A one-day engineering conference designed for everyone.


Have questions or suggestions for the speakers? Submit them here!

Join us for our 2nd Biennial WomEngineers Day Conference in Knoxville, TN!

What is WomEngineers Day?

  • Go beyond the classroom by hearing about professional and personal topics related to career and life choices.
  • Listen from a diverse group of speakers from different career positions, educational backgrounds, and career paths.
  • Network with other students, leaders in industry, and professors from all over the United States.

Who is WomEngineers Day for?

  • Any high school student, community college student, or university student looking to expand their understanding of a career.
  • While the conference is called WomEngineers Day, we welcome and encourage men to attend! The topics that will be covered affect all engineers, no matter your gender.


April 22, 2017 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

8:00 - 8:30 AM

Attendee check-in (required)

9:00 - 9:15 AM

Welcome Address

9:15 - 10:15 AM


10:30 - 11:20 AM

Breakout Session 1

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Getting Hired
  • Meet with Advisors

11:30 - 12:20 PM

Breakout Session 2

  • Executive Leadership
  • Confidence in the Workplace
  • Starting out at Community College

12:20 - 1:00 PM


1:00 - 1:50 PM

Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

1:50 - 2:40 PM

Can I Have a Career AND Family?

3:00 - 3:50 PM

Breakout Session 3

  • Graduate School
  • Millennials working with GenX and Boomers
  • What can you do with Engineering?

4:00 - 4:50 PM

Breakout Session 4

  • Academic Career Path
  • Managing Personal Image and Exposure
  • Networking with Student Organizations and Ambassadors

5:00 - 5:30 PM

Closing Address


Please stay tuned as we continue announcing speakers! Our speakers and moderators so far include:

Jacinda Woodward

Jacinda Woodward

Senior Vice President of Resources & River Management, Tennessee Valley Authority

Jacinda joined TVA in 1984 and has worked in various business units throughout her career. Jacinda is currently Senior Vice President of Resources & River Management, which is responsible for personnel and public safety, evironmental operations and compliance, TVA building facilities maintenance, and management of the 5th largest river system in the country and stweardship of the 293,000 acres of public lands for which TVA is responsible. Prior to her current assignment, Jacinda has also served as Senior Vice President of Transmission & Power Supply, as well as, the Vice President of Transmission Reliability & Operations, and the Vice President of Power Control Systems within TVA. Jacinda earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University in 1988 and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee. She is married and has two daughters, ages 20 and 13.

Peter Hoffman

Peter Hoffman

Vice President of Intellectual Property Management, The Boeing Company

Peter Hoffman is vice president of Intellectual Property Management for The Boeing Company, the world's largest aerospace company. Hoffman is responsible for strategies that protect and generate the highest possible value from this significant corporate asset. Hoffman specifically manages the company's patent portfolio; protection of trade secrets; and licensing of tech nical data, images, consumer products, trademarks and patents. In addition to managing Boeing intellectual property, Hoffman also serves as executive sponsor of the Diversity & Inclusion Council for Engineering, Operations & Technology. Hoffman earned a bachelor's of science degree in mechanical engineering technology and a master's of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee, a master's of manufacturing engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a master's of international business from St. Louis University. Hoffman is a board member of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center Group at the University of Sheffield in the UK, an Advisory Board member at the University of Tennessee College of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Eric Zeanah

Eric Zeanah

President, American Accessories International, LLC. - UTKCOE Board Chair

After a three month internship, Mr. Zeanah chose to join American Accessories International, a world-wide product development and manufacturing execution company. Mr. Zeanah has since developed a thirty-two year career expanding into all aspects of business management including; Program Design, Manufacturing Controls, Marketing Procurement, as well as, Administration and Finance. After assuming ownership of American Accessories International in 1995, Mr. Zeanah has led his company into core supply roles for many corporate entities such as Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Kodak and Altria. Mr. Zeanah received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1984.

Katherine Prewitt

Katherine Prewitt

Vice President, Southern Company Transmission

As vice president of Southern Company Services Transmission, Katherine oversees transmission design and maintenance support (D&MS) and transmission planning in support of Southern Company’s operating companies and the southeastern bulk electric system. Prior to joining Southern Company, Katherine held positions at Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Entergy. She has served in various leadership roles in multiple civic and utility industry organizations. Katherine holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas.

Janet S. Hayes

Janet S. Hayes

Attorney, Lewis Thomason

Janet Hayes, a shareholder in the Knoxville Lewis Thomason office, is an advocate for employers and businesses across the state. Ms. Hayes has successfully defended employment claims including sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, discrimination, workers' compensation, invasion of privacy and denial of benefits. With her practice, she also develops successful human resource strategies as well as litigation-avoidance tactics for clients, and she assists employers by conducting and preparing comprehensive reports for internal investigations of employee complaints. In addition to her employment law practice, Ms. Hayes is actively involved in complex litigation, including class action and collective action defense. She has written multiple appellate briefs in a variety of topics and has argued before the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Untied States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Ms. Hayes received her B.A. from Carson-Newman College and her J.D. from the University of Tennessee.

Cavanaugh Mims

Cavanaugh Mims

President, Visionary Solutions & VS Group

Over the past 30 years, Cavanaugh Mims has established himself as a leader in business and program management. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in nuclear engineering, he began his career as a station nuclear engineer for the Tennessee Valley Authority and advanced to senior program/project manager for the Department of Energy providing expertise in the environmental remediation and waste management field before creating Visionary Solutions, LLC (VS) – www.vs-llc.com. In 2000, Mr. Mims founded VS to provide transportation and logistics services for Governmental and commercial nuclear clients both nationally and internationally. Today, VS has grown into VS Group, a family of five companies that provide high quality solutions to a variety of complex technical challenges including transportation and logistics, nuclear material disposition, additive manufacturing, and material recycling. Mr. Mims is an avid supporter of higher education and currently serves on the following at the University of Tennessee: Alumni Board of Directors; College of Engineering Advisory Board, Under Graduate Admissions Advisory Board; and he is also a Chancellor’s Associate. Mr. Mims and his wife Telicia have 2 children.

Misty Mayes

Misty Mayes

President and Founder, Management Solutions, LLC

Misty Mayes, PMP, is the president and founder of Management Solutions, LLC (MSLLC), an award-winning, comprehensive project management services company based in Knoxville, Tenn. Mayes started MSLLC in 2002 and has established MSLLC’s reputation as a provider of “best value services” in the areas of project controls/project management, forensic schedule analysis and project management training. Mayes has more than 26 years of executive leadership experience and has managed programs/projects to provide project management and controls services to a variety of clients. She has worked extensively with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) providing project management/control services, including EVMS certification, project controls, cost estimating, and risk management services. MSLLC clients and projects have included the DOE, Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), UT-Battelle, Y-12 National Security Complex, ALCOA, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and TeamHealth among others. Mayes supports the greater Knoxville community throughout the year and serves on several boards, including the University of Tennessee College of Engineering Board of Advisors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1988.

Bennett Croswell

Bennett Croswell

President, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines

Bennett Croswell is president of Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines business, where he oversees development, production and support of the company’s military offerings including the 5th generation F119 and F135 engines for the F-22 and F-35 fighters, the F100 for the F-15/F-16, the F117 for the C-17, the PW4062 for the KC-46A, as well as the Small Military Engine and Advanced Engine Program sectors. Bennett joined Pratt & Whitney in 1979 and has been part of three Collier Trophy Award winning teams since. Previous leadership roles include director, F119 program; vice president, F119 program; vice president, Military Development Programs; and vice president Advanced Programs & Technology. Bennett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He also graduated from the Defense Systems Management College in Fort Belvoir, Va.Bennett has authored several papers published by technical societies. He is also a member of the University Of Tennessee College Of Engineering Advisory Board, the Air Force Association, the Association of the United States Army, the Army Aviation Association of America and the Navy League.

Pat Ball

Pat Ball

Senior Vice President, Strategic Resources Group

As senior vice president of the strategic resources group, Patricia “Pat” Ball leads TeamHealth’s strategic marketing and operations interface, select provider recruitment initiatives, communications support for internal departments that are related to hospital clients or industry relations and external communication efforts. With more than 30 years of senior healthcare executive experience, Pat offers expertise in marketing, communications, business development and strategic planning.

Jeff Eker

Jeff Eker

CEO and Founder, CultureCloud

Jeff absolutely loves travel. He has traveled around the world in eight days, visited fifteen countries outside of the US, and looks forward to visiting many more! Jeff is heavily involved with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), representing Young Professionals in the mid-Atlantic region of the US on the local and international level. Meeting people from around the world is always Jeff’s favorite part of travel, and who he is today has been shaped in a huge way by the opportunities he’s had to embrace local cultures. In addition to his work as a technology consultant, Jeff is the CEO and founder of CultureCloud – initially founded for travelers, the CultureCloud platform allows any organization for form a social enviornement for their members. Jeff and his team launched CultureCloud last year at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Learn more at: Tediferous.com

Dianne Ezell

Dianne Ezell

R&D Staff member, Electro-Mechanical Systems Group, Electrical and Electronics Systems Researrch Division, ORNL

N. Dianne Bull Ezell is a R&D Staff member in the Electro-Mechanical Systems Group, within the Electrical and Electronics Systems Research Division at ORNL. She recently completed a Ph.D. focusing on signal processing of EMI rejection for Johnson Noise Thermometry measurements in 2016, from the University of Tennessee. Her research interests are system architecture and integration as well as low-power mixed-signal electronic design for nuclear instrumentation. A few of her on-going projects at ORNL are systems engineer for A Large Ion Collider (ALICE) at CERN, non-destructive evaluation (NDE) with the University of Tennessee, controls for ITER sub systems, and system engineer of nuclear instruments design for advanced reactors. She received a BS in Electrical Engineering in 2007 and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee with research focused on Integrated Circuit design for hybrid electric vehicles, medical sensors, and lithography.

Ashley Barnes

Ashley Barnes

Transmission Line Design Engineer, Southern Company

Ashley Barnes is a Transmission Line Design Engineer at Southern Company. She is responsible for providing engineering support to both transmission construction and transmission maintenance centers by producing line design packages to construct new or modify existing transmission lines. Construction has always been a passion of hers. Before moving into her current position, she spent time as a Transmission Construction Engineer at Alabama Power Company, and gained experience as a project estimator, field engineer, and project manager as a co-op student working at Robins & Morton.

Claudia Rawn

Claudia Rawn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Material Science and Engineering Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Claudia Rawn is an Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also the Director of the Center for Materials Processing. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee full time she was a Senior Research Staff Member in the Diffraction and Thermophysical Properties Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a Joint Faculty Member in the University of Tennessee’s Materials Science and Engineering Department. Her research interests include investigations of crystal structures, phase transitions, and thermophysical properties of materials using in-situ x-ray and neutron diffraction.

Beth Conerty

Beth Conerty

Program Manager for Entrepreneurship, ORNL

Beth Conerty is a recent graduate from UTK’s Bredesen Center. She is currently the Program Manager for Entrepreneurship in ORNL’s office of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development. In her role, she works to expand the entrepreneurial component within the Bredesen Center and helps run the new Innovation Crossroads program at ORNL. Additionally, she is Vice President of Business Development for the technology startup company Nano Elements Source, LLC. Nano Elements is working with an ORNL licensed technology to produce semi-conducting nanoparticles through a biological fermentation process.

Christopher Carlson

Christopher Carlson

Director of Talent Acquisitions, TVA

Based in Chattanooga, Christopher is the Director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He leads a team of professionals focused on delivering best-in-class recruitment and diversity solutions. Prior to TVA, he was Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition for Booz Allen Hamilton where for over ten years he oversaw a variety of talent acquisition programs including university, diversity, military, employee referral programs. Based in Chattanooga, Christopher is the Director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He leads a team of professionals focused on delivering best-in-class recruitment and diversity solutions. Prior to TVA, he was Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition for Booz Allen Hamilton where for over ten years he oversaw a variety of talent acquisition programs including university, diversity, military, employee referral programs.

Erica Greene-Smith

Erica Greene Smith

Human Resource Manager, Management Solutions, LLC

Erica Greene Smith joined Management Solutions, LLC in 2009 and is the Human Resources Manager. She has over 13 years of experience in business and human resources roles. She has been instrumental in helping Management Solutions, LLC build a team of highly qualified professionals. Her experience includes developing HR processes and policies, compliance, employee relations, performance management, recruiting, employee engagement, benefits, compensation and training.

Kelsa Benensky

Kelsa Benensky

Ph.D. Candidate

Kelsa Benensky is a third year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at UTK. Kelsa is a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow and her current research focuses on the testing and characterization of advanced fuel forms for space nuclear thermal propulsion which is done in collaboration with NASA, ORNL, and private industry partners.

Aaron Walker

Mr. Aaron Anderson-Walker

Master's Candidate

Mr. Aaron Anderson-Walker has been a student of the University of Tennessee since the fall of 2015, and is currently a Master’s Candidate in the department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering. Aaron earned his Bachelor of Science in Composite Materials Engineering from Winona State University in the spring of 2015, and he is originally from St. Paul, MN. Aaron is in his final semester of graduate school and is currently pursuing employment in various industries.

Anne Turner

Anne Turner

Doctoral Candidate

Anne Turner is a doctoral candidate at the University of Tennessee in civil engineering researching numerical methods for solving geotechnical engineering problems, expecting to graduate in August 2017. Prior to returning to graduate school, she worked for five years as a professional structural engineer at the consulting firm, Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, in Boston, Massachusetts. Anne is pursuing a tenure-track faculty position in engineering after graduation.

Area Information

Holiday Inn World's Fair Park

Holiday Inn World's Fair Park
525 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37902


Registration opens on Febuary 13,2017! Tickets will be limited to 600!

Register Now!

(limit 600)

Registration Details

Waitlist: If all tickets have been reserved, you will be added to a waiting list and notified later if a new spot opens. If for some reason you are unable to register by the registration deadline, register for a "Waitlist-General Admission" ticket. Please note: a waitlist ticket does not garuntee you a conference care package or meal. You will, however, be able to participate in all workshops and discussions.

Registration system: Registration is handled by the EventBrite.com secure registration system. You will be prompted to create an EventBrite account.