Candidates for 2022 IEEE Women in Engineering Committee Chair-Elect.

The sequence of candidates was determined by lottery and indicates no preference.

Cinzia Da Via

Headshot of Cinzia Da Via

(Nominated by IEEE Women in Engineering)

Professor of Physics
The University of Manchester
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Manchester, United Kingdom, and
Visiting Research Professor
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York, USA


Cinzia Da Vià received her PhD in Physics at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, working at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) on radiation detectors and their spinoff applications to medicine, while being awarded a CERN fellowship. She formed and led an international collaboration to develop a novel detector design (3D) with unprecedented radiation tolerance and speed, which was successfully installed in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012. She is the Independent Committee co-chair of the EU ATTRACT Initiative which support innovative radiation imaging technology research projects in Europe and is the Chief Editor of the Frontiers in Physics, Radiation Detectors and Imaging Journal. She has co-authored more than 500 papers and one book on 3D-radiation detectors. She is a regular Speaker, Chair, and International Scientific Committee Member of several conferences and instrumentation schools. She regularly supervises PhD and Master students and mentors young researchers.


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

  • IEEE Senior Member
  • IEEE NPSS Marie Curie Awards Board, 2019-2021
  • IEEE Nuclear Science Plasma Society Distinguished-Lecturer, 2016-present
  • IEEE NPSS Nuclear Science Symposium Chair, Manchester, UK, 2019
  • International Scientific Committee Member IEEE ANIMMA Conference, 2017-present
  • Member of the IEEE NPSS Transnational Committee representing the UK, 2013-present
  • Reviewer of IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, 2000-present
  • IEEE Women in Engineering Committee Member and NPSS Liaison, 2017-present
  • Member of WIE Conference and Visibility sub-committees (2017-18)
  • IEEE NPSS RITC Committee Member, 2015-2017 and 2021
  • IEEE WIE coordinator at NPSS Conferences, 2017-present
  • Chair of the 2022 WIE 25th Anniversary Celebration Ad Hoc Sub-Committee
  • Lecturer and WIE coordinator at IEEE NPSS Instrumentation Schools in Developing Countries (South Africa, Indonesia, Senegal, Vietnam), 2018-present
  • Recipient of IEEE NPSS Initiative Funds to sponsor WIE events at Instrumentation Schools in Developing Countries (South Africa, Indonesia, Senegal, Vietnam), 2020-present
  • Sponsor of several women for IEEE Awards, 2016-present
  • While chairing the NPSS Flagship Conference Nuclear Science Symposium, selected 44% women on the main conference technical committee positions
  • Promoted IEEE WIE to students and both young and established professional women in developing countries
  • Chair of the WIE 25th Anniversary Celebration Ad Hoc Sub-Committee 2021



The first time I attended an in-person IEEE WIE meeting, I felt the power of discussing common interests with women from many professional fields and different cultural and geographical backgrounds from around the world. We were all talking the same language and we understood each other.  Only a global organization like IEEE can offer such opportunities. Equality for women and minorities is an issue requiring attention more than ever after the pandemic that has exposed inequalities in the global population at many levels. As the IEEE WIE Chair-Elect, I would promote strengthening a sense of community among women working in STEM fields globally.  I would also use my leadership experience to gather women in all fields to discuss new opportunities in science and innovation and on promoting effective ways to practice equal opportunities in education and jobs, equality in salary, career progression, and open recognition of excellence and role models

Celia Shahnaz

Headshot of Celia Shahnaz

(Nominated by Petition)

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)
Dhaka, Bangladesh


Celia Shahnaz, SMIEEE, Fellow IEB, received Ph.D. degree from Concordia University, Canada and is a Professor, Department of EEE, BUET, Bangladesh since 2015.

She has published 150+ international journal/conference papers, a recipient of the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship/Fellowship and Bangladesh Academy of Science Gold Medal for her contributions in Science and Technology. Her papers have received best paper awards in IEEE BECITHCON 2019, Biomedical Engineering tracks TENCON 2017, IEEE WIECON-ECE 2016, and Humanitarian Challenge track R10 HTC 2017.

She was the mentor of 1st/2nd prize winning projects in IEEE IAS CMD Contests (Robotics, Humanitarian) in 2017-2019, USA, the supervisor of 4th/5th rank winning teams in SPCUP and VIPCUP competitions, ICASSP 2020 (Spain)/2015 (Australia)/ICIP 2020 (UAE). She has 20+ years of experience (20 years as an IEEE volunteer) of leading impactful Technical, Professional, Educational, Industrial, Women Empowerment, and Humanitarian Technology Projects at national/international levels.


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

IEEE Activities:


  • 2021 Member, IEEE History Committee (HC)
  • 2021 Liaison, IEEE HC & WIE
  • 2021 Chair, WIE History Subcommittee
  • 2021 Member, IEEE EAB FRC
  • 2020 Member, New Initiatives Committee
  • 2020 Chair, Women in SIGHT Working Group
  • 2020-21 Member, WIE SM Elevation Drive
  • 2017, 2019 SIGHT Communications Chair
  • 2019-20 Member, WIE WePOWER Subcommittee
  • 2017-18 Chair, WIE Workshops Subcommittee


  • 2016 R10 WIE Coordinator
  • 2014-2018 Member, R10 Committees (50 years, WIE, HTA, Education)

Section, Student Branch (SB), SB Chapters:

  • 2018-6/2021 Chair, Bangladesh Section (BDS)
  • 2017 Vice-Chair (Activity), BDS
  • 2010-2015 Chair, WIE BDS AG and BDS MD (2012-2013)
  • 2014-2021 Coordinator, SIGHT FLASH
  • 2016-2021 Advisor, WIE BDS, BUET SB WIE AGs, BUET SB Chapters: IAS, RAS (2018-2021), SPS (2019-2021)


  • 2021 Chair, SPS Women in Signal Processing
  • 2021 Liaison, SPS and WIE
  • 2020-2021 Member, PELS TC5 Webinar and award Subcommittees
  • 2017-2021, PES WiP R10 Representative
  • 2017-2020 Chair, SPS, IAS (2018-2021), RAS (2021), SSIT (2021), EMBS (2020-2021) BDS
  • 2018-2020 Vice-Chair, RAS, SSIT, SPS (2021), EMBS (2019) BDS


  • General/TPC Chair/Co-Chair: TENSYMP 2020, WIECON-ECE 2015-2020, R10-HTC 2017


  • 2019 R10 Humanitarian Activities Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • 2016 MGA Leadership Award
  • 2015 WIE Inspiring Member Award
  • 2013 R10 WIE Professional Volunteer Award

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Founded IEEE WIECON-ECE 2015 (Bangladesh), co-organized five more versions (India, Thailand).
  • Coordinated 25 WIE Workshops and Panels in R3, R5, R7-R10.
  • Speaker, Panelist (1st PES WiP Conference); WiP brief Session co-proposer and Speaker (Sections Congress 2017), General Chair (1st 2020 WiP Congress and Summit in R10).
  • Launched Women in SIGHT Summit, Humans of SIGHT, SIGHT Twitter Chat Session.
  • Encouraged formation of 3 Section WIE AGs (China, Thailand), 58 SB WIE AGs (35.10% increase in WIE membership growth in R10).
  • Led BDS winning 2018 MGA Outstanding Large Section Award, IEEE WIE International Leadership Summit 2018 (General Chair).
  • Founded/co-founded four Society Chapters.



My vision is to enhance collaboration among IEEE WIE, WIE AGs, and other OUs, such as councils, sections/subsections, student branches, AGs (YP, LM) and SIGHT to enhance member engagement, develop technical skills, promote research and innovation, ensure recognition and representations of WIE members in leadership positions across all OUs. If elected, my priorities will be:

  • Elevating Program Values: Popularizing/introducing/emphasizing STAR, Distinguished Lecturer, Fellow Elevation Drives to ensure their qualifications for leadership.
  • Enhancing Recognition: Launching WIE DAY, Humans of WIE, more award nominations and visibility of WIE accomplishments in TA Spotlight, The Institute, IEEE WIE Magazine, etc.
  • Encouraging Industry-Academia Conclave: Promoting Corporate Membership development and retention for solving real life problems.
  • Incubating Humanitarian Projects-Product Design: Boosting WIE Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Launching Mentor-Mentee Technical Programs: Designing Mentor-Mentee activities involving multiple OUs for WIE membership growth and retention.
  • Building Capacity:  For organization of more quality society Flagship conferences involving 10 Regions.

More information:

Simay Akar

Headshot of Simay Akar

(Nominated by IEEE Women in Engineering)

CCO & Co-Founder
Istanbul, Türkiye


Simay Akar is an entrepreneur with corporate industrial background and experience in the energy industry. She specialized in photovoltaic manufacturing, battery storage for electric vehicles and other renewable energy technologies and the clean energy markets development.

Akar is currently the Chief Commercial Officer & Co-Founder at Innoses.

Additional past roles include Sales & Marketing Director of EkoRE – Eko Renewable Energy and Marketing & Business Development Director of GoodWe Türkiye, Head of Overseas Marketing at Talesun Solar.

Akar has worked in China and Türkiye and mostly focused on international commercial activities and has been employed by  CSUN EurasiaSchneider ElectricArcelik (BEKO), and Lucida Solar.

In addition to her professional acclimates, she is an IEEE Senior Member, acknowledged volunteer since 2007 and recipient of several prestigious awards. Simay is a graduate of Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Türkiye and participated in the Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Program at Stanford University.


IEEE Accomplishments and Activities

Simay is volunteering for WIE since 2007. She served in a number of roles on various levels: from Student Branch Chair to Student Representative, Section WIE AG Founder-Chair, Regions 8 & 10 WIE Committees, MGA WIEC roles continuously for 8 years; Region 8 WIE Chair, PES Women in Power Liaison to WIEC, WIE YP Liaison (Voting Member), Chaired several WIEC Subcommittees (Awards, Travel Grants and Outreach). She was actively involved in the coordination of WIE ILC and 25th Anniversary Celebration. Simay currently has responsibilities in other OUs; TAB Diversity and Inclusion Committee member, and HAC Partnership Chair (leading WIE, YP, SAC, and EA initiatives). Simay has passion and deep understanding of the structure and operation of WIEC and knowledge of all the best practices over the years. Furthermore, a diverse IEEE OU experiences help her to have wider operational knowledge.

Simay also served in other leadership positions in various OUs including IEEE Day, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee & Steering Committees of IEEE SIGHT & IEEE Entrepreneurship, IEEE PES (Chair, YP 2021), IEEE SSIT, IEEE Smart Cities, IEEE Young Professionals (MGA Vice-Chair, Marketing & Outreach), IEEE Student Activities (MGA Vice-Chair, Membership), and positions in Regions 8 & 10. Simay has operational knowledge of Section Executive Committee (Treasurer) and Regional Operations Committee (Region 8 Vice-Chair). She is a VOLT graduate.

To learn more:

Individual Awards:

  • IEEE WIE Inspiring Member of The Year Award (Honorable Mention) 2020
  • IEEE MGA Young Professionals Achievement Award 2017, “For outstanding contributions to the IEEE Women in Engineering, Young Professionals and Humanitarian Technology activities”.
  • IEEE Day Leadership Award 2013

Team Awards:

  • IEEE Young Professionals Hall of the Fame Award 2018 (IEEE PES)
  • IEEE MGA (Global) Achievement Award 2014 (served as IEEE Day Team Lead 2012-2014)
  • IEEE Regional Exemplary Student Branch Award 2007-2010 (Chair of IEEE METU SB)


IEEE Women in Engineering is a diverse global network that enables and recognizes success for all members in STEM fields to interact, empower, unlock their own potential, develop their careers, increase their self-confidence, improve their professional skills, and accomplish their dreams.

If elected as IEEE WIEC Chair, I would work diligently to support and drive this mission and efforts by:

  • Supporting WIE members recognition, evaluation, and representation
  • Strengthening collaboration with IEEE Organizational Units and Technical Societies
  • Empowering industry engagement, humanitarian, entrepreneurship, educational new initiatives
  • Leveraging organizational structure and operation
  • Highlighting the local WIE OU’s best practices, practical improvements that inspire all members and increase collaboration
  • Ensuring that voice of every single WIE member regardless of personal, cultural, and disciplinary backgrounds and member grades will be heard by establishing a platform for sharing your ideas and concerns.

I kindly ask for your vote, and I look forward to serve you!