Meet the Advisory Board

Salma Alarefi

Teaching Fellow, School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, University of LeedsSalma Alarefi headshot

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.


Jamila BordaMeet the Advisory Board 1

Electronic Design Engineer, Continental Automotive GmbH

Presently serving as a SWE German ambassador co-leader, Jamila J. Borda is a Hardware/Electronic Design & Development Engineer from Germany with several years of experience in the automotive electronics industry as well as Industrial PCs.

Currently, at Continental Automotive GmbH, she is specialized in the state-of-the-art electronics design of in-vehicle camera systems with a focus on driver assistance systems & self-driving cars. Having experience in electronic designing, Jamila utilizes her know-how by actively engaging in technical paper reviews for various technical conferences worldwide. Jamila is an active member of the world’s largest technical organization IEEE & its affinity groups, IEEE CAS, IEEE WIE German, and IEEE young profession.

To exemplify & inspire young girls into STEM, Jamila is a registered role model for an international database FabFems directory. With a strong passion for humanitarian engagements, Jamila also serves in the mentor-ship system for prospective university orphan students within the Ashinaga organization. Jamila’s personal and professional philosophy encompasses humbleness, discipline, consistency, patience, helping the needy, and striving for perfectionism in all aspects of life.


CeriCeri Dulohery
New Product Introduction (NPI) Programme Manager, Caterpillar

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 Mechanical 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 organization, championing the benefits of networking and advocacy, and also attended WE Local Berlin in 2019.


Meet the Advisory Board 2Marwa El Hefnawy
Senior Telecom and Electrical Engineer

Marwa El Hefnawy is an experienced LTE and 5G wireless system engineering leader and strategic planner with expertise in modem roadmap definition and wireless ecosystem. She received her B.Sc. degree in electrical and communications engineering, with the 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 Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) under the supervision of Prof. Gerhard Kramer. During her Ph.D. studies, she worked at NTT-Docomo Euro Labs having a research focus on 5G. Afterward, 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.


Andra GroapaAndra Groapa
MSc, IMechE Associate Engineer, Caterpillar

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 an Associate Engineer for Caterpillar in the UK in their Simulation department. 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 to female engineers across the world.


Meet the Advisory Board 3Tutku Kılıçaslan
Industrial Engineering & Business Administration Student, Koç University
Global Ambassador, Koç University SWE

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 was 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 the Corporate Partnership Council members. Besides these, she is blogging about traveler student life and taking ballet and Spanish courses.


Meghan Knecht HeadshotMeghan Knecht
Engineering Specialist, MSD Netherlands

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 in Europe.


Meet the Advisory Board 4Jarka Novakova
Technical Supervisor, Honeywell International

Jarmila (Jarka) Novakova with experiences from short term living in London, UK, and Barcelona, Spain has been with Honeywell company for over than 5 years where she started at the Project Engineering position and continues currently as Technical Supervisor. Passion for diversity and inclusion brought her to SWE. Last but not least she truly enjoys the planning of travels to new places and get deeply acquainted with the place, people and culture.


Saifali PatelSaifali Patel
Regional HR Specialist, Bechtel 

Saifali is a Regional HR Specialist based in the U.K 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.


Meet the Advisory Board 5Julia Ruessmann
Strategic Global Accounts Manager Sales, Finished Lubricants, EAME – Exxon Mobile, Belgium

Julia joined ExxonMobil in 1995 in Hamburg, Germany. She spent most of her career living outside Germany in Belgium, Switzerland, and the US holding a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in Sales and Marketing. During her time in the Downstream Headquarters in the US, she had also assignments in Global Planning and Public & Government Affairs. Julia has covered Automotive and Industrial lubricants, Basestocks & Specialties as well as Marine and Aviation fuels & lubricants. In the last 3 years, Julia returned to the Regional headquarters in Belgium in managerial sales roles spanning Europe, Africa & the Middle. She moved into her current role in May 2019. Julia is an active member of ExxonMobil’s Downstream “Women Leadership Team” (WLT) as well as a supporter of ExxonMobil’s Women Interest Network (WIN).


Meet the Advisory Board 6Katrina Simpson
Customer Applications Engineer, INNIO Jenbacher GMBH

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.


Cathy SinclairCathy Sinclair
Group Manager Field Engineering, FM Global

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.


Meet the Advisory Board 7Jo Stansfield
Diversity and Inclusion. AVEVA Solutions Ltd.

Jo has 20 years’ experience delivering enterprise software to global industry, spanning oil & gas, automotive, aerospace and marine sectors. With experience in product management, software engineering, and leadership roles, Jo has led globally distributed teams to develop high-quality software, meeting customers’ needs in engineering domains. As a passionate advocate for gender diversity in technology and engineering, Jo is committed to lead change within her organization, industry, and community. She has recently taken a role in HR leading AVEVA’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, while also studying for a Masters in Organisational Psychology to deepen her understanding and increase the impact of interventions.


Meet the Advisory Board 8Maria Elizabeth Zapata
Distinguished Technologist and R&D Manager, Large Format Printing, HP Inc

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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