Brookhaven Women Engineers' Network




BWEN Minutes


June 27, 2002

May 30, 2002

April   18, 2002

February 22, 2002

January 17, 2002

December 20, 2001
November 17, 2001
October 23, 2001
September 13, 2001
August 23, 2001
June 28, 2001
May 16, 2001
April 27, 2001
March 23, 2001
February 16, 2001
January 19, 2001




Minutes of BWEN meeting, 6/27/02
Loralie Smart (

Cathy Wehrmann spoke to a full house on June 27th about Career Planning Resources at BNL. She discussed the essential steps in initiating a career plan, and cited BNL courses available through Human Resources, books and internet information. The first step in the career planning process is self assessment, which requires that you take a close, honest inventory of your skills, personality, likes and dislikes, and values. Knowing your personality type can help you find a better-fitting career. (See the recent Newsday article: To learn about the remaining steps in the process, and how to contact Cathy, check out the Human Resources Career Development web site:

If you missed the meeting, you can contact Loralie for a copy of the handout.

Minutes of BWEN meeting, 5/30/02
Loralie Smart (

BWEN members Terri Kneitel, Pat Williams, and Susan Pepper participated as panelists in the Society of Women Engineers' Women's History Month Womens Panel Discussion, held at SUNY Stony Brook on the evening of March 7. At the May 30 BWEN meeting, Terri and Pat reported on their experience at the very well-organized event. The SWE student officers did a nice job, from providing a biography on each panelist to offering refreshments. Everyone agreed we should keep our SWE contacts going for future Women's History Month collaboration!

Here is the USB SWE web site:

In the following open discussion, ideas for future meetings were cast. Significant interest in Career Planning was expressed, and a seminar by Cathy Wehrmann on Career Planning Resources will be given at our June meeting.


Minutes of BWEN meeting, 4/18/02
Loralie Smart (


The April meeting was held on the 18th.


Minutes of BWEN meeting, 2/22/02
Loralie Smart (


On February 22, 2002, BWEN met with the officers of the Society of Women Engineers Stony Brook University chapter in a visit coordinated by Elaine Lowenstein (through what department?). The SWE officers first toured three BNL departments and then sat down with BWEN members for a roundtable discussion. After everyone introduced themselves, the SWE officers asked the BWEN members questions about serious topics affecting career women. At the discussion wrap-up, BWEN was asked to participate in the SWE career day event in March.


Minutes of BWEN meeting, 1/17/02
Loralie Smart (

On Thursday, January 17, 2002, BWEN celebrated its first anniversary with friends from across the Laboratory. BWEN's Arlene Zhang reviewed the Network's accomplishments for the first year - career seminars, technical talks, volunteer efforts, and general meetings. Then BWEN and friends were interviewed by the Bulletin staff and photographed for a picture to accompany the Bulletin article.

See the full story here: (page 3).

Thanks to everyone who brought the beverages and home-baked goods, and special thanks to our friends for their support!

Minutes of BWEN meeting, 12/20/01
Karen Lee Johnson (

Minutes of BWEN Meeting, 12/20/01

Susan Pepper, of BNL's Nonproliferation and National Security
Department, gave a talk on International Safeguards.  Susan is a
civil engineer and heads the International Safeguards Project
Office (ISPO).

Susan gave us some background on the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations System Organization
based in Vienna, Austria.  The agency has approximately 130 member
states.  It supports enforcement of the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty, encourages peaceful uses of  nuclear technology and
promotes worldwide nuclear safety.

BNL's ISPO provides technological support to the Department of
Safeguards of the IAEA and coordinates safeguard support
required by the IAEA for the U.S.  ISPO also recruits staff for U.S.
citizen positions at the IAEA.

Thanks to Susan for an interesting and informative talk.

BWEN will celebrate its one-year anniversary at its next meeting
on January 17 in Berkner Hall Room A.  Refreshments will be
provided.  A representative from the Brookhaven Bulletin will
attend to give our group some publicity!




Minutes of BWEN meeting, 11/17/01
Karen Lee Johnson (

Pat Williams gave a summary on BWIS's Career Day. (It was in progress during the meeting.) Students from area high schools visit the lab and participate in panel discussions with Laboratory staff. There will be another BWIS Career Day in February, in which BWEN will participate. There's a plan to contact SUNY Stony Brook to invite women college students to participate in the next Career Day.

We were asked to inform the BNL Speakers Bureau when we do presentations or talks. We can pick up handouts from them also. Note that any December talks can count as volunteer work for the United Way effort. Beth Blevins is the contact on this.

On Saturday, April 27, from 10a.m.- 12noon, volunteers are needed at a minority-focused science, math and engineering career event in Old Westbury. Volunteers will have 45 minute slots for talks, demos, etc.

We plan to invite a representative from the Bulletin to our one-year anniversary meeting in January, to do a story on our group. The suggestion was made that we review our goals at the December meeting, to prepare for possible future publicity. A discussion of what's working and what could be improved about BWEN would also be useful.

A suggestion was made that we put together a flyer to be distributed to new hires, containing information about BWEN, BWIS, daycare and other BNL groups and services.

Susan Pepper will give a talk on International Safeguards at our next meeting in December.

October 23, 2001 - Women Engineers' Networking Lunch Meeting Minutes
Arlene Zhang

Our meeting today was a Career Seminar given by our guest speaker Cathleen Wehrmann of Human Resources Division and our meeting host Patricia Williams. The seminar topic is "Discussing Your Performance with Your Manager". While lab-wide performance appraisal is in process, this topic is right on everyone's concerns. Cathy started her presentation with a mini-survey about Goal, Manager, Duration of Discussion, How often do you check your goal and plan, also Concerns. Cathy's presentation included:

The Appraisal Process
Performance Management System
Performance Expectations
Prepare for the Discussion
Tips for the Discussion

Participants asked many questions and discussed them with Cathy, Marilyn, Pat and others. Some wished to have this seminar earlier because most people already submitted self-appraisal. This seminar is very successful to help all of us to better understand and meet our expectations. The discussions went on for two hours, much longer than scheduled. There are so many things we'd like to know, and we are looking forward for Cathy's future seminars!

BWEN September 13, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Loralie Smart (

Speaker Sheryl Gerstman presented her Programmer Analyst talk, complete with pumpkin and banana bread! (Thank you, Sheryl!) Sheryl talked about her work experience at Grumman Data Systems after graduating from New York Tech, developing a REX application for tracking assemblies in production.

We learned that a Systems Analyst determines what the customer software application needs are, working as closely with end-users as possible, and then produces a plan for achieving the application development. A Programmer Analyst has the expertise to complete the programming.

Sheryl showed us examples of her application development plans, which currently include the BNL Visitors Database.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Noon, Tuesday, October 23 , Berkner Hall Room C. Join us for a career seminar Discussing Your Performance with Your Manager with guest speaker Cathleen Wehrmann.

Don't forget to check out our web site

Please send comments or corrections to .

BWEN August 23, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Loralie Smart (

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 13 (as the end of the month is Yom Kippur). Sheryl Gerstman from the Safeguards & Security Division will give us insight on her career as a Programmer Analyst. Hope you can make it!

Stephanie (C-AD), Dorry (Diversity Office), and Pam (ITD) from Brookhaven Women In Science attended the meeting. The discussion began with an introduction of the history and activities of BWIS. Formed in 1979, the group's focus was centered on quality of life and benefit issues, which required generating position papers, conducting surveys, and drawing up proposals. Recent efforts have been concentrated on their scholarship awards. BWIS administers Batelle scholarships to local area high school girls, the Gertrude Goldhaber scholarship and the Renate Chasman scholarship each year. Upcoming events include a career day and a wine & cheese reception in the Oct/Nov timeframe. Thanks for talking with us, Stephanie, Pam, and Dorry.

For more info, see:

Each of us then introduced ourselves to the group. During the introductions, the topic for our next meeting was determined. Our speaker will be Sheryl Gerstman on being a Programmer Analyst. Also during that conversation, we heard about the BNL staff development web page when the possible topic of how to give presentations came up. I never knew this existed! Check out:

We also talked about the benefits of networking in finding a new position at the lab - Teri suggested volunteering to be a tour guide. You get an opportunity to see and learn about different BNL departments. Contact Elaine Lowenstein if you wish to volunteer.

The BWEN web site will soon be moved from the development site to If there's anything you'd like to see included on the site, contact us - the contact info can be found on the site. The network still needs your input for future technical topics, and volunteers for hosting future meetings. Our success depends on volunteer participation. Words from a workshop I recently attended: "Success without a successor is failure..."


Please send comments or corrections to


BWEN June 28, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Loralie Smart (

The first agenda item was the day/date of future meetings. Most participants agreed that Thursdays are better then Fridays for now. We will keep you posted on the date and location for the July meeting. The August meeting is planned for the 23rd (the following week runs into Labor Day week).

There was lively discussion on BWEN's autonomy and the need to keep the network's focus on Women Engineers, as we are in the career most under-represented by women. Differing opinions were expressed about whether or not BWEN should fall under the BWIS umbrella. In print, we have a lot in common with BWIS. Check out their web site: We all agreed that we should keep meeting in our open, informal format to widen our technical, organization, and presentation skills - in short - carry on networking!

We still need to examine our mission statement, to make it reflect the nature and philosophy of our network.

Our web site will soon be moved from the development site ( The link will be distributed as soon as the move is complete! There will be an Expertise Database in place of the Member List. If you'd like to include your name, department, field, and area of expertise in the database, forward the information to Arlene (I hope you don't mind, Arlene!) or Loralie . Also, the network needs your input for future technical topics you can present to the group. Consider volunteering to give a short talk about your job, or host future meetings, or share your ideas and contacts.

Agenda for the next meeting: We will invite BWIS members to tell us about themselves and the history of their organization with the remaining time devoted to open discussion.

Future agenda may include discussions with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) local chapter! Stay Tuned!!!

BWEN May 16, 2001 Meeting Minutes (plus some new info)
Loralie Smart (

Please note there will not be a meeting on May 25 as posted in the bulletin.

The opening topic of discussion was potential collaboration with BWIS. Loralie was contacted by Stephanie Lamontagne about having someone from our network talk to BWIS about who we are, and possibly cooperating with BWIS in the future on some level. The discussion concluded with the Network agreeing to talk to BWIS at their next meeting with the warning that we are still working on defining our mission. The next BWIS general meeting will be on June 13th in the Physics Reception area. A light lunch (sandwiches, soda, cookies) will be provided, so if you are interested please let Loralie know by 6/6. The BWIS charter can be found by following the Charter link at their web site:

Our Technical topic was AutoCAD: A Great Engineering Tool given by Mari Sullivan. Mari presented three of her recent Plant Engineering projects, which included solid modeling for safe rigging, interfacing AutoCAD models with environmental software to locate leaks, estimating soil excavation for proposed projects, and converting AutoCAD drawings to JPEG format through third-party software! Thank you, Mari! We'll resume Technical talks in the Fall.

In closing discussion, we set the agenda for the June meeting. It will be a brainstorming session to draft our Mission Statement. All Network participants are asked to submit to Loralie, Laurie, or Karen three work-related issues that can be used to draft our Mission Statement. If you can get them to us before the meeting, we can anonymously circulate & post your ideas. The possibility of inviting summer students to a meeting was also discussed and will be pursued (perhaps in an informal meet & greet at a future Network meeting).

Web space has been set-aside for the Network, and work has begun on the development web page. If you have any ideas for the web page, bring them to the next meeting, or share them with Laurie or Karen. What the Network evolves into depends totally on participating members - we want to hear from you!

The next meeting will be on Thursday June 28, 2001, in Berkner Meeting Room A. See you there!


April 27, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Arlene Zhang

Arlene Zhang
Susan Eng Wong hosted our meeting, and Loralie Smart was the Main Speaker.

Loralie told us about her experience with WISE program. She enjoyed teaching high school girls on how to build electronic projects. It made girls feel very good to see their Timers work, but she also pointed out "It needs a lot of effort." Her talk was very informative. People asked about time commitment, material and lab setup, etc.

Many of us have been volunteers in various programs, such as WISE (college or high school program), Education programs, Speakers Bureal, LINCT, Community Involvement, Committees, etc. It was recognized immediately by all of us that we should have concentration on adopting new programs to allow group participation and share time commitment among the volunteers.

Susan asked ladies to name the top three priorities for Women Engineers Networking. Many good suggestions came up. Let's continue our discussion on this very important issue.

Website building is in progress. We will start technical talk on May, and our first technical speaker will be Mariola Sullivan.

Thanks for everyone who contributed to our activites.

March 23, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Arlene Zhang

Susan Eng Wong was the host of the meeting. She introduced new members, and the main speaker Peggy Sutherland.

Peggy gave us such an excellent presentation of "Communications of the Sensitive Issues." She used her experience of dealing with Local School PTA as an example, and explained the communication process. She suggested some reference readings.

The response was overwhelming, and the discussion following the presentation was very intense. People want to know more and learn more on the topic, and suggested to have a lunchtime lecture series. As the result, we have to ask Loralie to reschedule her talk to our April meeting. Thank you all.

It's our group and we all like it!


February 16, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Arlene Zhang

Our meeting started with new friends self introduction.

The main speaker was Janet Temple, Director of the Long Island Museum of Science and Technology and the American Merchant Museum. She presented the museum site plan and the upcoming events. The two events honoring women are:

Janet would like to have more BNL women to participate the events. So if you are interested, call Janet at 631-269-6105, or email

We also talked about the SUNY Stony Brook WISE program invitation for volunteers.

Ladies discussed web site, technical presentations, idea of the month, etc.

It was really energetic!

January 19, 2001 BWEN Meeting Minutes
Arlene Zhang

This is our very first meeting, and a very successful start. Thanks for everyone!

The meeting started with self-introduction. We discussed the need for women's networking, sister-hood-support, sharing our knowledge and experiences, issues and suggestions, improve communication and understanding with laboratory management and colleagues, future activities.

The issues and suggestions:

We enjoyed our lunchtime, and we all like to meet again and to invite more friends!

Last updated <5/9/2002>  by   <K. Johnson>