Thank you to all of our 2019-2020 presenters and everyone who came out to support our School of Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series! We look forward to seeing you for the next installment in the fall.
Friday, Jan. 24: Kay Nelson / Director, Environmental Affairs, Northwest Indiana Forum
“Oh the places I’ve been and the engineers I’ve met”
In her 43 years of environmental work in Northwest Indiana, Kay Nelson has been a local government, state government and private sector employee. Within each of these positions, her responsibilities included working with multiple stakeholders. Given the diversity of exposure to various professionals associated with environmental and economic development projects, Nelson will be able to share her experiences as it relates to the many options available to today’s engineering students.
Kay Nelson is a 1977 graduate of Purdue University. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the School of Agriculture in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. In the pursuit of her degree, Ms. Nelson focused upon water quality issues.
During the course of her career, Kay’s roles have included:
- Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
- EPA Wastewater Expansion Construction Grant Administrator
- Brownfield Redevelopment Administrator
- Director, Indiana Department of Environmental Management Regional Office
- Indiana representative to US EPA Iron & Steel FACA group
- Great Lakes Compact, Indiana negotiating team member
- Great Lakes Commissioner. Appointed by Governor Pence, reappointed by Governor Holcomb
- VW Trust Fund Settlement Board member. Appointed by Governor Holcomb
Ms. Nelson joined the Northwest Indiana Forum in 1998. Recognizing the integral relationship between economic development and environmental protection, Ms. Nelson’s role with the Northwest Indiana Forum is diverse. She is an active participant during the new and/or expanding business process – working to assist understanding by the community at large of the impact and importance of economic development. Working on environmental issues affecting existing members, Ms. Nelson provides a forum whereby regional position papers are developed. In this process, Ms. Nelson represents the business community in discussions with environmental and community stakeholders to develop understanding and often consensus on issues of regional, state and international importance. The successful passage of Indiana Senate Enrolled Act 45, the adoption of the Great Lakes Compact, as signed by Governor Mitch Daniels on February 20, 2008 reflects this unique collaboration Ms. Nelson works to affect.
In recognition of her Great Lakes Compact work, Ms. Nelson was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governor Mitch Daniels.
Ms. Nelson was awarded the 2014 Influential Woman of Northwest Indiana in Economic Development award. She also is a current member of the Purdue University Northwest School of Engineering Advisory Board.
Friday, Nov. 22: Dr. Nesrin Ozalp / Department Chair, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Purdue Northwest
“An Engineering Dream”
This presentation will recap my thought formation since I was a child and will demonstrate how my engineering dreams came true. I will describe how I envision new designs and come up with creative concepts to solve engineering problems. My passion for understanding the energy sources and my care for our environment have initiated most of my ideas to develop new systems. This gives me the feeling that I am an integral part of the chain of engineers throughout history who have contributed to society by developing systems as simple as the wheel and as complex as a gas turbine. The presentation will reflect these thoughts and will share my vision for an engineering world and women’s role in taking responsibility to launch a new industrial revolution.
Dr. Nesrin Ozalp is a Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Purdue University Northwest. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s Mechanical Engineering Department. Dr. Ozalp specializes in the areas of designing novel solar reactors for emission-free generation of fuels. She is the Lead Principal Investigator of research projects totaling more than $4M, the corresponding author of 100+ peer reviewed journal, book chapter, and conference papers, Co-PI of completed Phase I of Solar Carbon Black commercialization with Fraunhofer. She is an Associate Editor of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, and the recipient of many research and teaching awards including the Outstanding Reviewer Award by the ASME Heat Transfer Division, and the College-Level Distinguished Teaching Award by the Texas A&M Association of Former Students. Dr. Ozalp is an ASME Fellow.
Friday, Oct. 25: Dora Smith / Senior Director of Global Academic Program, Siemens Digital Industries Software
“Dwell in Possibility”
This presentation will share how one company and one employee have transformed through disruptive innovation. Learn how a startup that began more than 170 years ago has transformed and evolved into one of the top 10 software companies in the world. See how Siemens addresses global megatrends through engineering excellence and constant innovation. Meet one female employee working in a male dominated industry. Find out how she dwells in possibility to navigate a career from individual contributor to executive management. Discover what skills are critical in the next generation of engineers for Siemens and its customers.
Dora Smith is the senior director of the global academic program for Siemens Digital Industries Software. Under Dora’s leadership, the global academic program is a strategic initiative for the company. The program empowers the next generation of digital talent through project-based learning, STEM competitions and industrial strength software and curriculum to support more than 1 million students and more than 3,000 institutions worldwide.
Dora serves in academic-industry advisory roles such as director on the American Society for Engineering Education’s Corporate Member Council. Dora is an accredited business communicator with more than 20 years of experience. She has spent her career in the engineering and manufacturing industry with leadership roles across disciplines. Previously, she held executive management positions at CAD Potential (now Tata Technologies), where she developed the company’s first academic and certification programs. Prior to that, she directed the Unigraphics Users Group (now PLM World) an independent, not-for-profit organization supporting the engineering community. She also served as president on the board of directors of IABC St. Louis. Dora earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University.
Friday, Sept. 20: Sabrin Zayed / Operations Specialist, Enbridge
“What I Learned Along The Way…”
“As I take a step back at the last 15 years of my career, I could not have imagined back then that I would be where I am today. It is rare in the Mid-Stream Energy Sector to see a Muslim female in a leadership role, especially as a Construction Supervisor. This presentation is about my journey, what I’ve learned along the way, and how I earned respect in what is still a male dominated industry. I plan to share some tips that have made me successful in hopes that it can help others as well.”
This presentation will recap my thought formation since I was a child and will demonstrate how one my engineering dreams come true. I will describe how I envision new designs and come up with creative concepts to solve engineering problems. My passion for understanding the energy sources and my care for our environment have initiated most of my ideas to develop new systems. This gives me the feeling that I am an integral part of the chain of engineers throughout history who have contributed to society by developing systems as simple as the wheel and as complex as a gas turbine. The presentation will reflect these thoughts and will share my vision for an engineering world and women’s role in taking responsibility to launch a new industrial revolution.
Sabrin Zayed was born in Ramallah, Palestine. She moved to the United States when she was five years old. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University. After graduation, she worked at three different companies primarily in project engineer roles until working for Enbridge, where she has been since 2011. At Enbridge, she has been a Project Engineer, Construction Supervisor, Projects Supervisor and most recently Operations Specialist.
Location and Time
Purdue University Northwest
Hammond Campus, 3-4 p.m.
Cost and Audience
The Distinguished Speakers Series is FREE and open to the public and all PNW students, faculty, and staff. We hope you will join us!
Contact the School of Engineering at (219) 989-3218 or PNW_Engineering@pnw.edu.