IEEE Virtual World Forum on Internet of Things 2020
A Multi-Event Conference

Women in Engineering Panel

What is it about:  IoT promises to be ubiquitous. As such, it raises a number of promises and also questions. How will it impact bio-sensors, particularly emerging ones that allow for reading neural signals? How will it fit into 5G? Will the power requirements be manageable in the circuit level? How will safety critical industries, such as the automotive one, interact with IoT? What are security and privacy implications? Our panel will explore these questions and place IoT in its broad context.


Be our guest at this complementary powerhouse Women in Engineering and IoT Panel!

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Session Chair:

Muriel Medard, Professor, MIT

Muriel Médard is the Cecil H. Green Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at MIT and leads the Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group at the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT. She has served as editor for many publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), of which she was elected Fellow, and she has served as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. She was President of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2012, and served on its board of governors for eleven years. She has served as technical program committee co-chair of many of the major conferences in information theory, communications and networking. She received the 2019 Best Paper award for IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, 2009 IEEE Communication Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, the 2009 William R. Bennett Prize in the Field of Communications Networking, the 2002 IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Prize Paper Award, the 2018 ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Paper Award and several conference paper awards. She was co-winner of the MIT 2004 Harold E. Egerton Faculty Achievement Award, received the 2013 EECS Graduate Student Association Mentor Award and served as undergraduate Faculty in Residence for seven years. In 2007 she was named a Gilbreth Lecturer by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. She received the 2016 IEEE Vehicular Technology James Evans Avant Garde Award, the 2017 Aaron Wyner Distinguished Service Award from the IEEE Information Theory Society and the 2017 IEEE Communications Society Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award. She is a member of the National Academy of Inventors. She was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2020.



Ruth Bergman, Chief Technology Officer, GE Healthcare

Dr. Ruth Bergman is the Chief Technology Officer for GE Healthcare Acute Care business, which is executing on a GE Healthcare & Roche partnership and vision in Digital Healthcare. Acute Care aims to bring high quality insights to guide collaborative action for individual patients before patient deterioration requires heroic and expensive measures, especially deterioration due to Sepsis. Her team is at the forefront of the transformation of Healthcare in AI and virtualization. Previously, Ruth led GE Global Research with a Healthcare AI Strategy grounded in big data.

Prior to joining GE, Ruth was the Senior Director of Data Science and General Manager of Hewlett Packard Labs Israel. She has been a thought leader in the transformation from enterprise IT to the data-driven enterprise. During her fifteen-year tenure at Hewlett Packard, Ruth leveraged a strong technology background in machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision and algorithms. At HP, Ruth was responsible for creating technology and delivering it to customers via various products in IT operations & applications, and digital print.

Earlier, Ruth was a researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and at the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. She’s an inventor of over 30 patents and has authored numerous academic papers.


 Rabia Yazicigil, Professor, Boston University 

Rabia Yazicigil is currently an Assistant Professor of ECE Department at Boston University and a Visiting Scholar at MIT. She was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT and received her PhD degree from Columbia University in 2016. Her research interests lie at the interface of integrated circuits, signal processing, security, bio-sensing, and wireless communications to innovate system-level solutions for future energy-constrained applications. She has received numerous awards, including the “Electrical Engineering Collaborative Research Award” for her PhD research (2016), second place at the Bell Labs Future X Days Student Research Competition (2015), and 2014 Millman Teaching Assistant Award of Columbia University. She recently served as the Vice Chair of the Rising Stars 2020 workshop at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and she is member of the 2015 MIT EECS Rising Stars cohort. She is a member of the ISSCC and ESSCIRC Technical Program Committees.


Suzan DelBene, Congresswoman, US Washington State 

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene represents Washington’s First Congressional District, which spans from northeast King County to the Canadian border, and includes parts of King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

First sworn into the House of Representatives on Nov. 13, 2012, Suzan brings a unique voice to the nation’s capital, with more than two decades of experience as a successful technology entrepreneur and business leader.

Suzan takes on a wide range of challenges both in Congress and in the First District and is a leader on issues of technology, health and agriculture.

Suzan currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is at the forefront of debate on taxes, healthcare and retirement security. There, Suzan is working to ensure all Americans have meaningful access to affordable, quality healthcare. She serves on the Select Revenue Measures, Trade, and Oversight Subcommittees.

In the 116th Congress, Rep. DelBene was appointed to the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The committee was created to find ways to improve and modernize the way Congress operates.

Suzan also serves as Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and co-chair of the Women’s High Tech Caucus, Internet of Things Caucus, Dairy Caucus and Aluminum Caucus.

Suzan spent part of her early childhood in Newport Hills and Mercer Island before her father, an airline pilot, lost his job. After fourth grade, her family moved all over the country in search of work. With hard work and financial aid, such as student loans and work-study programs, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Reed College.

Following Reed, Suzan worked in the biotechnology industry before earning an MBA from the University of Washington and embarking on a successful career as a technology leader and innovator. In more than two decades as an executive and entrepreneur, she helped to start as its vice president of marketing and store development, and served as CEO and president of Nimble Technology, a business software company based on technology developed at the University of Washington. Suzan also spent 12 years at Microsoft, most recently as corporate vice president of the company’s mobile communications business.

Before being elected to Congress, Suzan served as Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue. During her tenure, Suzan proposed reforms to cut red tape for small businesses. She also enacted an innovative tax amnesty program that generated $345 million to help close the state’s budget gap, while easing the burden on small businesses.

Suzan’s mix of real world experience in the private and public sector gives her a deep understanding of how to build successful businesses, create jobs, implement real fiscal accountability and adopt policies that provide individuals with access to opportunity.


Deborah Estrin, Professor,  Cornell Tech 

Deborah Estrin is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech in New York City where she holds The Robert V. Tishman Founder’s Chair, serves as the Associate Dean for Impact, and founded the Jacobs Institute’s Health Tech Hub. Estrin’s research interests include digital health, ubiquitous computing, personalization, and privacy (TEDMED). Most recently, she has joined the growing community of scholars and practitioners engaged in Public Interest Technology.

Before joining Cornell University Estrin was the Founding Director of the NSF Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA; pioneering the development of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real time data about the physical world. Estrin co-founded the non-profit startup, Open mHealth and has served on several scientific advisory boards for early stage mobile health startups.

Her honors include: ACM Athena Lecture (2006), Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Award for Innovation (2007), The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), The National Academy of Engineering (2009), The IEEE Internet Award (2017), MacArthur Fellow (2018), and The National Academy of Medicine (2019). She was awarded honorary doctorates from EPFL (2008) and Uppsala (2011) universities. She is currently an Amazon Scholar (2020-present).


Nancy Shemwell, Trilogy Networks

Ms. Shemwell is currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Trilogy Networks, the leading provider of distributed cloud infrastructure across the United States. In her current role, Nancy is responsible for guiding the company’s ongoing growth and executing the founders’ vision to deploy 1.5 million square miles of edge compute capability across rural America, providing the essential infrastructure for 5G, Agriculture, and Energy solutions.

Prior to joining Trilogy Networks, Ms. Shemwell was COO of the IoT Community, the largest global IoT industry thought leader association.

A three-time Chief Executive Officer, she recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of entegra technologies, inc., recruited to migrate this early stage, ruggedized tablet company to provider of fully integrated portfolio of cyber security solutions for mission critical, industrial control systems (ICS). With a 20-year track record of driving high performance transformational global organizations, Ms. Shemwell has been Ranked #93 in ExecRank’s Top CSO Rankings” from 15,000 Chief Sales Officers and C-Level executives in the United States, she has also been recognized as a Finalist for 2015 D CEO M&A of the Year Award, Semi-finalist, 2018 Emerging Technology Tech Titan CEO of the Year and named a 2018 Phenomenal Women by Texas Wall Street Women.

Ms. Shemwell has previously held a variety of senior positions with global business responsibilities including assignments in Europe and North America. Her experience covers a broad spectrum of general management, sales and marketing roles in rapidly developing markets.  Previous positions include that of Chief Operating Officer and owner of DataSpan, President and CEO of Multi-Link, President and CEO Jovial Test Equipment, EVP Extreme Networks, EVP at Symmetricom and a 16 year career with Nortel Networks where she held titles of President, Micom Communications Corporation (a Nortel subsidiary), Vice President Business Segments, Vice President Sales and Marketing Wiltel (Nortel’s largest enterprise distributor) and Director Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Ms. Shemwell holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University and a Master of Science in Business Administration from Texas A&M. She was named to the VoodooVox, Inc. (VVX – TSX) Board of Directors in 2006, and the NTXRCIC in 2012.  Ms. Shemwell also serves as the Chair of the entegra technologies Board of Advisors, appointed in 2018 to the Board of Advisors of IoT Communities, a 22,000-member global IoT industry association. Ms. Shemwell also serves on the Associate Board at the SMU Cox School of Business and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and Women Corporate Directors.


Aphra Kerr, Professor, Maynooth University

Dr. Aphra Kerr has a PhD in Communication Studies (2000) and is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University, Ireland. Her current research focusses on the social, ethical and governance challenges of contemporary smart technologies including artificial intelligence. She has been researching digital games for almost 20 years and was co-principle investigator on the Canadian funded ‘Refiguring Innovation in Digital Games’ project which had a specific focus on diversity and inclusion in tech cultures. Aphra’s books include Global Games: Production, Circulation and Policy in the Networked Age, Routledge, 2017, and she was associate editor of The International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. In 2016 she received a Distinguished Scholar award from the international Digital Games Research Association for contributions to the field of game studies. She has previously held visiting fellowships at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Pennsylvania. See more at and @aphrak


Janise McNair, Professor, University of Florida

Janise McNair is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Florida, where she leads the Wireless And Mobile Systems Laboratory. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 and 1993, respectively, and her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000.
Currently, she serves on the Editorial Board of the Springer Wireless Networks Journal and served on past editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and Elsevier Ad Hoc Networks Journal. She has served past IEEE conferences as technical program committee chair (IEEE SmartGridComm 2015), publication co-chair (IEEE INFOCOM 2012, 2010) and vice general chair (IEEE TridentCom 2007). McNair was a participant in the 2008 DARPA Computer Science Study Group and in the 2014 Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Cohort. Her current research interests are next generation wireless networks, including 6G, Internet of Things, small satellite networks, sensor networks, and cognitive networks, specifically addressing network management, security, routing and medium access control.


Ruoyi Zhou, Director, IBM Research Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Ruoyi Zhou is the Director of IBM Research – Ireland with the responsibilities to drive innovation and grow a world-class industrial research organization in AI, Internet of Things (IoT), high performance computing, mathematical modeling, quantum computing, and other cutting-edge sciences and technologies.

Prior to her current role, she served as the Director of IBM Accessibility Research where she oversaw development of advanced technology to enable accessibility for IBM products, solutions, and services; creation of AI-powered assistive technology for people with disabilities; and exploration of IoT-based AI solutions for Aging. She also served on the Industry Advisory Council at the Colorado University College of Engineering & Applied Science and on the Board of Advisors for G3ict. She initiated and launched the Accessibility track at the Grace Hopper Conference and served as a committee member. Additionally, Ruoyi was the Co-Director of AI for Healthy Living, a joint research center between IBM and the University of California, San Diego. Previous to that, Ruoyi was the Director responsible for the partnership between IBM Research and IBM Global Business Services. In this role, she led a global team and grew services revenue by applying differentiating technologies to solve challenging business problems. During her tenure as a senior research manager, Ruoyi led a cross-disciplinary team in tackling one of the most difficult problems in IBM’s strategic outsourcing business: forecasting deal cost and pricing, using complex mathematical modeling and predictive analytics. Before stepping into research management, Ruoyi served as the Chief of Staff in the Lab Director’s office at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. Ruoyi spent the early part of her career in IBM’s Storage Systems Group as an engineer designing magnetic recording heads and developing thin-film disk technology. Prior to joining IBM, Ruoyi was a postdoctoral researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she studied and researched process and characterization of high-temperature superconductors.

Ruoyi holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Rutgers University. She has over 30 publications and is the recipient of several patents. She was a YWCA TWIN Award honoree, one of the most prestigious awards in the United States, recognizing successful women executives for their outstanding achievements.