10th Annual Young Women’s Engineering Symposium

YWES hosts, keynote speaker and panelists

Cerisa ’26 and Teagan ’26

On December 2, Katelyn Lee ’24 and Olivia Monroy ’24 from our robotics team 1967 hosted the 10th annual Young Women’s Engineering Symposium (YWES), where 57 students from 13 different high schools came to learn more about opportunities within the STEM field from four inspiring female engineers. This year’s YWES marked a decade of connecting established figures in STEM with high school students. The four speakers were:

  • Sahar Jahanikia, a neuroscience researcher, founder and director of Jahanikia NeuroLab. Before becoming the founder and CEO of CognoTrain, a platform for cognitive care, she co-founded Alzo Health and was the Chair of Biological, Human, and Life Sciences at ASDRP.
  • Lori Kahn, a manager of Systems Engineering and Integration at Lockheed Martin Space and has 27 years of experience with various technical programs. She is also actively involved in mentoring FIRST Robotics Team 2813 and participating in the Society of Women Engineers. 
  • Kerri Neschleba, the Senior Director of Product Quality and Reliability at Ampere Computing and has more than 25 years of experience working at Intel Corporation. 
  • Amber Shao, the founder of ArduoSys, a company that helps to develop software aimed to streamline the management of data used in sample processing. 

To celebrate a decade of YWES, the keynote speaker was the organizer of the first YWES, Regina Walker ’15, a mechanical engineer at Product Insight and Team 1967 Jankster member (2013-2015). Regina ’15 spoke of creating meaningful communities and connections with other women in STEM fields. She discussed her experience as an engineer in a male-dominated field and emphasized the importance of building a community that you can rely on. 

At the event, each speaker discussed various aspects of their career in STEM, ranging from advice on education to how to navigate challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. Each presenter offered unique insight about their career as a female engineer. Presenters also shared some of their personal mottos that have helped them in their careers. Nahily ’27 reflected on one of these messages, observing, “You don’t learn to be confident, just be confident.” Despite minor changes in the last decade, YWES is still here to serve its original purpose and help inspire young women to pursue STEM. 


Lori Kahn talking about Lockhead Martin

Panelists Sahar Jahanikia, Kerri Neschleba & Lori Kahn