WE Local Europe Advisory Board

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Meet the 2022 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!

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Marwa El Hefnawy, Co-Chair

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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Cathy Sinclair, Co-Chair

Cathy manages a team of 10 field engineers working for FM Global, based in Maidenhead, UK. Her team of generalist and specialist engineers is responsible for helping clients protect their businesses from preventable losses such as fires, floods, earthquakes and boiler, and machinery breakdown. All her engineers have gained their specialist knowledge of property risk engineering through the company’s rigorous in-house training program and also rely on FM Global’s extensive research and development activities to support their work. Cathy has a first-class honors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southampton and lives in Farnborough, Hampshire with her aeronautical engineer husband, 22-year-old son, and 17-year-old daughter.

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Femi Adedimeji

Femi graduated from the University of Manchester with a master’s in engineering in Biomedical Materials Science. She has nearly 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. As chair, she leads and 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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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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Ceri Dulohery

Ceri is currently the New Product Introduction (NPI) Programme Manager for the Global Powertrain Team within Caterpillar Defense based in Shrewsbury in the UK. She is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate, a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the IMechE. Her previous experience within the Diesel Engines and Powertrain systems field ranges from being a Mechancial Development Engineer, Product Design Engineer, Field Follow Engineer, 6Sigma Black Belt, Engineering Team Leader and NPI Project Team Leader.

Ceri’s first introduction to SWE came at the WE Local conference in Prague in 2018 where she was selected to give a lightning talk on ‘Unlocking Team Potential’. Ever since then she has been involved in promoting SWE within her organisation, championing the benefits of networking and advocacy and also attended WE Local Berlin in 2019.

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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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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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Meghan Knecht

Meghan graduated from Drexel University in 2019 with a BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering. She has been working for MSD for 2 years in the company’s leadership development program (MLDP) in various roles related to vaccine and other biopharmaceutical manufacturing. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA and moved to Nijmegen, Netherlands in the summer of 2021 to complete her final rotation in the program. While in the U.S., she helped to coordinate MSD’s attendance and presentations at the SWE Annual Conference and is excited to continue to advance SWE’s mission while she is abroad.

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Annita McCurdy

Annita graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a master’s degree in Chemical Engineers. She has almost twenty years’ experience in the oil and gas industry with ExxonMobil – in areas of engineering, operational, commercial and strategic planning. She is currently the Operations Manager for the Fawley Refinery, UK. She has been a long standing advocate for development of female talent within ExxonMobil and is excited to join the SWE advisory board and continue to advance the SWE mission!

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Saifali Patel

Saifali is a Senior HR Business Partner based in the UK with several years of experience in industries such as Engineering, Oil & Gas, FMCG, Beverage, and Manufacturing. Currently, at Bechtel, she is supporting driving the Diversity and Inclusion strategy for the UK and Europe region and is committed to bringing the change towards diversity, inclusion, and gender equality. Saifali is also an active member of Women@Bechtel network at Bechtel. Saifali holds Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of West London and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. During her spare time, Saifali enjoys yoga, exploring new places, learning about people and cultures and also enjoys learning new cooking techniques.

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Katrina Simpson

Katrina Simpson studied electrical power engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, graduating in 2011. She worked for 4.5 years for Kiewit Engineering and Design in various departments working on the EPC of gas power combined cycle plants. She moved to Aachen, Germany in 2016 and began working for General Electric at the beginning of 2017, starting in the Renewable Energy Group and later moving to the Jenbacher Gas Engine Group. Currently, the Jenbacher line was sold and is currently part of the company INNIO.

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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.