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Women in HPC sponsors student attendance at Society of Women Engineers conference

  • Science Highlights

Purdue’s Women in High-Performance Computing (WHPC) group sponsored two women students to attend the 2023 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) annual conference, WE23, which took place in Los Angeles in October.

The Society of Women Engineers has been an advocate for women in engineering since 1950 and has more than 40,000 members. WE23 is SWE’s flagship annual conference and is the largest gathering for women in engineering and technology. The conference features interactive workshops on leadership and engineering topics, hands-on demonstrations of new technology, networking and mentoring opportunities and a career fair.

“Attending WE23 gave me motivation, empowerment, and community support to help me advance and succeed as a woman pursuing an engineering career,” says Eshita Bhardwaj, a master’s degree student in engineering management with a minor in electrical and computer engineering.

“Seeing so many successful and inspirational women engineers from all walks of life at the conference instilled confidence in my own career path. It motivated me as a young woman pursuing an engineering degree when I got to interact with senior engineers who have navigated challenges to reach leadership roles. I realized that there is a wide supportive community of women engineers to learn from and draw encouragement from even after the conference.”

“The conference was a fantastic experience for me,” adds Deepa Manapakkam Dileepkumar, also a master’s degree student in engineering management and the other student who was sponsored by Purdue WHPC.

“I had the chance to connect with incredible people, creating networks that I believe will be beneficial for my career. This being my first professional conference, the whole event felt like a milestone, offering not just knowledge but a real sense of being part of a dynamic professional community.”

Purdue WHPC is part of a broader engagement initiative by the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing (RCAC), and is led by women staffers affiliated with RCAC. WHPC is a diverse community encompassing undergraduate, graduate, staff and faculty men and women who are interested in exposing women to high-performance computing and encouraging their pursuit of research and careers in HPC and other technology fields.

Within the WHPC initiative, RCAC extends partial travel assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, empowering their participation in various national conferences aligning with WHPC’s objectives. Applicants are assessed on their demonstrated experience with advanced computation and must explain what they hope to gain from participating in the conference. To be eligible, an applicant must identify as a woman and be an undergrad or grad student maintaining good academic standing.

For full eligibility requirements, and to apply for this scholarship, please visit the WHPC Scholarship page.

“Receiving support from Purdue WHPC through the scholarship was a game-changer for me,” says Dileepkumar.

“Attending conferences is not just about gaining knowledge but also about networking, and the support from WHPC makes this experience accessible. It's a vital step in one's professional journey, providing opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and establish connections that can significantly impact your career trajectory. The program's commitment to fostering both learning and networking is invaluable.”

“As a student, conferences can be cost-prohibitive, so the scholarship from Purdue WHPC eliminated that hurdle and gave me a tremendous opportunity that would not have been possible otherwise,” adds Bhardwaj.

“I am extremely appreciative that Purdue WHPC invests in and empowers the next generation of female technologists like myself through opportunities to learn, grow and thrive in our fields.”

In addition to the scholarship program, Purdue WHPC organizes a range of activities including regular meetings to discuss technical HPC-related issues of interest, opportunities to network with the WHPC community, a mentorship program, workshops, and exposure to external resources and opportunities.

To learn more about Purdue Women in HPC or be added to the mailing list, contact

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