Femineer word spelled out

Women in Engineering Program


SDSU’s Women in Engineering Program was created in Fall 2019 to engage and provide support for undergraduates, graduates, and female faculty to create a welcoming community within the College of Engineering. SDSU’s WE provides resources and various opportunities to help them succeed at SDSU in addition to the opportunity to network and be mentored by local SDSU alumnae and industry representatives. SDSU’s WE Program also provides support and STEM outreach to K-12 students through the College of Engineering’s Femineer® Program.


  Flowchart of WE services


The mission of SDSU’s Women in Engineering Program is to engage and provide support for undergraduates, graduates, and female faculty by cultivating a welcoming environment of knowledge and growth among a safe community within the College of Engineering in order to produce competent and passionate graduates for the engineering workforce. A special component within the WE Program is the College of Engineering Femineer® Program which strengthens the pipeline through engaging in K-12 STEM outreach.

WE Faculty Advisor

Dr. Karen May Newman

Karen May-Newman, Ph.D.
Chair, Big Ideas Initiative
Professor of Mechanical Engineering


WE Staff

Michelle BunnMichelle Bunn, M.A.


[email protected]

Bianca AvinaBianca Aviña, M.A. 

Assistant Director

[email protected]


Aerospace Engineering Faculty Members

Dr. Margherita CapriottiDr. Margherita Capriotti

SDSU WE Faculty since 2020

Office: TBD

Website: Coming soon

Fun Fact: "Although I am Italian, I am always having an Americano coffee!"


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Faculty Members

Thais AlvesDr. Thais Alves

SDSU WE Faculty since 2009

Office: Education 100E


Fun Fact: “I have never lost my Northeastern Brazilian accent when I speak Portuguese, even after have left my hometown for over 20 years. My Brazilian friends always make fun of me because of that!”

Thais AlvesDr. Christy Dykstra

SDSU WE Faculty since 2018

Office: Engineering 406


Fun Fact: “I enjoy listening to blues music from the early 1900's.”

Sahar Ghanipoor MachianiDr. Sahar Ghanipoor Machiani

SDSU WE Faculty since 2015

Office: Engineering 403F


Fun Fact: “During my graduate studies at Virginia Tech, I was the Captain of the university's female table tennis team.”

Dr. Alicia KinoshitaDr. Alicia Kinoshita

SDSU WE Faculty since 2014

Office: Engineering 421F


Fun Fact: “I drove a hydrogen fuel cell car from the first production by GM.”

Marta MileticDr. Marta Miletic

SDSU WE Faculty since 2019

Office: Engineering 421C

Website: Coming soon

Fun Fact: “I am born and raised in the country that doesn't exist today. (ex. Yugoslavia).”

Dr. Natalie MladenovDr. Natalie Mladenov

SDSU WE Faculty since 2014

Office: Engineering 407


Fun Fact: “I have crashed on my mountain bike over 20 times.”

Electrical & Computer Engineering Faculty Members

Dr. Mahasweta SarkarDr. Mahasweta Sarkar

SDSU WE Faculty since 2006

Office: Engineering 202C


Fun Fact: “I love to dance!!"

Dr. Junfei XieDr. Junfei Xie

SDSU WE Faculty since 2019

Office: Engineering 403B


 Fun Fact: "Whenever I see my cat, she reminds me to publish more papers, as her name is 'paper.'"


Mechanical Engineering Faculty Members

Dr. Zahra Nili AhmadabadiDr. Zahra Nili Ahmadabadi

SDSU WE Faculty since 2020

Office: TBD


Fun Fact:  “In the past few years, I lived in three different states in North America until I found my favorite place, California.

Dr. Karen May NewmanDr. Karen May-Newman

SDSU WE Faculty since 1998

Office: Engineering 323E


Fun Fact: “I built a 9-hole miniature golf course in my backyard."


Dr. Elisa TorresaniDr. Elisa Torresani

SDSU WE Faculty since 2020

Office: TBD

Website: Coming soon

Fun Fact: “I never learned how to swim."



  • WE Research Lab Student Opportunities
    • WE Believe Program - The SDSU Women in Engineering (WE) are proud to announce a new summer program for black students to gain engineering skills. WE BELIEVE: WomEn and Black Empowered Learners Interning in Engineering EnVironmEnts is a four-week internship for 20 high school and community college students selected from around San Diego County. The program schedule and application process will be available in late January, please complete the following form if you are interested in receiving further information: https://forms.gle/ jaQirGmKEtpxJY9i9
  • We would love to connect with our SDSU Engineering Alumnae and feature you at our upcoming WE Chats and workshops.
  • Whether you’re interested now or later to get involved in our SDSU WE efforts, please fill out this SDSU WE ALUMNAE Questionnaire