GradSWE leader recognized with national award
Graduate student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow Anna Oldani has been chosen to receive the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Outstanding Collegiate Member Award, which honors students who have made outstanding contributions to SWE, the engineering community, and their campus.
Oldani became involved in SWE as an undergraduate, serving as Funding Coordinator and then as weSTEM Director. She credits her increased participation to her experiences at the weSTEM and national SWE conferences.
“Attending those conferences has given me opportunities to meet individuals with advanced degrees who work in a variety of fields with unique careers,” she said.
Oldani has also served as the Director of GradSWE at Illinois – a support community that promotes diversity in engineering and science, encourages students to attend graduate school, supports them once they’re there, and helps them prepare for their future careers.
“It is a great honor to receive this award and it goes to recognize all of the great work GradSWE at Illinois has been able to achieve in the few years since its inception,” Oldani said. “I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great group in developing programming to enhance the graduate student experience at Illinois.”
Oldani works in Associate Professor Tonghun Lee’s Laser Diagnostics Laboratory for Advanced Energy and Propulsion Research, focusing on alternative jet fuels for the U.S. Navy and Air Force. She has also collaborated with the Federal Aviation Administration on a national archive database for alternative jet fuels.
As she nears the end of her graduate student career, she is looking forward to the next. She said she hopes to continue in the energy field, possibly becoming a professor focusing on undergraduate education or developing policies to support research of advanced, alternative energy options.
“SWE has helped me see that there are many different things that I can do with my career, and has put me in contact with many great people working across academia, government, and industry,” Oldani said.
She will be honored at the Celebrate SWE! Banquet at the WE16 Conference in October.