Conference For Women Engineers Opens Today At Saint Martin’s University

saint martins university engineering


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University’s new, state-of-the art engineering building in the heart of the Lacey campus will serve as the venue for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 2013 Region J Conference, which kicks off today.

More than 100 professional and collegiate members are expected to attend the conference, as well as a career fair, and these events will continue until Sunday, April 7. “Engineering: One Journey, Many Paths” is the theme of the conference, which, in addition to the Saint Martin’s Society of Women Engineers Collegiate Section, is co-hosted by the SWE’s South Puget Sound Section. Region J, the Northwest Star region, encompasses Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana.

“The SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women,” says Amanie Abdelmessih, Ph.D.,director of master of mechanical engineering, director of the University’s thermal engineering laboratory and the faculty advisor for the Saint Martin’s Collegiate Section. “SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.”

“We are very honored to be hosting the conference and career fair,” Abdelmessih adds. “To me, the timing of the conference is perfect as it enables us to display to a wide audience the leadership, hospitality, team work, reliability and ability of our students. The conference also complements our celebration of the completion of the Fr. Richard Cebula, O.S.B. Hall, our new engineering building.”

The innovative, “green” building, which opened to the University’s engineering students in January, was constructed with an eye toward interactive teaching and learning for students, faculty, practicing engineers and the public. It was designed with the goal of achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification, the highest awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification process is still under review for the three-story building.

The new Cebula Hall has been described by faculty as functioning as one huge laboratory. Pipes, beams, parts of the geothermal heating and cooling system, and other structural elements have been left exposed to allow for more intensive study. A “dashboard” inside the building lets visitors see how efficiently the air-quality and other systems operate. A large, roof-top solar panel system is another prized feature of the structure.

For more information regarding the conference, please visit the Region J Conference website.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

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