featuring Holly Kimball

I was introduced to Engineering in 11th grade with a “Women in Engineering” week at the University of Dayton.  Prior to that summer I was planning on being a graphic artist who just really liked math.  After attending the week, I feel in love with Lasers.  I found that was offered at our local community college and in April 1998 I completed my two year degree in Laser Electro Optics Engineering Technology.  I was hired onto Corning Precision Lens in Amelia, Ohio and then later was offered a Laser Technician job at Hutchinson Technologies (HTI) in Hutchinson, MN.  During my time at HTI, I decided to complete my Bachelor’s in Engineering.  It was in my last couple years of college that I was introduced to SWE. 

I started attending SWE meetings at St. Thomas University; yes they have an accredited engineering school.  I was the Service Chair in 2004.  I really enjoyed being involved but working full time at Medtronic as an on call Sr. Technician, going to school full time and planning a wedding left little room for any volunteering.  I graduate in May of 2006 with my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.  I was lucky to have been working for Medtronic since 2003 and was promoted within to Associate Engineer.  I continued to attended SWE meetings and conferences and was reacquainted with an active SWE role after attending professional meetings in 2008, when I became a Scholarship co-chair.  I also helped to establish the Medtronic internal professional network, SWEnet, with leadership positions for three years.

Outside of work I love to volunteer but have scaled back a lot now that I have a wonderful 5 month at home.  My husband, Bryan, and I keep very busy hanging out with our son Herbie.  We like to do many local events like rollog, fairs, truck pulls and visiting new areas to see what they have to offer.  When I have time, I like to crochet, do genealogy research and bake.  I still do some volunteering an am currently on the Lymphoma Research Foundation board for fundraising.  I am also walking in this year’s Heart Walk on June 5th at Target Field.  It’s going to be a lot of fun, come join us.

featuring Lynn Davenport

I was introduced to SWE when I was a Girl Scout attending a SWE day at Purdue University aimed to get girls interested in engineering. When I began college at Northwestern University I attended the SWE welcome lunch my very first weekend on campus. I was hooked. I went on to be a company host during the SWE engineering focused career fairs, meeting great folks from UBS and Apple among others. I also grew in my Electrical Engineering and became president of IEEE my junior year. I was able to partner with my friend who was SWE president and leverage both groups to have greater turn-out to events like company presentation and picnics.

I was introduced to SWE-MN through the Spring Professional Development Seminar when they were held at my work location. I have enjoyed networking, Professional Development seminars, and participating in Outreach activities.

I graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern U, and received my Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2004 from Purdue U. I started as a Scientist in Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm and Disease Management Research group out of graduate school. I enjoyed running small clinical studies in the field; meeting great physicians and patients. I moved onto a Systems Engineering role in Medtronic’s Neuromodulation division in 2008. Here I have helped drive data collection for design inputs to devices that deliver stimulation to mask back pain. I was the chair of the internal SWE professional group, SWEnet, for FY09. This group is still small, but we are partnering with HR and our Diversity office to strengthen our network. This year we expanded to Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and new areas of California.

Outside of work I love spending time with my husband Nick, 14-month old son, Andrew, and 4 year old dog, Ruggles. We are having fun with Andrew learning more words each week. We enjoy our vegetable garden in the summer, going to museums and concerts, and traveling.


featuring Angela Neidermire

My name is Angela Neidermire and I am a mechanical engineer from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  After graduation I worked for five years at Imation in process development and commercialization of recording magnetic media before joining 3M Office Supplies two and half years ago.  I work on Post-it Flags and Post-it Durable as a manufacturing engineer supporting the product commercialization and leading six sigma projects for cost reduction and yield improvement. 

My first interaction with SWE was to attend the UW-Madison summer program for high school seniors.  After that week, I decided to attend that college and joined the society as a student in 1998.  I attended the SWE events on campus, but my real involvement started when I joined the Minnesota professional section in 2002.  The first position on the EC was to co-chair for two years the Outreach committee with Holli Pheil, after spending a year as a committee member.  I really value what SWE does for K-12 education and it is the main reason that I maintain my membership.  The other reason is for the professional development opportunities, so I was pleased to co-chair the planning of the Spring Seminar in 2006.  The following year I was elected to secretary because of my interest in learning more about the operations of the local section, followed by two elected terms as Treasurer.  Throughout the years, I have gained valuable experience to apply to my leadership at work and created a network of lifelong friendships.

My prevalent hobby is to travel and SWE has also provided the opportunity to see new cities through Region H or National Conferences while meeting people and learning something new.  For FY07-FY08 I was a Region H Collegiate Leadership Coach and got to meet with the students throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Minnesota to present various topics of interest to build their membership and effectively run their student sections.  In the fall of 2008 I was accepted into the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Masters program at St. Thomas University in St. Paul where I am appreciating the personal continuing education every week. 

In my spare time when I am in town, I enjoy a variety of interests that I try to entertain from church activities, singing in a choir, reading, spending time with family and friends in the area, every season’s sporting events at all levels and also the theater (I have many cousins so I get to all their programming and then try to get to the ticketed events in the metro as well), watching lots of movies, collegiate mentoring through 3M, and of course SWE.  I was very active in ASME International (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) as a member and officer in college and have continued my involvement as a professional member of the Minnesota section.  When I moved here, I consulted on planning the student conference at U of MN since the one at U of WI during my tenure was such a success that we wrote a manual for the society on how to hold a conference.  Then I stayed involved in the board and stepped through the 5 year commitment of secretary, treasurer, Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair Advisor. 

I have maintained my Wisconsin residence status but I still try to get to the Minnesota events as I appreciate the diverse opportunities for membership, PD, networking, and outreach that SWE has to offer.  See you there!

As an aside, send me an email if you work in the east metro because I am going to co-chair the lunches for 2010.  Another plug is for awards, since I am advising that committee this year, let us know of your interest and talents because there are application opportunities at all experience levels.  That’s a little bit to get to know me and I look forward to meeting you,


featuring Janette Spann

I became involved with SWE my very first weekend at college.  I was an active member my freshman year, and soon decided I wanted to be even more involved. My sophomore year I was the SWE Director of Community Service. I organized all kinds of fun community volunteer events including volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and Science fairs for children. My Junior and Senior years I continued my involvement by becoming the Treasurer for our section. With over 20 directors spending money this was no small task! I enjoyed every minute of my time in collegiate SWE, and am excited to become an active member of the MN Professional section. This fall I am joining the Executive Council as the Awards Chair, something that will come with a steep learning curve!  I look forward to spending more time with and getting to know my fellow Executive Council members, as well as other SWE-MN members.

I graduated in the Spring of 2008 from the University of MN, Twin Cities with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was intrigued by the idea of using my degree in a non-traditional way, and accepted a position with Target Corporation in Minneapolis. I was part of a rotational development program called the Technology Leadership Program. This program was designed to take analytical graduates, good at problem solving, and allow them to apply these skills to business problems within Target’s IT department. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Target. I recently accepted a new position with Genesis10 Consulting, again using my degree in a nontraditional way. I will be a Business Analyst working out of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Headquarters in Minneapolis. I am excited to see what this new opportunity brings!

One of my favorite hobbies is photography. This Spring I finally invested in a SLR camera, and have been building my portfolio ever since. I have had the great opportunity to be a photographer for 3 weddings and many portrait sittings this summer. I am excited to see what the future brings for this hobby. I also lead high school girls at the youth group through my church, Grace Church in Eden Prairie. This is my first year leading these girls and I am looking forward to a great year with them! I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday night is to play a board game or cards with friends and family. Finally, a great fact about me is that I am an outdoors girl at heart. I take any chance I get to be outside. I love hiking, biking, walking… anything outside!


featuring Christine L. Kurtz

I started participation with SWE at Michigan Tech. I started as a student member where I held the position of Treasurer. I have been a professional member for many years since, having been involved with the Pacific Northwest section and now the Minnesota section. SWE helped me start my professional career. My very first professional job, a summer internship with Whirlpool Corporation between my sophomore and junior years, was obtained through my participation with SWE. I had submitted my resume to the SWE Resume book through the Career Center. A representative with Whirlpool saw my resume and called me to determine my interest in a job. SWE has been a great organization for me both personally and professionally ever since.

I am now a Managing Consultant with Trinity Consultants in Stillwater, MN. I am fortunate that my years of experience have netted me extensive environmental management, process engineering and project management experience. I assist clients with matters such as air and water compliance and permitting, environmental management systems, waste management, chemical process safety, and sustainability. My career started with Kimberly Clark Corporation where I worked for almost 17 years. I started with Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, WI working in research and development and process engineering and then transferred to the Everett, WA manufacturing facility which is where my interest in environmental matters began. I have worked in the environmental field for over 11 years now, serving as the Environmental and Safety Manager of the K-C Everett facility for several years and as an environmental consultant for the past two years. I graduated from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and City University of Seattle with a M.S. in Project Management.

My personal life consists of my husband Doug and stepson Davis. Doug is a regional sales manager and Davis is a sophomore in Computer Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. I enjoy physical activities such as biking (both road and mountain) and hiking in the summer and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. I am also a fan of aerobics and yoga at the gym and yardwork/ gardening at home. My relaxing activities consist of visiting with family and friends, crafts (primarily cross-stitch and scrapbooking), and watching movies with my husband.


featuring Holli Pheil

Holli Pheil (in a traditional Korean Hanbok) and Nate Ellefson (husband)

I’ve been very involved with SWE since I graduated in 2002, but as I reflect on how I got my job, I have to credit SWE for bringing me here to Minnesota and to my job at Boston Scientific. I grew up in Redmond, Washington, in the backyard of Microsoft, and received my Electrical Engineering Bachelors at the University of Washington. In college, I kept myself busy with being an officer for Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honors Society, and I didn’t really participate much in SWE. When the section hosted an industry evening before a career fair I was not very well educated on how to get an internship and what an internship actually was. During that SWE & Industry event, I sat a table with students and professionals from various companies. The professionals all encouraged me to attend the career fair the next day to look for an internship. I attended my first career fair and landed an internship at Guidant Corporation during my junior year. Thanks SWE for educating me and setting up the opportunity for me!

In 2002, I moved to Minnesota to start my job with Guidant (now Boston Scientific). I was actually quite lonely when I moved here not knowing anyone, but I was asked by a co-worker to join him at a University of Minnesota SWE event. There I met Alyse Stofer (currently Director of Regions on the SWE Board of Directors), who asked me to join. I took it one step further and signed myself up for being an Outreach co-chair. I had no idea what that meant, but was happy to help out. I haven’t looked back since, holding various positions such as Outreach co-chair, COR, Region Nominating Committee Chair, vice president, and the finally SWE-MN President last year. Being a part of SWE has helped me in countless ways – public speaking, organizational skills, project management, networking, strategic planning, and of course making wonderful friends.

I’m a Senior Hardware Design Engineer at Boston Scientific for our Latitude Patient Management system, which helps collected patient information remotely from implantable pacemaker or defibrillators. I design the printed circuit boards inside of our In-clinic Programmer and our at-home Communicator. It’s fun and challenging work and I truly enjoy working for the medical device industry
I currently live in Shoreview with my husband, Nate, and our two dogs Coconut and Oliver. He and I recently went to South Korea over the summer to visit my birth land. I was adopted from Korea when I was 3 months old and I was curious about my homeland culture and took a two week adoptive family tour. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and I long to go back soon to experience more. I initiated a birth family search and had some luck, but I was not able to meet my birthmother while I was in Korea. I look forward to the day when I can meet her and say thank you for giving me a good life.


featuring Kalyani Mallela

I joined SWE about a year ago. I have enjoyed participating in professional development, outreach and networking activities. I have been more involved with the outreach activities as it is my passion to teach and work with kids. After a year of volunteering for SWE-MN, I have been introduced to the SWE-MN Executive Council this year as the Outreach Co-chair. SWE-MN has provided me with opportunities that not only helped me grow personally and professionally but also created a support system for me here in Minnesota.

I graduated with Bachelors in Electronics and Communications Engineering from India in 2005 and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from University of Minnesota in 2007. I started my professional career with Transoma Medical where I got to work on implantable medical devices. I had the opportunity to work on the heart rate algorithm, hardware testing of the device, software development and also software testing. I recently joined Boston Scientific as a Software Engineer where I work on the validation of the LATITUDE system from the end user perspective.

More about me – I love to cook and also try different cuisines except for the fact that I don’t eat meat. :) I like to dance, be it Bharatnatyam (classical Indian dance) or Bollywood songs (Indian music). Though I am really scared of rides at amusement parks I managed to do skydiving last year. I enjoy watching basketball and Kobe is the best. I like to read, knit, shop, travel and hang out with friends. My family (Vijay, mom, and dad) has been a great support to me and just can’t do anything without them.