WE Local Europe Advisory Board

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Meet the 2024 Advisory Board

The WE Local Europe Advisory Board is made up of SWE leaders from across the continent who guide the strategic development of the conference. Meet the leaders who make WE Local a success!

Shanthi Siemes

Shanthi Siemes born in India, received her Bachelors and Master's in Electrical Engineering from India. 

She received her PhD from National University of Singapore. 


She started as a Design Engineer in AMD, 2002 in Dresden, Germany. 

Currently she is the Design Electrical Verification lead for 22FDX and Silicon photonics technology in the PDK Department.  


She is a core team member of GlobalFoundries women network (of 500 women) and ASIA ERG.

She is the Society of Women Engineer (SWE) lead for GF Dresden and is also the founder of SWE Dresden Affiliate. 

She is a D&I advocate and loves to promote women in STEM and to create a powerful woman network.

She has organized the first women conference, first speed mentoring event and first SWE conference in GF Dresden.


She is married with 2 sons and enjoys hiking, yoga and traveling.

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Gemma McLernon

Having noticed that most of her male friends had started making financial investments immediately after college, Gemma conducted some personal research and found that investing is a male-dominated sport which is causing a growing gender financial gap. This inspired Gemma’s first SWE lecture at WE’22 Houston, Texas, which was an Introduction to Investing for Women. Since then, Gemma has been an enthusiast SWE member and continues to advocate within Europe. Through her time at MSD, Gemma has been very active in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space. She has launched and contributed to Employee Business Group (EBG) chapters within Ireland, including the Rainbow Alliance,  Women’s Network and Employees of African Descent. Currently working as a Project Manager at MSD Dublin, Gemma’s passion for equality continues to grow in her role as SWE@MSD EU Lead.

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christina kuhlmann

Christina Kuhlmann

Christina is currently supporting ExxonMobil Fawley (UK) as the Brownfield Projects Site Manager. Throughout her nearly 17 years with the company, she has worked around the world delivering world class construction projects in construction, commissioning and project controls roles.  This has taken her to the UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Kazakhstan and Texas. She is passionate about ensuring everyone on her team goes home safely each day, promoting innovation and mentoring.

Away from the office, Christina and her husband, Peter, enjoy staying active through exercise, hiking adventures, and exploring new restaurants during their holidays. She also considers herself a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur.  Hailing from Wyoming, she earned a degree in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University where she actively participated in the Society of Women Engineers. Her favorite events with SWE are the opportunities to work with young women and help them find the fun in STEM.

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rajani boddu

Rajani Boddu

Rajani Boddu is a Senior Director – Engineering Quality & Globalization in Wabtec Corporation, responsible for providing leadership oversight for quality of engineering design & product safety, establish engineering quality management system and drive strategic engineering footprint growth across the globe for Transit segment having more than 1500 engineers and 50+ global sites.

In her 18-year career, Rajani has been a valued leader carving her distinct career path over three continents, two different business segments with increasing levels of responsibilities and growing impact to the business. In her previous role, Rajani was responsible for driving engineering globalization strategy to improve efficiency and productivity for the engineering organization, resulting in savings of $20 million over five years.  She was nominated to be part of the inaugural class of GE’s prestigious Accelerated Leadership Program (XLP), one of less than 250 people, that is aimed at developing executive leaders high profile stretch assignments. She has sought challenging assignments enabling her to push herself and deliver her best. She has worked in Product Management, Services & Commercial organizations as her assignments and has deepened her business knowledge, sharpened process excellence, and focused on customer impact. Rajani was awarded GE prestigious XLP Creator Award, which is presented to an exemplary XLP for her role in creating outstanding value for the business for her Product Cost assignment for leading & putting a necessary discipline with the team of Should Cost Engineers in India, transformed a slow-moving team into a rapid high performing unit and improving the efficiency by 50% and OTD by 10%.

She has held various roles of increasing responsibilities within the engineering function starting from Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP) in Erie, PA, USA, to designing diesel engine emissions compliant solutions to leading Mechanical Labs in India as the Engineering Manager, responsible for developing & commissioning of several new component test rigs, global lab footprint expansion. She also had the opportunity to lead and grow the EEDP Program for India & SSA region as the Business Program Manager (BPM) where she was able to mentor and guide a large group of global young engineers for their professional development.

Rajani has always been active in groups advocating for women growth and development. Within GE & Wabtec, she was an active member of Women in Technology groups, supporting and organizing internal and external events for STEM outreach programs. She was co-chair of SWE India Corporate Council and now on the board of SWE European Corporate Council. Rajani is also extensively involved in community giving and volunteering efforts.

Rajani has a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical & Automation engineering from Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. She also has a Master’s in Mechanical engineering from University at Buffalo, Buffalo NY, USA. She holds 4 US patents & 1 trade secret. She is also a Certified Black Belt in Six Sigma.

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farah wahab

Farah Wahab

Farah holds an M.A in Human Resource Management from Kingston University (UK) as well as a B.A in English Literature from the American University of Beirut (AUB).  She is currently employed by Bechtel and has been there for more than 12 years.  She is currently the HR Lead for one of their projects in the UK.  She has led DE&I initiatives within her company as well as implemented key HR initiatives that progress DE&I within her project.  She became acquitted with SWE via her company and hopes to help inspire the next generation of female engineers (starting at home with her 9 year old daughter!)

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samidha anand

Samidha Anand

Samidha Anand is an Engineering Manager with 15 yrs experience in designing & integrating Exhaust Systems for small to medium sized diesel Engines. She pursued her B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering in India & moved to the UK in 2007 to pursue MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Northumbria. She has been a SWE member since 2016 and has managed Caterpillar’s participation at the WE local Europe since 2018.   She is passionate about STEM & D&I and is involved in various campaigns at her workplace. This includes being chair of an internal SWE grp at her employer , serving as a committee member of an internal ERG grp, STEM committee member etc. She was awarded by Women’s Engineering Society as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2021.

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mizuki fujita jolliet

Mizuki Fujita Jolliet

Mizuki has approximately fifteen years’ experience in the power generation industry with Caterpillar. She is a committee of WIN (Women's Initiatives Network) Geneva, Caterpillar’s ERG and served as the 2021 WIN Geneva President. She studied at the University of Sophia, Japan, the University of Tokyo, Japan and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and a Master’s degree in Engineering.

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kasia austin

Kasia Austin

My name is Kasia Austin. I have been in Motorola UK since my graduation in 2006 (M. Eng in Robotics and Automation). I started my journey with Motorola Solutions in the Integrated Network Solutions team and stayed in an engineering role supporting customers in EMEA for almost 7 years before I moved to a training organisation. I have used my engineering and customer support experience in leading the TETRA training portfolio (design and development) and information architect roles. About 4 years ago I moved to the presale role, where I am supporting and consulting customers and responding to technical requirements for our customers to take full benefit of our training and products. I am an active member of Motorola Solutions Women Business Council. I am extremely passionate about women in engineering and in the SLT positions. I am a fan of innovation and evolution. I joined SWE in May 2022. I hope to bring to the table my experience, engineering, creative and analytical mind.

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tejaswinee (teji) lokare

Tejaswinee Lokare

Teji has 15+ years of experience in the semiconductor industry. Teji always found it fascinating to know how an electronic chip is made and how it is used in different applications. Her interest in semiconductor and quality management allowed her to support the transition of the automotive industry. She have experience and expertise in reliability, Automotive and Industrial qualification standards, Quality Management. Teji has successfully lead local and global teams to achieve target results.

Teji is a Martial artist, Kalari (world’s oldest martial arts) is her passion and has been studying this art form since 2012. She is now teaching and spreading the knowledge in Munich. Martial arts keeps her grounds and gives her energy to focus on what is important in life.

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eva ribes-vilanova

Eva Ribes-Vilanova

Eva is a 25+ year professional, passionate about solving challenges with a focus on RF & µWave designs and systems. An engineer's mind with a love for people and society.

An accomplished technologist and strategist serving aerospace/defense, communications and automotive customers around the globe. She has coauthored papers for international conferences in the field of electronic design for wireless communications and model-based system engineering.

During her time with HP/Agilent Technologies /Keysight Technologies, Eva has developed her professional career in three countries, Spain, The Netherlands and the UK; and in various roles, r&d, application engineering and product management.

Eva holds a telecommunications engineering degree (equivalent to an undergraduate and master’s in electrical and computer engineering in the American system) from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

She became acquainted with SWE through its conferences. She is a tireless advocate for STEM outreach and diversity & inclusion initiatives, and SWE's mission really resonates with her!

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Tutku Kilicaslan

Tutku is a senior Industrial Engineering and Business Administration student at Koç University in Turkey. She served as Secretary, Social Media Leader within Koç University SWE and selected as President for FY17. The same year, she was selected as the mere SWE Future Leader outside of the USA. Within the scope of SWEFL program, she is invited to the Collegiate Leadership Institute at WE’17 Conference in Austin, TX. Currently, she is a member of the Global Ambassador Program for 2 years. She, so far, has attended four WE Local Europe Conferences and two WE Annual Conferences. She is also doing her summer internship in Cummins, one of Corporate Partnership Council members. Besides these, she is blogging about traveler student life and taking ballet and Spanish courses.

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Andra Groapa

Andra graduated from the University of Manchester with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, and from Cranfield University with an MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics. She is currently working as a CFD Analysis Engineer for Red Bull Powertrains in Milton Keynes, UK. She presented at WE Local Berlin 2019 about the Future of CFD and Virtual Reality in Engineering Applications and, after an amazing experience there, she decided to get involved in the SWE mission and help give a voice female engineers across the world.

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Elizabeth Zapata

Elizabeth has more than 25 years of experience developing large format inkjet printers for the Signage & Display, Graphics, Textiles, and Packaging markets. She has worked in the United States, in Israel, and in Spain in engineering and management roles. She is currently doing a dual role as a Distinguished Technologist and R&D Manager of the Print Systems team in the Large Format Printing division in Barcelona, Spain. Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters in Business Administration from E.S.A.D.E. She decided to get involved in SWE initiatives since she greatly values supporting and promoting the development and growth of a diverse engineering community.

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salma alarefi headshot

Salma Alarefi

Dr. Salma M.S. Alarefi holds a BEng in Telecommunications and PhD in Computing and Electronic Systems from the University of Essex 2013 and 2018, respectively. Salma is an award-winning teaching fellow in Electrical Power Systems at the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds. At her current post she is a Student Success Lead and Fellow of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence as well as the Leeds Engagement Excellence Scheme. As a STEM ambassador, Salma is actively involved with promoting young girls into STEM and supporting female engineering students. She is also directly involved with prompting equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education institutions, whereby she works closely with minoritized groups of students to help develop and enhance their sense of belonging.

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femi scaled

Femi Adedimeji

Femi graduated from the University of Manchester with a master’s in engineering in Biomedical Materials Science. She has over 10 years’ experience in industrial cloud computing, engineering and technical training. She is currently Innovation Project Manager at AVEVA, Frankfurt, where she nurtures and drives a culture of innovation by collaborating across technical teams to create opportunities for new ideas to flourish.

She’s an advocate for race and gender diversity in technology and is part of the team that founded the BLACK Voices employee resource group in AVEVA in 2020. It represents the perspectives of Black colleagues worldwide with support from allies. She supports the group towards a vision of a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all. Femi is an active member of Women @AVEVA network and her endeavour to cultivate spaces in tech where underrepresented groups feel welcome, led her to SWE.

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Marwa El Hefnawy

Marwa El Hefnawy is an experienced LTE and 5G wireless system engineering leader and strategy planner with expertise in modem roadmap definition and wireless ecosystem.

She received her B.Sc. degree in electrical and communications engineering, with highest honor, from the German University in Cairo. Marwa completed her bachelor project at Stuttgart University in Germany. She pursued her M.Sc. studies at Ulm University, and received her PhD degree from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) under the supervision of Prof. Gerhard Kramer. During her PhD studies, she worked at NTT-Docomo Euro Labs having a research focus on 5G. Afterwards, she had worked at Intel then Apple, on 5G topics and beyond. Marwa’s hobbies are painting, reading novels and playing sports. She is also a long standing Global ambassador for SWE.

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