course it will be a great chance to network.  I’m planning to attend at least one day so you can look forward to hearing more about it here.  The workshop that looks most interesting to me is “How Job Ads Can Reinforce or Undermine the Status Quo”.  This is something that never occurred to me, but it’s not terribly surprising that it could be a factor.  Have I peaked your interest?  Will I see you at the summit?

SWE-CRS 312 Memebership Circle Event – Pub Grub

Grab some Pub Grub and relax with SWE company at D4 Irish Pub!!

When: Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30PM
Where: D4 Irish Pub, 345 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL

RSVP to by Monday, March 19 at 5PM.

See you there!!

SWE-CRS 630 Membership Circle Event-Ladies Night Out at Bello Tea & The Tivoli

When: Tuesday March 20 at 6PM – Meet at Bello Tea
5111 Main Street, Downtown Downers Grove, IL

After dinner, everyone will walk to the Tivoli for the 7PM showing of “The Vow”.

Tivoli located at 5021 Highland Avenue in Downers Grove, IL.

RSVP to:

Regionals Recap – Part 1

It’s been a few weeks since the Region H conference up in Madison, WI.  Conferences are such an energizing experience for me.  I inevitably meet interesting people, attend thought-provoking sessions and get inspired to do an try new things in SWE.  The day started with breakfast and bids to host next year’s conference which means fun things on the table to try to sway our votes.  I enjoyed the m&ms, Hershey kisses and Playdough.  I generally vote based on location, which would have meant Purdue but Michigan Tech put together such a great presentation I found myself wanting to go to the Upper Peninsula in February.  Ultimately the University of Minnesota won the 2013 conference.  I’m hoping for as mild of a day next year.  During a break we wandered around the capitol.  They were having a cross country skiing competition.  Sadly there was no snow so they actually had to truck it in to create a man-made track around the capitol building.  Surely an engineer was involved in that process somewhere!  Perhaps even one of the engineers at the conference!

Stay tuned for more about the conference in the coming days!

Engineers Week for Kids!

You know how there are those events you hear about year after year and you never get around to doing because you’re too busy or its too far away or you’d rather be lazy?  And then you finally try it and you think to yourself, why did I wait so long?  That was my experience at the DuPage Area Engineers Week event at IIT this weekend.  First of all, there were tons of people there, which reassures me about the future of engineers and engineering innovations in this country.  Secondly, there were some awesome engineers (including SWE members) sharing their love for their careers which always inspires me.

SWE had a room where kids made and tested four different types of paper airplanes to earn their wings.  We also had a booth in the hall to encourage the kids to talk to the engineers by doing a Scavengineer Hunt.  All the kids said they learned something interesting and I had several parents tell me how great it was.  It was fun to see the kids turn to their parents and say, I can interview you!  That’s how I knew which moms to try to recruit to be involved with SWE!  Added bonus!

I’m definitely going to block my calendar for next year’s EWeek celebration!  I will also remember to bring a camera and some cards to hand out to moms about SWE.  Will you join me?


Paying for college has only gotten harder over the years.  The Society of Women Engineers recognizes that and offers scholarships at both the local and national level.  We in the Chicago Regional Section offer scholarships to women within the Chicagoland area who will be entering engineering programs in the fall.  National SWE offers scholarships to women all over the country from entering freshman all the up through grad students.  If you are or will soon be a engineering student, I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities.  If you know someone who might benefit from this knowledge, please spread the word!

If you are a SWE member, you can support this initiative by encouraging your company to donate the funds for these scholarships and/or help us judge the scholarships.  It is truly inspiring to read about the girls’ accomplishments.  There are far more deserving young women than we have funds to support.

Scholarship Information Links:

Chicago Regional Section

National SWE

To volunteer as a judge or find out how your company can support future female engineers, contact