WE Local Europe Advisory Board

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Meet the 2025 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!

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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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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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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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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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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Nuria Jornet

Nuria has more than 19 experience working in R&D, developing large format inkjet printers in HP. She has worked as chief engineer being responsible of product technology during complete product life cycle, from architecture and definition to delivery to market. Currently she is working as R&D project manager, managing a team of Software Systems engineers in Barcelona, where she enjoys building strong, collaborative, and diverse teams.

Nuria holds a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications engineering from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and a Masters in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. She is passionate about science and technology and enjoys learning and growing in these areas. Nuria’s hobbies are hiking and being around nature, cooking, and playing chess, where she is open to supporting female beginner players.

She decided to get involved in SWE initiatives after participating in the conferences and seeing the collaboration and growing opportunities the organization offers.

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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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Tania Mahmood

After graduating with a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree, Tania undertook a two-year technical graduate scheme at AVEVA. Since completing the graduate scheme she is now working full-time role as a Cloud DevOps Engineer at AVEVA.

Most recently Tania participated in this year’s Commission on the Status of Women 24 (CSW) as a UN UK women delegate (volunteer) which has been a wonderful and enriching opportunity. She has also co-led for several years one of the largest Employee Resource groups at AVEVA (Women@AVEVA).

Tania's proudest achievement to date is achieving an EngTech accreditation from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and winning a gold medal for a science project in the energy category by defeating participants from 69 countries.

She is very passionate about STEM and love supporting the next generation wherever I can, to enthuse them towards a STEM career.

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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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Lucille Michelet

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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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partnerships – loop

Marta Stas

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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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