Women in Engineering

ieee wie purpleIEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists and inspiring girls around the world to follow their academic interests to a career in engineering.  With the membership of women within the IEEE growing around the globe, the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) was officially formed in 1994 and is now a committee of the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities Board (IEEE WIE Homepage), with over 450 affinity groups and 15,000 members around the world.

Mission and Vision of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE)

The mission of IEEE (WIE) is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of women in technical disciplines globally. 
IEEE WIE envisions a vibrant community of IEEE women and men collectively using their diverse talents to innovate for the benefit of humanity. 

IEEE Women In Engineering at Robotics and Automation Society (WIE-RAS)

The Women in Engineering - RAS (WIE-RAS) group was formed by the Member Activities Board (MAB) to inspire, engage and advance women in Robotics and Automation. The WIE committee organizes a series of periodic events and activities to promote the visibility of women leaders and to inspire young girls who want to get involved in engineering.

The WIE Column in the Robotics and Automation Magazine is a periodic publication that presents women's stories by means of reports and interviews. Articles can be found through IEEE IEEE Xplore®. Proposals for articles, interviews or reports can be submitted at any time by sending an abstract to the WIE committee chair, Laura Margheri at laura.margheri@sssup.it

The WIE committee organizes the traditional WIE Luncheon ("Birds of a Feather") during ICRA, IROS and CASE.  The event is an important opportunity to foster discussion on the role of women in robotics and automation, inspire girls and promote collaborations and initiatives to advance women leadership. One or more guest speakers share their experiences and histories as women in engineering, and young female researchers have the chance to network and speak with senior faculty members around a free lunch. 

Guest Speakers at our previous Women Luncheons include:

  • Takako Hashimoto, IEEE WIE Chair
  • Jessica Hodgins, Disney Research
  • Allison Okamura, Professor at Stanford University
  • Robin Murphy, Professor at Texas A&M University, IEEE Fellow
  • Nancy Amato, Professor at Texas A&M University
  • Lynne Parker, Professor at the University of Tennessee, IEEE Fellow
  • Melonee Wise, Manager of Robot Development at Willow Garage
  • Leslie Pack Kaelbling, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Women in Engineering

Recent BOF Women Luncheon Activities

Other workshops and social events are periodically organized at other robotics conferences (i.e. RSS) and at the WIE International Leadership Conference
A panel on "Innovations in Robotics" has been organized for the 2015 WIE International Leadership Conference in San Jose. Jing Xiao (Prof, University of North Carolina), Lynne Parker (Director, National Science Foundation) and Allison Okamura (Prof, Stanford University) spoke on the panel and in a roundtable moderated by Laura Margheri (RAS WIE Chair) about their experiences, skills, and other aspects that can make a difference in innovation and leadership in robotics. RAS activities and opportunities were also presented.
RAS women at WIE conference 2015 1 resized

Picture of the speakers at the "Innovations in Robotics Panel" at the 2015 WIE International Leadership Conference. From left to right: Allison Okamura, Jing Xiao, Lynne Parker and Laura Margheri.

Proposals for events can submitted by email to Laura Margheri at laura.margheri@sssup.it

WIE-RAS has set up two email aliases such as WIERAS_ALL@listserv.ieee.org for all WIE-RAS members and WIERAS-COM@listserv.ieee.org for our organizing WIE-RAS committee within the last several years. We have recruited 714 total WIE-RAS members in our alias so far where more official information are released. If any of you are interested, please send an email to WIERAS-COM@listserv.ieee.org to ask for being invited. If you want to join our organizing committee, please contact the WIE Chair directly.

Lists of Organizing Boards (alphabetical order):

  • Nancy Amato, Texas A&M Univ.
  • Aude Billard, EPFL
  • Cynthia Breazeal, MIT
  • Alicia Casals, UPC
  • Danica Kragic, KTH
  • Maja Mataric, USC
  • Robin Murphy, Texas A&M Univ.
  • Allison Okamura, Johns Hopkins Univ.
  • Mihoko Otake, U. Tokyo
  • Lynne E. Parker, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 
  • Daniela Rus, MIT
  • Adriana Tapus, ENSTEA
  • Andrea Thomaz, Georgia Tech
  • Manuela Veloso, CMU
  • Xiaorui Zhu, Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School

The “RAS WIE Group” on LinkedIn is another way for our members to communicate. If you want to make closer friends or to announce some personal news, please take advantage of this LinkedIn group to participate in more activities initiated by our members.


Lydia Tapia portrait
Lydia Tapia
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque (NM), USA


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