2021-2022 WOMEN'S PERSPECTIVES SEMINAR
Take the leap: New beginnings
In-Person | 4:00 - 5:00pm | Thursdays
In-Person | 4:00 - 5:00pm | Thursdays
Lecturer, Stanford Mechanical Engineering; Associate Director, Product Realization Lab
Marlo grew up in Vermont before coming out to Stanford to study Product Design (BS '05) and Mechanical Engineering (MS '07). After graduating from Stanford, she spent 3 years working for a small medical device start up as a Design Engineer and Production Manager. In 2010, Marlo was offered the unbelievable job of creating a new lab that would become Room 36, the rapid prototyping lab of the PRL. Since then, she has been busy with creating and teaching new courses in engineering design from early foundations to advanced injection molding. Marlo is the mom of two little boys, a kindergartener and 2nd grader, and is excited to pass down her love of making to them.
Senior Director of Exploration at Edwards Lifesciences
Virginia is Senior Director of Exploration at Edward Lifesciences, where she advances breakthrough innovation for structural heart disease patients by building deep partnerships globally. Virginia has over 25 years’ successful experience delivering innovation to patients, with roles spanning medical device, pharmaceutical and nutrition businesses. Prior to joining Edwards, Virginia was Vice President of Innovation for IntersectENT, where she led R&D and Clinical. Throughout her career, Virginia has focused on advancing breakthrough innovation, with R&D, Program Management, and Business Development leadership roles at Stryker Neurovascular, Abbott, and Johnson & Johnson. She serves on the Cornell Engineering Council, the President’s Council of Cornell Women, the Georgia Tech-Emory Bioengineering Board, and chairs the Cornell Biomedical Engineering Advisory Council. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the Industry Council Chair on the Board of Directors. Virginia is a co-founder of the MedtechVision Conference, now held annually in Silicon Valley. She holds B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
Executive Director, Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center
Dr. Noel Bakhtian serves as the founding executive director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center, a lab-wide center at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, which accelerates the translation of basic and applied research into real-world energy storage solutions. Formerly, Dr. Bakhtian served on the Senior Leadership Team at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory – a $1.5B organization - as director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), where she led a refresh of the mission, vision, and strategy of this research, education, and innovation consortium bringing together INL with the four public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming. Based on this work, she was asked to provide Congressional testimony to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on “Energy Workforce Opportunities and Challenges” in 2018. Before moving to the national labs, Dr. Bakhtian served as a senior policy adviser for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as the inaugural Energy-Water Nexus lead at the DOE Office of International Affairs, worked as technical lead on numerous innovative grant programs for DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, consulted on energy R&D and investment for DARPA, and served as an energy and environment Fellow in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Bakhtian earned her engineering doctorate at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; holds master’s degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, where she was a Churchill Scholar; and completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University. Back in the day, she used to attend these MEWG seminars as well! Dr. Bakhtian serves as a member of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy; and as a board member for the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. She’s a Professor of the Practice at Boise State University.
Assistant Professor, Stanford University Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Michaelle N. Mayalu's is an incoming Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering whose research focuses on dynamics and control theory of synthetic biological and biomedical systems. She is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology and will be joining Stanford University in Spring 2022. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 2010, 2012, and 2017 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time Dr. Mayalu enjoys travel, cooking, art, music, nature walks, and yoga.
Assistant Professor, Stanford University Aeronautics and Astronautics
Grace X. Gao is an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. She leads the Navigation and Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (NAV Lab). She obtained her Ph.D. degree at Stanford University and is an alumna of the ME Women Seminar Series. She was faculty at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before returning to Stanford as faculty. Grace is also a mother of two and a yoga instructor. She started learning figure skating while being a professor, and recently completed her first half marathon.
Assistant Director, National Science Foundation - Engineering Directorate
Dr. Margulies joined NSF as the Engineering Assistant Director in August 2021 after leading Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. In 2017 she became the first faculty member tenured in both the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. She is internationally recognized for pioneering studies spanning the micro-to-macro scales and across species to identify mechanisms underlying brain injuries in children and adolescents, and lung injuries associated with mechanical ventilation, leading to improved injury prevention, diagnosis and treatments. Dr. Margulies’ transdisciplinary scholarly impact has been recognized by her election the National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. She received her BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton and PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training at the Mayo Clinic
Senior Director of Systems Engineering, Maxar Technologies
Dr. Jennifer Dawson is the Senior Director of Systems Engineering at Maxar, a leading spacecraft manufacturer. Jen leads an organization of more than 100 engineers who are responsible for defining the requirements and verification and validation steps to ensure successful space missions. Previous roles at Maxar include Senior Systems Engineer, Product Assurance Program Manager, Director of Marketing and Sales, and Technical Director.
Jen has over 15 years experience in mechanical engineering and robotics. She worked for three years in self-driving safety as Senior Manager of Functional Safety at Toyota Research Institute and Head of Safety at Nuro, a robotics company providing local goods delivery through self-driving vehicles operating on public roads.
Jen graduated in 2003 from Bucknell University in Mechanical Engineering. She holds a masters and doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and spent two years as a tenure-track professor at York College of Pennsylvania. In 2016, Jen was awarded the SSPI Promise Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement and leadership potential in the space and satellite industry. She was also awarded a Stevie Award for Women in Business for Best New Consumer Service and the Otto Hamburg award for her research on pyroshock failures of space hardware.
Firmware Engineer, Lyft Bikes & Scooter
Alice is a Firmware Engineer with Lyft's Transit, Bikes and Scooters division where she lives out her mechatronic dreams everyday writing firmware for Lyft's first and second generation e-bikes, which powers America's largest bikeshare service. Prior to that she was a Product Design Technical Lead at Apple, where she designed and delivered next-generation haptic devices and user experiences, including the Taptic Engines for iPhone X and XR. During her graduate days at Stanford, she interned at Google's Nest Labs, building robots for hardware-in-the-loop testing of the Nest Secure system. Alice holds a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and a B.S. Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She is an alumna of Professor Mark Cutkosky's BDML at Stanford where she researched capacitive tactile sensors for adaptive gait control in legged-robots. She is also an alumna of Professor Allison Okamura's Haptics Laboratory at JHU where she worked on haptic feedback for upper-limb prosthesis users.
Principal Engineer, Ananya Health
Chris has dedicated her career to improving health outcomes through technical innovation. She spent the past decade working at early-stage startups to develop novel medical devices to address an array of health conditions.
After graduating from Stanford in 2010, with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, she began her career at Forsight Vision 4. There she helped to design and build an ocular drug-delivery implant for the treatment of retinal diseases. Next, she became the first engineering hire at Potrero Medical, a startup focused on creating a “smart”monitor to reduce physician burden in critical care environments.
Her proudest accomplishment to date came via her next role as a Principal R&D Engineer at nVision Medical, where, as part of a small team, she helped develop a tool for diagnosing early-stage ovarian cancer. After nVision was acquired by Boston Scientific, Chris spent some time exploring the large-company environment, but then was eager to get back into the start-up world. She stepped into a leadership role as the Director of Product Development at Theranova, LLC, a medical device incubator based in San Francisco. There she managed a multidisciplinary team of engineers working on a wide array of new technologies.
In January, she took a leap and left the stability of full-time work to consult for Ananya Health, where she is designing a closed-loop system for treating cervical cancer in low-resource countries. With the rest of her time, she is studying at the Presidio Graduate school to get a certificate in Sustainable Operations with the goal of bringing into alignment her passions for health equity and the environment.
Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, General Motors
Telva McGruder is the chief diversity, equity an inclusion officer at General Motors. Telva leads the development and execution of strategies that will ensure positive change toward a high performing, inclusive culture. In this role, Telva leads workforce strategy for the company, where the focus is building the agile workforce of the future, creating pathways of entry and career development. She is also a member of the General Motors Inclusion Advisory Board. Prior to this role, Telva was director of Workplace Engineering and Operations Solutions in the Sustainable Workplaces organization. She supported the global footprint for facility engineering, technologies, energy strategy and multiple facility management strategies.
Earlier in her career, Telva held positions of increasing responsibility and influence within manufacturing engineering and at several manufacturing locations where she motivated teams to rethink the possible in project execution, maintenance, quality, operations and labor negotiations. Telva earned her BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.
Along with her professional accomplishments, Telva is dedicated to teaching and leading others inside and outside of General Motors. She is a member of the General Motors Inclusion Advisory Board. She is chair of the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, vice-chair of the advisory board for the Oakland University School of Health Sciences, a member of the advisory board for the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, and a member of the board for Engineering Tomorrow.