Strategic Objective

Provide section members with professional development opportunities by offering interesting and relevant meetings,
tours, and events that incorporate a variety of interests.

Interested in helping run programs?

Contact us at with any questions or to volunteer on this exciting committee.


Waste Management Event Recap

On May 16, 2012, SWE-MN traveled to the Resource Processing Plant in Elk River, MN. SWE-MN members enjoyed an overview of the world of reuse and recycling! It was astounding to learn about the amount and type of refuse that is brought into the Processing Plant. We also learned that the Elk River Power Plant runs solely by burning the trash received from the Elk River Resource Processing Plant. During our tour of the facility we were able to see the areas for holding, sorting, chopping, and even the control center. After learning about resource processing, attendees headed to Broadway Pizza for delicious food and networking with fellow SWE-MN members.

SWE-MN would like to thank Waste Management for the great presentation and tour. We would also like to thank everyone who attended the event and hope that everyone had fun and learned something new!


Loram Event Recap

On April 16, 2012, SWE-MN was able to attend an event at Loram Maintenance of Way in Hamel, MN. Attendees enjoyed dinner while networking with other SWE-MN members as well as Loram employees. Following dinner was an overview about Loram and a presentation on the LEED Silver certified facility. It was very interesting to learn about the steps necessary to pass LEED silver certification. The evening concluded with a tour of the Loram facility which allowed attendees to see some of the LEED requirements in action and several of the railroad cars used to maintain train tracks.

SWE-MN would like to thank Loram Maintenance of Way for the great presentation and tour as well as for providing a delicious dinner! Thanks to everyone who attended!


19th Annual Professional Development Spring Seminar Recap

The 19th Annual Spring Professional Development Seminar was held at Medtronic World Headquarters on Saturday, March 10, 2012. This year’s theme was Striving for Continuous Improvement and the seminar consisted of sessions covering a variety of professional development topics. Almost 70 people attended the event.

The day started with breakfast and a keynote presentation by Judy Lee, co-host of the PBS show Design Squad Nation. Her presentation was a talk to “Engineer Your Life,” reflecting on her perspective on women engineers as role models for the next generation. Her message led right into our morning set of sessions with presentations that included the following: Women Engineers as Leaders; Engineering Communication in the Real World; Green Associate/LEED AP; and, technical presentations including one on laser technologies. Accompanying the technical sessions were a variety of additional presentations such as Intelligent Careers: Thriving While Keeping Yourself Whole; Decode the Dress Code; Rethinking Education; and, The Make it or Break it Leadership Competency.

After the first two sessions, lunch was served for the attendees and speakers, providing a short amount of time for networking. Once everyone was settled for lunch, attendees were able to enjoy a presentation about the State of SWE, given by Alyse Stofer, SWE President-Elect. Alyse’s presentation was followed by a brief SWE-MN business meeting announcing the FY13 election slate.

The two sessions following lunch were as interesting and informative as the morning sessions. The afternoon sessions included presentations about Electronic Organization and Technical Tools. A session about creating estimates, titled “Estimate – Reflections on the Approximate” was offered as well as a session teaching attendees about the Car of Tomorrow. The last session of the day featured a session about How to Write a Resume Someone will Read, a session for attendees to learn about making a Business Golf Connection, a presentation about Greening Your Business and a session about Being Independent.

After the final session, names were drawn for door prizes and attendees provided feedback on the Spring Seminar by filling out evaluation forms. We hope that those who attended the Seminar learned something new, while having fun at the same time. We especially would like to thank Medtronic for hosting the event, as well as SWE-MN sponsors for supporting SWE-MN Professional Development. We also give a HUGE thanks to the volunteers that helped us on the day of the event!

Thank you to all those that attended this year’s Professional Development Spring Seminar! We hope that you will attend the Region H Conference at the University of Minnesota next year!



Erin Lamke
Claire Rydeen