Voices of Scientists: Women in Science

February 17, 2023
Assembly Hall

On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy, in partnership with International House, is organizing a roundtable on the topic of Women in Science.

Three women physicists will share their experiences during a roundtable discussion about working in STEM. They will also discuss how having pluricultural experiences has influenced their perspectives on the topic.

  • Dr. Sunanda Prabhu-Gaunkar, Director of Science, STAGE lab, University of Chicago. Dr. Prabhu-Gaunkar is a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University. With her work at STAGE lab, she brings together her experience in scientific research and design and applies these skills in creating compelling stories for film and theatre, connecting art and science. She studied in France at the Ecole Polytechnique before her PhD.
  • Dr. Frédérique Pellemoine, High Power Targetry R&D Program leader and leader of the RaDIATE collaboration at Fermilab. She obtained her engineering diploma in 1995 from Ecole Polytechnique Feminine in France, one of the first engineering schools to train only women until 1994. She took part in the first 1-year polar mission accepting women in Kerguelen Island. She obtained her PhD in 2001 on Radioactive ion beam production by ISOL method for SPIRAL facility. She joined Fermilab in 2020. She has 20+ years of experience developing high power targets for accelerator in a more Women-Men balanced environment.
  • Dr. Séverine Atis, Postdoctoral fellow in expertimental physics at the University of Chicago. Séverine attaches great importance to an interdisciplinary approach towards science, and her research interests span across soft matter, nonequilibrium statistical physics and biophysics.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Zahmeeth Sayed Sakkaff, president of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Chicago. Zahmeeth Sakkaff is a postdoctoral appointee in Data Science and Learning Division, Argonne National Laboratory, and is affiliated as a Postdoc-at-Large, University of Chicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering (CASE). She also serves as President of the Association for Woman in Science (AWIS)-Chicago Area Chapter (AWIS-CAC) – (2022– 024), and on the editorial Board as Area Editor for Non-Conventional Communications and Networks in Elsevier journal.


3.00 pm : Opening remarks – Denise Jorgens, Director, International House

3.05 pm : Presentation of the panel – Dr. Sakkaff

3.10 pm : Roundtable discussion

3.45 pm : Q&A with the audience

4.00 pm : Reception


This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact International House in advance of the program at 773-753-2274 or i-house-programs@uchicago.edu

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