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Academic Career Workshop for Women in Mechanical Engineering


The Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering workshop supports women graduate students and postdocs who are considering careers in academia. The purpose of the workshop is to gain career skills, connect with a cohort of peers, and engage with mentors. The second Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering workshop will take place at Stanford University on Oct. 17-18, 2019.  The inaugural Rising Stars in ME workshop was hosted by MIT in 2018, and next year’s workshop will be hosted by University of California, Berkeley.


How to be nominated:

Participants must be women graduate students within 1 to 3 years of graduating with a Ph.D. at the time of the workshop, or they must have obtained a Ph.D. no earlier than 2016 and not currently hold a faculty position. Applicants must be nominated by a faculty member in her current department. Approximately 30 candidates will be selected for inclusion in the program.

The faculty nominator should email the following materials to


1) In the text of the email, please list:

  • Nominee Name (Lastname, Firstname)
  • Email address of nominee
  • Institution/place of employment of nominee
  • Current status of nominee (e.g. 3rd yr grad student, Postdoc)
  • Expected or actual conferral date of nominee's Ph.D. (e.g. May 2020)
  • Nominator name
  • Nominator email address
  • Academic institution of Nominator
  • Title of Nominator (e.g. Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering)

​2) Attach the applicant's personal statement describing her professional goals and motivation for pursuing them (maximum 1 page, pdf, called "LastnameFirstnamePS.pdf"; for all pdf files, "LastnameFirstname" is the name of the nominee)


3) Attach the applicant's CV (no page limit, pdf, called "LastnameFirstnameCV.pdf")


4) Attach a nomination letter from the faculty nominator (no more than 1 page, pdf, called "LastnameFirstnameNL.pdf")


All materials should be included in a single email sent from the nominator's university email address.


Accommodations and Travel:

Stanford Mechanical Engineering will cover meals and shared accommodations for up to three nights, and reimburse reasonable travel expenses (coach airfare) up to $600.


Nomination Deadline: July 31, 2019 (11:59pm Pacific Time)


Questions? Email


2019 Workshop Chairs

Wendy Gu 

Workshop Co-Chair 

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Allison Okamura 

Workshop Co-Chair 

Professor of Mechanical Engineering


Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering 2019

Stanford University  


Thursday, October 17


8:30am – 9:00am


Bldg 520, lobby

9:00am – 9:30am

Welcome (Allison Okamura, Wendy Gu)

Bldg 520-131

9:30am – 10:00am

Conversation with Persis Drell, Provost 

Bldg 520-131

10:00am – 10:50am

Landing the Faculty Position Panel 

(Monroe Kennedy, Wendy Gu, Dorsa Sadigh, Debbie Senesky) 

Bldg 520-131

11:00am – 12:00pm

Acting with Power (Kay Koustopolous)

Bldg 520-131

12:15pm - 1:15pm


Faculty club

1:30pm-2:30 pm

How to Talk about your Research (Chris Gerdes) 

Bldg 550, studio 3

2:30pm - 3:00pm 

Practice Lightning Talks

Bldg 550, studio 3

3:15pm - 4:00pm

Lightning Talks #1 

Bldg 550, studio 3

4:00pm – 4:50 pm 

Perspective from the Faculty Search Committee Panel

(Ken Goodson, Scott Delp, Xiaolin Zheng, Ellen Kuhl) 

Bldg 550, studio 3

5:00pm – 5:30 pm

Lightning Talks #2

Bldg 550, studio 3


Shuttle to hotel, meet at lobby at 6 pm to walk to dinner



Dinner with faculty at Joya ( 339 University Ave, Palo Alto) 




Friday, October 18


8:30am – 9:00am


Bldg 520, lobby

9:00am – 9:50am

Life as a Professor Panel (Sindy Tang, Dave Camarillo [tentative], Sean Follmer, Sheri Sheppard)

Bldg 520-131

10:00am - 10:50am 

The Job Application Process  (Wendy Gu)

Bldg 520-131

11:00am - 11:50am 

Pathway through academia (Allison Okamura)

Bldg 520-131

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch with faculty and closing remarks

Faculty club

1:30pm-2:30 pm

Lab tours





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