[Illinois] weSTEM 2013: Discussion Panel

By Marie-Christine Brunet, Amy Chervenak, Ann Peedikayil, Cassandra Rutherford

Published on


weSTEM (Women Empowered in STEM) will provide a forum through which current and future STEM leaders can motivate and inspire each other to excel at the frontier of scientific advancement and develop solutions for the next generation of technical challenges.


Panel Speakers

Marie-Christine Brunet, PhD

Dr. Marie-Christine Brunet obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Paris IX, France. She obtained both her M.S. in Computer Science and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Paris VI, France. She has worked in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) since 1994 as a lecturer, professor, and chief advisor, and currently serves as the Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. Brunet served as the Faculty Advisor of Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering (WECE) until 2012. She has received many accolades as both an academic advisor and advocate for women in science including the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence and the Women in Engineering Advocate Award. In her free time, Dr. Brunet sings in the Parkland Chorus as a Soprano 2. She also enjoys walking her dog each morning, cooking, knitting, learning languages (she knows French and Greek), reading, and dancing.

Amy Chervenak, MS

Amy received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UIUC and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. She has work experience as a Geothermal Heat Pump Project Manager and Design Engineer, Climate Control Equipment Central Sales and Marketing, Dremel Power Tools Development Engineer, and Diesel Systems Application Engineer for Emissions Systems. From 2011 to 2013, Amy worked in the Bosch Junior Managers Program. Through this program she had the opportunity to work for 6 months in Germany, experiencing a different working culture, developing an international network, and expanding her skill set. Since February 2013 she has served as an Automotive Electronics Mechanical Design Engineer at Bosch. She enjoys traveling (which is partially career-induced), hiking, and getting kids excited about math and science.

Ann Peedikayil, MS

Ann Peedikayil has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from UIUC and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla. She started working for Caterpillar as a student practicum in January of 2004 while attending UIUC and was hired as a full time engineer in the Engineering Rotation Program at Caterpillar in August 2006. During the rotation program, Ann worked as a structural analyst, a product support engineer, a design engineer and a test engineer for various product groups at Caterpillar. After finishing her rotations, she worked for Caterpillar Global Mining as a structural analyst. In June 2012, she transferred to the Caterpillar Champaign Simulation Center where she worked for the Advanced Virtual Product Development group as a machine level simulation and structural performance analyst. In her current position, she mentors new engineers and student practicums. She serves as a mentor for the Champaign-Urbana FIRST Robotics FTC team and the counselor for SWE at UIUC. Her interests include traveling, hiking, and cooking.

Cassandra Rutherford, PhD

Dr. Rutherford earned her Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Civil Engineering, all with a focus in Geotechnical Engineering, from Texas A&M University. Since 2012, she has served as an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include offshore geotechnical engineering and geohazards, offshore prototype development, dynamic and static soil response, marine soil characterization and testing, and in situ and laboratory testing. Her professional experience includes TDI-Brooks International where she worked as a Geotechnical Engineering Consultant/Geotechnical Lab Manager (2006-2012) and Geoscience Earth & Marine Services, Inc. (GEMS) where she worked as a Geotechnical Engineering Consultant in summer 2007. In her spare time, she enjoys skydiving, rock climbing, and scuba diving.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Marie-Christine Brunet, Amy Chervenak, Ann Peedikayil, Cassandra Rutherford (2013), "[Illinois] weSTEM 2013: Discussion Panel," http://nanohub.org/resources/18606.

    BibTex | EndNote



Siebel Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL


NanoBio Node, Obaid Sarvana

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign