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Event Schedule

31st Annual Susan M. Arseven '75 Conference for Women in Science and Engineering


3:00 PM


3:30 PM

Session I

3:50 PM

Dr. Bindu Krishnan, DOW

Sticky Floor vs. Glass Ceiling – Is this real?

Bindu Krishnan, R&D/TS&D Fellow in the Polyurethane Business is responsible for the strategy and technology development of adhesives and sealants for the construction, infrastructure, and mobility market. Annual sales of products she has developed in these markets at DOW have exceeded $10MM/year.
Bindu has played a major role in driving the development of industrial adhesive for the construction
market as well as next-generation automotive adhesive to help automakers meet globally legislated
mandates for emissions and fuel efficiency.
Bindu started her career with Dow Polyurethane in 2006, developing coatings designed to enhance
synthetic leathers and wood. In 2007 she joined Application Technology Development (ATD) where
she led the expansion and commercialization of numerous VORAMER ™ binders for indoor and
outdoor applications.
Bindu’s technical contribution has been recognized by the Excellence in Science Award by the Gulf
Coast and Latin Americas Scientists Organization (GCLASO). She is also the recipient of the numerous
prestigious awards including, AIChE’s Industrial Progress Award for her career accomplishments,
service to society and the Institute, the SERMACS Industrial Innovation Award, and the Edison Award
™ for excellence in new product development.
She is passionate about science as well as “Women in the Chemical Industry”. She was recognized
with the “DOW’s North America 2017 WIN Champion Award” for advocacy of gender diversity. She
has chaired the Women’s Innovation Network (WIN-Freeport Chapter) as well as the American Institute
of Chemical Engineers’ Women’s Initiative Committee. These networks under her leadership have
orchestrated opportunities and events for female scientists to help with retention as well as their
career progression. She is also a STEM ambassador, steering STEM activities throughout Brazoria
Bindu holds a Ph.D. (2002) in Organic Polymer from the University of Bordeaux, France. Before joining Dow, she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Goodyear Polymer center (University of Akron). Bindu has authored 11 peer-reviewed Journal articles, 15 granted patents in US, EU, and
CN, over 90 DOW internal publications, and numerous pending patent applications.

Do Hard Things

Dr. Erin Gilbert ‘10

This presentation is how doing hard things gives you confidence personally and professionally. How to gain the confidence to go for big opportunities.


4:50 PM

Session II

5:00 PM

Dr. Alison Fout, Texas A&M Chemistry

Choices, Anecdotes, and Outcomes: My Journey in Higher Education

Throughout our lives we are constantly faced with decisions. Sometimes these decisions are simply what do we want to eat for dinner, while other times they involve moving your entire family across the country for your career. As a WISE you are additionally faced with the struggle that there are less women in your chosen field and if you are underrepresented this number shrinks further. Since the 2000s women have received half of the bachelor’s degrees and a third of the PHDs in chemistry. In a 2016 study representation of URSOC increased to 22% for bachelors’ and 12% for PHDs in chemistry. Taken together, these percentages are way below the US population. More recently studies have focused on the lack of support, both perceived and actual, for women and underrepresented students of color. This talk will focus on my academic journey in chemistry, the data that supports my experiences, and how decisions are tough but your instincts are powerful.

Invisibility and Harm: Incarcerated People in Disasters

Dr. J. Carlee Purdum, Texas A&M Architecture

Academic interest in what happens to incarcerated persons in disasters has grown considerably over the last decade. Advocates, policy makers, and scholars have worked to bring the harms of the criminal punishment system and incarceration to the forefront of many disciplines and fields of study, including those relating to disasters and climate. This presents an opportunity to address one of the most fundamental characteristics of modern punishment, the invisibility of incarceration. Prisons are not invisible by accident, but function to isolate those detained within them by design. This isolation is not just physical, but social. Incarcerated persons, like other marginalized and oppressed classes of people, are treated as nonhumans with devastating consequences in the context of disasters. Understanding the invisibility of incarcerated people contributes to our understanding of disaster risk for not only incarcerated people, but for everyone.


6:00 PM

Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen, NASA

Houston, we have a solution: How a small-town girl made it to NASA

Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen will discuss how she went from a small town in Arkansas to the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She will discuss internal and external barriers she faced throughout graduate school at Vanderbilt University and during her career at NASA, decisions (both good and bad) made along the way that altered her path, and how she fell backwards into a lifelong passion for robotics and space exploration. She will give an honest look at the experience of being one of few women in a sea of male colleagues and the perspective of seeing a transformative change over her career in the number of female colleagues joining her field.

Lunch Break

6:00 PM

Make-a-Difference Award

7:30 PM

Susan M. Arseven ‘75 ‘Make-a-Difference’ Memorial Awards Presentation

Session III

8:00 PM

Patricia Klein, Texas A&M Horticulture

Be WISE: Navigating work-life balance as a woman in science and engineering

Finding work-life balance as a woman in a STEM faculty position can be challenging due to the demanding nature of the work and the expectation to publish research and secure funding. Additional challenges include gender bias, lack of women in leadership roles, lack of adequate mentoring and/or role models, and societal expectations. These challenges can have a significant impact on a woman's career advancement and well-being. While finding the optimal work-life balance for a woman in a STEM discipline can be difficult, it is possible with the right strategies. Dr. Klein will discuss her own journey of navigating work-life balance and will discuss some of the strategies to find a work-life balance that works for you in this session.

Unraveling the Path from Bench to Biotech

Dr. Sreyashree Bose ’20, Lonza

The journey from being a graduate student or a postdoc to working in industry takes time. It is the manifestation of a series of well-thought-out steps and strategies. In today's digital age, information about this transition is plenty; however, things can become overwhelming quickly. In addition, this process can become complicated if you are an international student with limited work visa options.

If you are eager to hear an insider's peek at transitioning from “bench to biotech”, this talk is for you. From my Ph.D. in plant sciences to my postdoc in breast cancer and, finally, being a scientist at the world's largest cell and gene therapy facility, I will outline the steps I took to achieve success. I will also discuss the hiring processes and offer strategies to stand out among other candidates. At the end of my talk, you will be equipped with precious and exclusive information to help to make a seamless academia-to-industry transition.


9:00 PM

Speaker Panel

9:15 PM

Closing Remarks

10:00 PM

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