Graduate Women in Engineering Network (GWEN)

GWEN Symposium: Sharing your Voice, Making An Impact

Calling all graduate women in engineering! Grow your confidence. Present your amazing work. Cultivate your networks. 

The Graduate Women in Engineering Network (GWEN) will host the first annual GWEN Symposium on Monday, February 7th, 2022 at Purdue University.

Sharing Your Voice, Making An Impact
A Graduate Women in Engineering Network Symposium

The GWEN Symposium is an opportunity for women graduate students to build community, share the impact of their work in new and engaging ways, and learn from inspiring alumnae.

Call for Abstracts

The Women in Engineering Program proudly presents the first annual conference for graduate women in the College of Engineering

Sharing Your Voice, Making An Impact
A Graduate Women in Engineering Network Symposium

Call for Posters, Conference Presentations, and Special Format Presentations

The Graduate Women in Engineering Network Symposium will be held Monday, February 7, 2022. It is an opportunity for graduate students to build community, share the impact of their work in new and engaging ways, and learn from inspiring alumnae. The symposium accepts proposals on topics associated with your research. We encourage all presenters to use active engagement strategies when presenting their work at the symposium. Please start thinking about how you will engage your audience.

Incentive for Presenters: Those who are registered for and present at the GWEN Symposium will be eligible for the WIEP Travel Grant drawing. Ten (10) WIEP Travel Grants of $1,000 each will be randomly awarded. WIEP Travel Grant funds can only be used for professional conference travel within the 2022 calendar year at which the awardee presents their novel research. Names will be drawn at the end-of-day Networking Reception. Must be a current CoE graduate student and present to win.

Key Points:

  • The symposium has 5 presentation types (options outlined below). Indicate your top 2 preferences for presentation type when you are submitting and include 3-5 keywords following the abstract to aid the review process.
  • Submit an abstract of 250-500 words that includes a brief introduction, a statement about the focus of the presentation, the research you have conducted, findings, and implications. Please keep in mind that your abstract will likely be reviewed by someone outside your field; thus, write for someone who may not be familiar with your research area.
  • Presentation types:
    • Presentation types:
      • Poster session
        • 2-minute overviews from each presenter to pitch poster to the audience followed by a 1-hour networking reception for guest to view posters and talk to presenters
        • Goal: Practice and receive feedback on a presentation for a traditional academic conference or present a new type of poster (e.g., one large picture and no text)
      • Traditional conference talk
        • Speaker timing: 10 min presentation + 2 min Q&A
        • Goal: Practice and receive feedback on a presentation for a traditional academic conference
      • Roundtable/World Café – focused use of dialogue to foster collective insight around real-life challenges and strategic questions (Cafe to Go)
        • Each presenter gives a 3 min opening talk with 3 auto-advancing slides to share conversation topics
        • Participants will then group into discussion tables for 10 min discussions, rotating 3 times
        • Goal: Build collective knowledge through conversation; opportunity to discuss research implications, broader impact, and questions that matter
      • Pecha Kucha – 400 seconds to tell your story with visuals guiding the way. Pecha Kucha means chit-chat in Japanese (
        • Speaker timing: 20 images, 20 seconds each, auto-advancing slides (6.5 min presentation + 3 min Q&A)
        • Goal: Creative use of images and storytelling to show your research and its impact; opportunity to think creatively about your work and how you convey its impact
      • Popular Press – Convey your research to a lay audience; creative use of presentation format encouraged (e.g.,
        • Speaker timing: 6 min presentation + 4 min Q&A
        • Goal: Practice presenting and describing your research to a lay audience; opportunity to explore different creative formats

The deadline for submitting abstracts is November 9, 2021

Submit abstract here:

Questions or concerns about submitting to this call, please contact the GWEN Leadership team:



To provide a supportive environment for the purpose of sharing information and strategies to enable women engineering graduate students to achieve success personally, academically, and professionally. 

Program Objectives
  • Community: To establish an inclusive network that affirms, inspires, and supports women and gender minorities throughout the engineering graduate career. 
  • Strategies: To provide opportunities to develop skills and introduce strategies for professional and personal development.
  • Advancement: To provide an enriching experience that encourages individual growth, and furthers the community of women engineers. 
WIEP Travel Grant Awards for Graduate Students

Those selected to present at the GWEN Symposium will have the chance at 1 in 10 WIEP $1,000 Travel Grants. To participate, see the Call for Abstracts above.

Hard copies of the application are not accepted.

Prior WIEP Travel Grant Award Winners

Congrats to Kristin Byers (Ph.D. BME), Caralyn Coultas Mckenney (Ph.D. CHE), Yalluth Alexandra Loaiza Lopera (Ph.D. MSE), and Tongtong Shen (Ph.D. MSE) on receiving travel grants from the Women in Engineering Program! We wish you all well as you present your research at these technical conferences! 

Kristin Byers (Ph.D. BME) will travel this October to Basel, Switzerland to present her research on Versatile Printed Microheaters to Enable Low-Power Thermal Control in Paper Diagnostics at MicroTotal Analytical Systems (MicroTAS). MicroTAS is the premier international conference for her fields and we congratulate Kristin for being chosen to give an oral presentation (only the top 10% of over 1100 submitted abstracts were selected)! She is looking forward to sharing her results and hard work with other researchers and producing future collaborations for her lab to continue this work.

Caralyn Coultas Mckenney (Ph.D. CHE) will present at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2019 Annual Meeting this November in Orlando, Florida. Her presentation will be on Bringing Particle Scale Properties into Descriptions of Energetic Powder Behavior via the Enhanced Centrifuge Technique and will be a part of the session of Advances in Processing and Handling of Energetic Materials. She'll have the opportunity to discuss with other powder research groups and companies which will help her better identify the strengths and weaknesses of her current work. 

Yalluth Alexandry Loaiza Lopera (Ph.D. MSE) recently attended the MS&T 19 Materials, Science and Technology Conference in Portland, Oregon. She presented her work on Structure-Mechanical Properties in Solid Solution Strengthened Nanoporous Copper Alloys. This opportunity helped her gain experience on presenting her work to an academic audience, receive feedback from scientists in the same field and grow her network. 

Tongtong Shen (Ph.D. MSE) plans to present her work on Non-crystallographic Branching in Polymer Crystallization: A Molecular Picture of the Onset of Spherulite Formation next February at the TMS 2020 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in San Diego, California. By presenting her work at this conference, she will have the opportunity to receive critique from internationally recognized scholars. She's also looking forward to attending tutorial and workshop sessions presented by experts in her field to augment her current studies here at Purdue.  

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