Work-Life Balance Webinar NEXT WEEK

Hello SWE! Check out our upcoming webinar on Monday!

The Great Balancing Act: Reviewing Goals and Achieving Work Life Balance on Jan 23 at 7PM EST
This workshop on Work Life Balance is meant to help analyze how you currently distribute your time and determine if you use it effectively to work toward your main goals. We want to enable you to identify the imbalances in your life, and learn some techniques to reorganize and maximize your time to achieve your goals. The session will begin by having the participants write down their 3 main goals such as family, career, fitness, travel etc. Then we will ask them to quickly map out their current time expenditures to determine if where they spend their time truly matches their goals. The session will then discuss some tactics for building a more balanced life and ways to help achieve goals. The tactics that will be covered are: 1) Set specific goals with reminders to stay focused. 2) Organize your work and personal life in one place: plan ahead, keep important notes in a visible place.  3) Build in downtime and personal time. 4) Learn how to say no and establish boundaries for yourself: Most women in SWE tend to be the “Superwoman” type and even we need to be able to say no. 5) Communication is key: be upfront with your boss on your needs. 6) Don’t overwork and overstress yourself, sometimes the overtime isn’t worth it.


Data Science Fellowship/Incubator

The Data Incubator is an intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM and social science fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is free for Fellows and supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. In response to the overwhelming interest in our earlier sessions, we will be holding another fellowship.

Who Should Apply: Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign-up for a future session.

Locations: In addition to the below in-person locations, we will have a remote online session:

  • New York City
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle
  • Boston
  • Washington, DC.

Dates: All sections will be from 2017-03-27 to 2017-05-19.

Application Link:

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in our upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Signup soon as space is limited.




CU-Denver has received funding to support several PhD students for the upcoming fall semester.

The SHRC Program is a U.S. Department of Education-sponsored GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) PhD fellowship program, focusing on interdisciplinary training of fellows in the area of Transportation Engineering for Safe, Healthy and Resilient Communities.

The three-year fellowship will cover:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Conference Travel
  • Annual Stipend

Find out more at

Grad Member Spotlight: Homa Fartash

Grad Member Spotlight: Homa Fartash

homaHoma Fartash

PhD student, Civil Engineering

Florida International University

Homa has been a member of SWE since fall 2014. Currently, she serves as the graduate representative for Florida International University’s SWE section. In this role, she plans workshops to introduce graduate programs to undergraduate students and also provides the sponsorship packet to advertise the chapter and provide financial support for chapter activities.

Homa has received many awards for her research in transportation including the Bill McGrath Transportation Studies Scholarship and the Henry P. Boggs Best Student Paper Award by the Florida Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. She has also received numerous scholarships. Congratulations, Homa, on all you’ve accomplished! Keep up the great work!

What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Transportation Engineering at Florida International University (FIU) studying my third year of the program. I am expected to graduate in Fall 2017.

Give a brief explanation of your research.
My major focus is on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Currently, I am working on my dissertation titled “Developing Guidelines for Ramp Signaling Deployments in Real-Time Operations”. Ramp metering is one of the traffic management strategies which regulates the entering flow to the freeway by installing signals at on-ramps. The goal of this research is to develop guidelines for installation and activation of ramp metering under recurrent and non-recurrent conditions so that the whole system can benefit from it. For this purpose, local traffic condition near the subject ramp as well as system-wide traffic conditions on the freeway are considered. Moreover, real-time activation of ramp metering for alleviating the congestion due to non-recurrent traffic conditions such as incident and/or adverse weather is also addressed in this research.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
After earning my Ph.D. degree, I hope to join transportation industry and have the opportunity to work on different aspects of transportation. I would not limit myself to the areas which I already studied. In fact, I enjoy being challenged and be a lifetime student.
Teaching is a hobby of mine which I hope to be a part of my future career. My goal is to be an effective professional and a successful leader.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

Shopping, reading, web surfing, and spending time with my family and friends are my hobbies. In my free time, I truly enjoy spending time with my husband.

Other than SWE, I am the president of FIU Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student Chapter and Membership Chair of the South Florida Women’s Transportation Seminar (SFWTS). I truly enjoy being involved in these organizations and their activities.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I am a passionate soccer fan specially when it comes to our national team.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year SWE Grad Community!

2016 was a great year for SWE. This infographic from SWE’s Year in Review article shows how busy the Society has been. 2016 has also been great for the SWE Grad Community. From seeing our own social media presence grow to having record numbers at the We16 Grad Student Reception, our progress is due to all of you. Stay awesome in 2017 everyone!


Grad Group Spotlight: Vanderbilt

vanderbiltVanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

When did your group start?

Our group first came together about 2 years ago, in Oct 2014. Our first event was last fall (2015) and our second was this fall (2016).

How is the group organized? i.e. how many core people are typically involved, do you have officers, how do you fit within the collegiate section, where do you get your budget (if you have one)

Our group is primarily ad-hoc; it’s essentially built on friendships and friends of friends. Our core group is about 15 people and is structured with a coordinator and the rest of the group forming a planning committee. For logistical reasons (primarily maintaining compliance with Vanderbilt’s regulations for working with minors), we have partnered with existing organizations on campus. Originally, it was the Civil & Environmental Engineering Council and more recently, it was the Engineering Ambassadors Network. Our funds have been provided by different Vanderbilt entities. In 2015, our event was sponsored by the various chairs of the Engineering dept and in 2016, our funds came from the Vanderbilt Univ. School of Engineering, Vanderbilt’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity, and the Student Activities Fee.

What type of events do you host? How often do you host them? How many people tend to come to these events?

Our event is an “Engineering Day,” where middle school students (that represent the diversity we want to see in future engineers) get an introduction to the discipline as a whole and get to explore 3 of the engineering disciplines through interactive activities. We host our events annually. In 2015, our audience was the Girl Scouts of Middle TN and we had 39 girls attend. In 2016, our audience were 8th graders from Rose Park Middle School, and we had 90 students attend (half of the attendees were african american).

What is the one event or program of which you are most proud?

Engineering Day

What tips do you have for a newly-started grad group?

It’s important to draw upon the latest pedagogy to ensure that our outreach methods are truly inclusive – for example, we opted to have interactive, tactile sessions to stress the problem solving and critical thinking skills of engineers as opposed to just “a love of math and science.”

It’s also important to have open lines of communication within the group. We are all busy graduate students with research/teaching deadlines. We encountered many challenges (from administration to ice storms) and it really helped to have multiple viewpoints and brainstorming sessions to develop solutions.

How can someone contact your group if they’re interested in participating?

Contact the group coordinator at

Call for applications: GPC-Elect!

Application link:

Are you excited about the growing number of opportunities for graduate students in SWE on the national level? Did you attend WE16 and gain lots of inspiration and ideas to better serve the graduate community? Do you in any shape or form want to play a role in continuing to grow graduate student programs on the national level? If you said yes to any of these, you should apply to be the Graduate Programming Coordinator-Elect (GPC-elect)!

Each year the GPC-elect works alongside the GPC to construct and formulate the agenda of events for graduate students at the national conference. Through the GPC-elect role, you get to work with a wonderful team of ladies to help shape sessions impacting the SWE graduate community nationwide (and beyond)! Additionally, there are numerous networking opportunities accompanying this role where you will create long-lasting connections as you serve as GPC-elect for WE17 and GPC for WE18.

Applications are due by Sunday, January 8 at 11:59 PST. Follow the link above to apply!