Tune in every week to hear stories from female leaders in the STEAM industry who are breaking down barriers and building a more inclusive environment for all. In each episode we’ll explore the unique journey of a successful woman, diving into their backgrounds and finding out what influenced their career trajectory. Whether it’s designing the latest medical technology or defining the future of AI in our daily lives, these trailblazers are preparing a path for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and artists.
Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies Inc
In her role as Vice President, Program Management at Qualcomm Research Áine is responsible for strategy and operations of AI research programs focused on optimizing machine learning techniques for use in smartphones, robotics, IoT and automotive applications. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Dublin, Ireland and her career, as a software engineer and then program manager has involved design and development of leading-edge technologies that impact how people and machines communicate and interact with each other. Áine has worked at companies of all sizes, including startups (one of which she founded) until joining Qualcomm in 2009 and embarking on her 2nd career as a program manager. One of her programs in robotics and drone research, designed and built the Snapdragon Flight board, leveraging Qualcomm’s mobile phone technology and is now powering the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars! Áine is an active STEAM supporter that includes being a volunteer judge for First Tech Challenge robotics, serving on Qualcomm’s Women’s Leadership Council and being on the board of Athena, an organization that supports the leadership journey for women in STEM.
PCP (Product Commercialization Process) Program Manager for the Commercialization Excellence Team at Illumina
Alexa has been at Illumina over two years and is currently the PCP (Product Commercialization Process) Program Manager for the Commercialization Excellence Team at Illumina. She ensures commercial deliverables are being met during new product launches to make for a successful customer experience globally. Prior to her current role she was working in inside sales where she was exposed to the broader Illumina portfolio, voice of customer, and voice of field which she now utilizes in her role.
Before working at Illumina, Alexa worked in business development and project management in the pharma and biotech consulting space with companies including Novartis, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson. She was a part of a team that opened two offices, one in Ireland where she lived for nearly four years and has worked with customers across both USA and EMEA.
Alexa received her bachelors from the University of Southern California in Global Business. As a Colorado Native, she loves the outdoors, traveling, skiing and golf. Alexa serves on the executive teams for both the Women@Illumina Network (WIN) and Illumina iCares. Outside of Illumina, she is Vice Chair Emeritus for Women in Bio SoCal.
Satellite Engineer, Viasat
Hi I’m Katie and I am a satellite engineer at Viasat’s Satellite Control Center located in Carlsbad, CA. I make sure that our satellites are happy and healthy! I have a passion for all things space and aerospace. In my free time I am an avid hiker and mushroom forager.
Reliability Engineering Manager, Viasat
As someone who always enjoyed math and science, I decided to go to college to study electrical and computer engineering. After school I moved to Boston to work as a Reliability Engineer but eventually made my way back to San Diego to work at Viasat on our airplane Wi-Fi systems. Outside of work I love doing anything outdoors, especially swimming, running and snowboarding!
Sanchi D. Chandan
Product Manager, Companion Diagnostics, Thermo Fisher
Sanchi works at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Carlsbad and is passionate about science, yoga, mentoring and community outreach. She has Masters in Cell and Molecular Biology from Florida Institute of Technology, M. Sc. For Sardar Patel University and B. Sc from VP and RPTP Science College in India.
At Thermo Fisher, Sanchi is a Product Manager, Companion Diagnostics. Additionally, she volunteers in STEM related activities, proponent of STEM education and leadership in Girls and mentors students and professionals who want to enter into Biotech industry.
Sergeant Lilia Zamora
Army Southern California Recruiting Battalion Virtual Station Commander
My name is SSG Zamora Lilia. I’m married with two children. I love reading and learning new things from books and individuals I encounter on my path. I have a Bachelors in Psychology from University of Guadalajara Mexico and Associates Degree in counter-terrorism from American Military University I traveled around the world and helped my mom obtain her residency card, thanks to the Army.
I have an exciting job where I was able to learn and continue to improve in Photoshop, video editing, analytic programs and more. As the Virtual Recruiting Station Commander, I am responsible for overseeing the U.S. Army presence on social media throughout Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial Counties. I ensure 48 physical storefront stations and more than 400 recruiters are speaking with one voice, and effectively communicating about Army Careers. I’m proud to say that though I am one person, I create more ‘hot leads’ than any fully manned physical station. I do this through a combination of original content creation and the use of software that employs AI and Machine Learning to put the most effective posts at the most effective time in front of the most receptive eyeballs. Additionally, I execute a budget of more than $50,000 per year in subscriptions and social media boosts.
Principal Scientist, Hologic Diagnostic Assay Development
Sree Panuganti has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Oakland University, Michigan and is a Principal Scientist in the Diagnostic Assay Development division at Hologic. She has been with Hologic a little over 6 years with overall industry experience of 17 years. At Hologic she contributed for the development of Respiratory Assays on the Panther Fusion platform. Currently she is contributing to the development of GI panels for the diagnosis of infectious gastroenteritis. When Sree is not at work, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family.
Executive Director and Head of External Research Solutions, Pfizer Medicine Design Sourcing
Sylvie is currently an Executive Director and Head of ERS with a global team support all of Pfizer Medicine Design Sourcing. Her group supports sourcing and integration of external capabilities working with partners (CROs, academics, Biotech) from setting strategies/operation enablement for sourcing of Phase 1 API/Process enablement, global Pfizer solid inventory management, File Equity/Building Block, chemistry synthesis, analytical chemistry, biology/DMPK, and new technologies including DNA-Encoded libraries/Degrader Platform, and RSC (reference standard commercialization). She is also leading multiple consortiums such as the BBXC (Building Block Exchange) and DNA Encoded Library with multi-pharma companies. Her team’s work has led has impact on project like Paxlovid where ERS has been a key group contributor to support API/integrated sourcing research support to advance the discovery and enabling Phase 1 start. She has experience in setting up innovative strategies and implementation of different working business models, evaluation of novel technologies in support of research, operations and integrative research, logistics, development of IT tools to support external collaborations for Pfizer with Asia/EU/North America partners. She works globally across matrix/multidisciplinary teams and working with Pfizer leaders to implement sourcing strategies to bring capacity, efficiency and novel capabilities. She has been recognized in the area of research externalization with expertise in CRO management and integrated collaborations.
About This Program
This program provides space for middle school and high school girls and boys to be inspired by a host of women who have moved the needle in STEAM. This quarterly program is hosted directly in Title 1 schools or at an offsite location to which we bus students. Audience members are invited to listen to a panel of women leaders in STEAM, from CEOs of biotechnology companies, to award-winning engineers, and beyond. The program also includes an interactive component, unique to the featured company. Women Who Inspire sends an inclusive message about what makes a successful STEAM professional, exposes students to careers and career paths they may not have known existed and empowers them to envision themselves in these roles, and helps students recognize career-relevant STEAM skills.
Thank you to the following sponsors for making our Women Who Inspire series possible: