2020 Thought Leaders

Mimi Irvin
Materials Management
Mimi is the Chair of the 2020 Global Marathon. Mimi Irvin received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana (U.S.). She was recognized by ENR (Engineering News Record Magazine) as 2017 Top Young Professional (for Texas and Louisiana). Mimi has more than 14 years of experience, including working as an electrical and design engineer, estimator, product director for electrical equipment, and Technical Lead for Business Transformation and Innovation, and international sales coordinator. She combines her engineering background with her passion for fashion and launched “Got STEM Style?" to help young women discover an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers while not comprising their creativity.
Leading engineering construction company.
Ania Lopez
Junior Councilor
Since 2011, Ania Lopez has been a Councilor for the Italian National Council of Engineers, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Council of Engineers of Italy Foundation, on the technical committee of UNI, a Project Manager for the Italian Government, and a Manager of Sustainability & Environment for PMI's Central Italy Chapter. Since 2013, she has worked with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), a non-governmental organization representing the engineering profession worldwide. Ania is part of several technical committees, including Women in Engineering and Energy, and has discussed the UN's Sustainable Development Goals at a number of WFEO World Conferences including Peru 2016, Rome 2017, London 2018, Slovenia 2019, and Lisbon 2019. In 2011, Ania created and coordinated a national project for women in technical-scientific professions, Ingenio al Femminile, Storie di Donne che Lasciano un Segno (Stories of Women Who Leave Their Mark). Ania established and coordinates the Women Engineers Committee for CNI at the national level and participated in the European MOMOWO project with two scientific publications and presentations on women engineers in Oviedo 2017 and Turin 2018. Ania Lopez graduated with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in Italy and Cuba.
Oversees the engineering sector at the national level.
Anne-Marie Walters
Industrial Marketing Director Process and Resources

Anne-Marie Walters is Bentley’s Industry Marketing Director for Process and Resources. Industries include oil & gas, process & discrete manufacturing, power generation, and mining. Anne-Marie is a chartered chemical engineer, founding member of the Process Industries STEP Consortium (PISTEP) Committee, and has served on the boards of CIMsteel and the United Kingdom’s chapter of the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). She is a frequent guest speaker at industry events all over the world. Prior to working for Bentley she worked for Sema Group, Intergraph, BP, and ICI. 

Solutions for advancing infrastructure.
Belma Erdogan-Haug
Global Technical Learning & Collaboration Manager
Dr. Belma Erdogan-Haug manages all aspects of 3M’s flagship of technical collaboration programs, awards and recognition programs, science encouragement programs and Technical Leadership Roundtables. She joined 3M as a senior research scientist in the Corporate Research Materials Laboratory (CRML), after completing a Post-doc in the Polymer Science & Engineering / Chemistry, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has a Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Through her years in CRML, she contributed to significant advances in Pressure Sensitive Adhesives, Nanoparticles and Low Shrink Dental Materials. In the Renewable Energy Division, she focused on encapsulants and led a cross functional team from Germany, Japan, Korea and China and finally in Display Materials and Systems Division, she worked as a project manager/team leader and focused on Optically Clear Adhesives for flexible display applications both for consumer electronics and automotive dashboard. She has 20 patents and 13 peer reviewed scientific journal publications. Belma is passionate about helping her community and involved in many outreach programs like being a volunteer tutor for high school students, mentoring women and underrepresented minority college students about science and career development.
Innovative technology for a changing world.
Carol L. Smith
Lead Market Surveillance Engineer
Carol Smith is Lead Market Surveillance Engineer at UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) in Illinois (US), investigating concerns related to UL certified products. An electrical engineer, she has more than 25 years’ experience in testing, evaluating, and certifying products for compliance to safety standards. Carol is an IEEE Senior Member and currently serves as Co-Chair for the IEEE Product Safety Engineering Society, Chicago chapter. She earned her degree from the University of the Pacific School of Engineering and Computer Science in California (US).
A global independent safety science company.
Cassandra Polyzou
Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As the Manager, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Cassandra works on strategies and partnerships that promote the recruitment and retention of women in engineering and supports increased Indigenous Peoples’ participation in engineering. Previous to Engineers Canada, Cassandra worked for Environmental Defence on their Toxic Nation campaign, where she helped successfully ban Bisphenol A from consumer products in Canada. She has over a fifteen years experience in community engagement on social justice, and diversity, equity and inclusion issues.
Promoting Canada's engineering profession.
Dora Renaud
Senior Director Academic Programs & Professional Development
Dora Renaud is the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers’ (SHPE) Senior Director of Academic Programs and Professional Development. She develops and manages of grants, scholarships, programs, and membership. Prior to working at SHPE, she was a school administrator and international literacy trainer. For more than a decade, Dora has been part of the American College of Education faculty, impacting educators across the world. She has served on the boards of directors for the Association of Hispanic School Administrators and Chess for Humanity and is a Fellow of the Teaching Trust Executive Leadership Teams Program. She earned her Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Texas -Austin (U.S.) Superintendency Program.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Francisca Ogundele
Subsea Project Lead
Francisca Ogundele works as a Subsea Project Lead in the Shell Deepwater project organisation. She leads a team of Shell engineers and Contractors in the delivery of the subsea trees, manifolds, umbilicals, distribution and controls systems for Brownfield subsea wells tying back to the Perdido spar. Francisca over 17-years of experience with Shell working in the Upstream business with assignments in operations, surveillance and projects. During this time, she has lived and worked in the United States (New Orleans and Houston), Malaysia (Miri) and Brasil (Rio de Janeiro). Francisca is a graduate of the University of Toronto (and happen to be Canadian) with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science and Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the Curtin University of Technology. With a strong interest in furthering Shell’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts, Francisca is part of various mentoring circles and has led the Women’s Employee Resource Group Chapter at Shell's Woodcreek Campus. She also volunteers in community STEM projects for students. Outside of work Francisca enjoys traveling with her family, reading (a lot of non-fiction at the moment), exercising, novice gardening and trying out recipes from my favourite recipe App.
A global group of energy & petrochemical companies.
Kathryn Cifa
Fire Protection Engineering Specialist
Kathryn joined Bechtel in July of 2007 as a fire protection engineer with a bachelor’s and master’s of science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, United States. She obtained her professional engineering license in 2010. Her roles while at Bechtel have offered a wide range of experience in complex applications of fire protection engineering for one-of-a-kind design execution for critical government programs spanning the United States. Additionally, she is an advocate for positive and effective leadership to help foster her colleague’s wellness and success. Kathryn also supports Bechtel in alternative roles participating in Women@Bechtel and the Employee Safety and Health Committee.
Engineering, construction, and project management company.
Joanne Torkington
Global Chief of Project Engineering
Joanne (Jo) Torkington joined Bechtel in September 2007 as a process engineer and has worked on various Oil, Gas & Chemicals projects in a variety of phases from studies to EPC. Her roles have taken her all over the globe including working in India, UAE, Republic of Korea, Canada, Italy, and the USA. She has taken on positions of increasing responsibility culminating in her current role as discipline chief. Jo is functionally responsible for her group and is keen to champion technical training and bringing new talent into the team. She obtained her Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), a Master of Philosophy also in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester and recently a Master of Law from the University of London. Jo is a chartered engineer with the Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Engineering, construction, and project management company.
Rochelle Diamond

Rochelle (Shelley) Diamond is Professional Staff at the California (U.S.) Institute of Technology. She is the facility director of Caltech's Flow Cytometry/Cell Sorting Facility, servicing various university divisions as well as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is also a researcher and lab manager for Caltech's developmental immunology group. Rochelle is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and chairs the board of directors of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. She has received numerous awards for her LGBTQ diversity work and has been listed in 'Who's Who in Science and Engineering' and 'Who's Who of American Women'.

Professional society that advocates for LGBTQ professionals.
Roseanne O'Leary
STEPS Team Leader

Roseanne O’Leary is STEPS Team Leader with Engineers Ireland, the country’s professional body for engineers. STEPS is a non-profit outreach program that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students through a portfolio of projects funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover program call.  She manages day-to-day operations as well as short and long-term strategies. Roseanne has worked in education and public engagement for six years. She is an avid promoter of STEM and oversees events and activities to promote engineering to girls. Her undergraduate degree is from University College-Dublin with her Master in Science from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

The professional body for engineers in Ireland.
Ruomei Li
Ruomei Li started her career as an electrical engineer in 1982 and has included positions as an engineer in a power dispatch center, a project manager in a research institute, and as CEO of an engineering organization. She has contributed to IEEE PES by promoting clean development in electricity and energy through academic activities and publications, cooperating with international technical organizations, and encouraging the international participation of the Chinese engineering community. Since 2012 Ruomei has been organizing activities for empowerment of women engineers in the power and energy field. She is the 2019 Recipient of the IEEE PES Wanda Reder Pioneer in Power Award for contributions on power systems and power electronics engineering and for promoting the electrical power sector in China. Ruomei received her B.S. in 1982 from Hefei University of Technology, China, M.S. in 1989 from China Electric Power Research Institute, and Ph.D. in 2000 from Bath University in the UK.
Promotes leadership diversity in power & energy industries.