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NETL Celebrates International Women in Engineering Day with a Salute to Its Women Engineers

International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated across the globe June 23 to raise awareness about the women pursuing engineering and transforming the world with their achievements. NETL is proud to recognize its women engineers who work to address the nation’s critical energy needs.

A few of the many women engineers at work in NETL labs, their specialties, and their views on the work they do include:

Djuna GulliverDjuna Gulliver, Ph.D. — NETL Research Scientist

  • Bachelor’s in chemical engineering, master’s and Ph.D. in environmental engineering.

  • “I currently work on geomicrobiology of energy systems, such as storage systems and resource recovery systems. I enjoy researching the natural environments, especially the microbiology that inhabits these uncharacterized systems. Combining this science with engineering allowed me to use this knowledge with an applied aspect that could result in real-world solutions.”

Rin BurkePatcharin (Rin) Burke, Ph.D. — NETL Technical Project Coordinator (TPC) and Federal Project Manager, Technical Development and Integration Center’s Hydrogen and Carbon Management (HCM) Team.

  • Bachelor’s in chemical engineering, master’s in metallurgical engineering, and Ph.D. in materials science.

  • “My projects at HCM focus on the technical challenges of developing low-cost solid oxide fuel cell systems for stationary coal-based power applications and advanced materials development for advanced turbines systems and components. As a TPC, I am also working to develop relationships and foster synergies between NETL and various participants of the extramural projects that I currently manage. I chose to study engineering to have better career choices so my parents could be proud of me. Also, during that time in Thailand, where I’m originally from, engineering was heavily male dominated. So, when my eldest sister was accepted into a chemical engineering program, I was so proud of her and decided to follow in her footsteps by selecting chemical engineering for my bachelor’s degree. One of my nieces has also recently followed in my footsteps and decided to select materials science and engineering for her bachelor’s degree.”

Nancy YaoQingnan (Nancy) Yao — Technical Project Officer

  • Mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering.

  • “Being a technical project officer, my job is to select the best projects initiated from various DOE OE offices’ initiatives from the technical perspective and oversee the project’s execution to ensure it is being conducted as planned to deliver technology that benefits U.S. grid modernization and to meet the net zero emissions by 2050 goal. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated about the problem-solving skills my dad has, and he is an engineer. The great work that engineers do make the world we are living in a better place.”

Heather DoughertyHeather Dougherty, Ph.D. — Federal Project Manager

  • Mining engineering

  • I am a federal project manager, managing projects from the Minerals Sustainability team in areas like rare earth elements, critical minerals and carbon ore processing research. Engineering has always been a great career for me because I enjoy solving all sorts of different problems, and I’m always learning something new.”

Zineb BelarbiZineb Belarbi, Ph.D. — Corrosion and Materials Scientist, LRST contractor

  • Belarbi received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Sorbonne University (ex. Pierre and Marie Curie University-Paris IV) France in 2013. She built a solid background in electrochemistry to further explore the inhibition of calcium carbonate deposition on metal surfaces. Before joining NETL, Belarbi was a project leader at the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology at Ohio University where her research focused on using corrosion inhibitors to mitigate internal corrosion in oil and gas pipelines. Belarbi also worked at the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment, Ohio University where she investigated the electrochemical removal of nutrients from animal wastewater.

  • “My research at NETL focuses on evaluation of corrosion performance of steel alloys and mitigation of internal corrosion in natural gas pipelines. In addition, I support other projects such as the National Energy Water Treatment and Speciation (NEWTS) Database and geologic carbon storage. My professor at college inspired me to pursue a career of engineering. I am a very curious and experimental person, and I love that the combination of engineering and chemistry offers us the ability to design and create new materials that can improve and advance the economy.”

Madison WenzlickMadison Wenzlick — Research Mechanical Engineer (Battelle/LRST supporting NETL)

  •  Wenzlick is experienced in mechanical engineering and engineering physics.

  • My work includes data curation, modeling and analysis for materials property prediction and design, energy water management, and infrastructure assessment. Being an engineer in a research institution is an exciting blend of addressing real-world problems and using creativity to come up with new ideas, which are both reasons why I wanted to become an engineer.”

Sydney HughesSydney Hughes — Senior Chemical Engineer, Process and Cost Engineering Team

  • Bachelor’s in chemical engineering, master’s in engineering and technology management, MBA

  • “I’m part of a team of mixed discipline engineers focused on providing cost and performance estimates of energy production systems, where my work is largely focused on carbon capture and conversion technologies. My mother suggested I become a chemical engineer based on my love of math and chemistry; mothers know best!”

Ping wangPing Wang — Principal investigator on numerous projects on waste gasification and adsorption, removing contaminants in water.

  • Wang is experienced in mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering.

  • Wang conducts research on advanced thermochemical processes of converting carbonaceous materials to energy, in the form of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. “Work that helps implement solutions to everyday problems such as clean water and electricity inspired me to pursue a career in engineering.”