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Director of Events: Simay Akar

Simay Akar

Sımay Akar is an active IEEE volunteer since 2007 and has been serving several volunteer membership and leadership positions. She is graduated from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey

Simay is currently working in the solar industry in Suzhou, China- as Overseas Marketing Manager of Suzhou Talesun Solar Technologies Co., Ltd. is a photovoltaic manufacturer with an annual capacity of 3 GW cells and 5 GW modules in China and Thailand. She is responsible for Americas, MEA, Australia and Japan regional marketing activities. She was in charge of business development, strategic marketing and sales activities of CSUN Eurasia’s- a Chinese PV modules and solar cells manufacturer- solar cells which made in its factory in Istanbul, Turkey between 2013-2015 and covering international sales activities among many countries as Business Development and Sales Manager. She has been honored with CSUN Outstanding Staff Award in December 2014.

She has served several volunteer activities in different organizational units including Student Branch (METU), Sections (Turkey and Nanjing-China), Regions (8 and 10), Societies (PES, SSIT) IEEE Day, IEEE SIGHT and Humanitarian Activities, IEEE TAB (WUG), IEEE MGA (WIE and Young Professionals) and many others.

Region 1: Laila Beavogui

Laila Beavogui-Koma is a Performance Excellence Practitioner for National Grid USA. In her current role, she engages business streams to drive improvements in efficiency and productivity allowing for cost savings. Prior to this role, she held various roles as distribution, sub-transmission and a substation Engineer. Laila received her BS in Electrical Engineering from SUNY Binghamton and her MS in Power System Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

During her undergraduate experience, she was part of a team that established SUNY Binghamton Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter. She also served as a mentor for 10 year old girls in the Syracuse Public School District and a diversity chair for the Boston Science Club. She is the chair of PES WiP Boston. Her area of interests include: Reliable and Sustainable Energy, and empowering young girls


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Region 4: Ana Manzanares

anaAna Manzanares is an engineer at ComEd and works in the Smart Grid and Technology Department. ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation and one of the nation’s largest electric utilities in the nation. Ana’s ongoing work focuses on emerging technologies, including: Microgrids, energy storage, voltage and current stability and smart city applications which leverage ComEd’s mesh network. Through her work she is actively involved in shaping the future of ComEd through many of these cutting edge projects.

Prior to her role with the Smart Grid group, Ana was an Engineer in ComEd’s New Business group where she managed grid interconnection projects to connect new residential and commercial customers. Ana graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2007, and obtained a Master’s in Business Administration from Indiana University in 2009.

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Region 6: Dr. Sandra Ellis

Sandra EllisDr. Ellis has been an active member of IEEE for 25 years as a professional and student participant. She is a Senior Member of IEEE and is a past chair of the IEEE Power & Energy Society Awards and Recognition Committee and IEEE San Francisco Section in Region 6. Currently, she is the Region 6 Representative for PES Women in Power.

Dr. Ellis is a Principal for Electric Technology Deployment at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company in San Francisco. Prior to joining PG&E in 2004, she worked for General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York. She has extensive electric power industry experience in power system analysis, infrastructure protection, strategic planning, controls, processes, and operations. Most recently, she is engaged with implementing and realizing benefits from technology projects into operational budgets.

Dr. Ellis received her BS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.S. in the Electric Utility Management Program from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.

Region 7: Salma Farzim

Salma FarzimSalma Farzim is an Electrical Engineer working for SNC-Lavalin Transportation Division in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has work experience in transportation as well as in the oil and gas industry.

Salma completed her Bachelors of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2012. She decided to pursue this degree as a compliment to her first Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 2006, which she also obtained from UBC.

During her undergrad years, she was involved with many student club activates among which were the IEEE Student Branch at UBC, Women in Engineering Club, and Astronomy and Sailing Club. She has been actively involved with IEEE since 2008, initially through the IEEE Student Branch at UBC. More recently, she serves as Vice Chair of the IEEE Vancouver Young Professionals Affinity Group (formerly known as IEEE GOLD – Vancouver Section).

Region 8: Dr. Catalina Spataru

Catalina SpataruDr Catalina Spataru specializes in whole energy systems modeling and reliability of coupling energy networks and markets, with particular interest in the applications of dynamic models to energy resource nexus. She is teaching Smart Energy Systems and Energy Systems Modelling to MSc students at UCL, supervising MSc, MRes and PhD students, helping them to build their own careers in energy research. She is also the Course Director for the MRes in Energy Demand Studies and is leading the UCL research group EnergySpaceandTime.

She has served as chair for international conferences, have been invited to speak at various worldwide events and made several contribution to international reports. Also she leads several projects funded by and in tight cooperation with industry. In addition to her work, since 2003 she is also a self-taught artist, working in oil, acrylic, watercolour and pencil and produces her own collection.

Region 9: Dr. Guadalupe Gonzalez

Guadalupe G. Gonazalez

Guadalupe G. Gonzalez (GSM’06, M’11, SM’13) was born in Panama City, Panama. She holds a BSc. in Electromechanical Engineering from the Technological University of Panama (UTP). On 2011 she received her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, USA.

Since 2011, she is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at UTP and is Co-Director of the Advance Energy Technologies and Sustainability Program. Dr. Gonzalez is member of the Panamanian Association for the Advancement of Science (APANAC), Sigma Xi The Research Society and IEEE Societies such as PES, IAS, PELS, Magnetics and Education. In 2014 she was member of the Board of Directors of the Panamanian WIE Affinity Group and currently she is the Chair of PES Panama Chapter.

Her areas of interest include: energy planning, sustainable engineering, electromagnetic theory, design and control of electric machines and drives, renewable energy systems and power electronics.

Region 10: Celia Shahnaz

Celia Shahnaz received Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada, in 2009. Currently she is serving as a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, BUET, from where she received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

Dr. Celia is a senior member of IEEE, a fellow of IEB and has published more than 80 international journal and conference papers. She has been appointed as 2017 Communications Chair, IEEE SIGHT steering committee, 2017 Co-Chair, IEEE WIE Workshops Subcommittee and IEEE PES Women in Power (WiP) Region 10 Regional Representative. She served as the IEEE R10 WIE Coordinator 2016, the first Bangladeshi to occupy such a high position in R10. She is now serving as the Vice-Chair (activity) of IEEE Bangladesh Section, where she had served as Chair, Membership Development (2012-13). She is the Founding Chair of WIE Affinity Group, IEEE Bangladesh Section and contributed to the amazing growth of the group as the Chair till 2015 for which she is currently acting as an advisor and Chair, Nominations and Appointments. She is also the coordinator of FLASH, a special interest group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) in IEEE Bangladesh Section. She started contributing to IEEE Region 10 (Asia-Pacific) as Region 10 Women in Engineering (WIE) webmaster in 2014. She has served as a member of IEEE Region 10 WIE subcommittee and also as a representative of IEEE Region 10 WIE volunteer committee in 2015. She was a member of the organizing team in All IEEE Young Engineers Humanitarian (AIYEHUM) Challenge 2015 organized by the IEEE Region 10. In 2016, she has served as committee member of Special event subcommittee and that of Women in Leadership Collabratec Community of IEEE global /MGA WIE.  She is serving as committee members of different IEEE and international conferences and workshops. She is the reviewer of different IEEE and international journals and conferences. She has served as the Co-chair in IEEE WIE Global Summit 2016 at Bangalore as well as the program Chair. She has also served as the program Chair of WIE track in IEEE R10 students/Young Professionals/Women in Engineering/Life Member congress 2016 at Bangalore. She was the Technical Program Chair of IEEE WIECON-ECE 2015, the General Chair of IEEE WIECON-ECE 2016,  IEEE WIECON-ECE 2017, and IEEE R10 HTC 2017.


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