Part 1: Women in Power as Drivers of Social and Economic Transformation

Dr. Noel Schulz

Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems,
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
Washington State University

President (2012-2013)
IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES)


Dr. Noel Schulz is Edmund O. Schweitzer III Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University. Schulz received her B.S.E.E. (1988) and M.S.E.E. (1990) degrees from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.  She received her Ph.D. in EE (1995) from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.  Noel has been active for over 26 years in teaching, research, and service at six U.S. universities.  She teaches electrical engineering and power engineering topics.  In research and graduate studies, she has graduated 45 MS and 13 PhD students; published 175 papers and 2 book chapters; and brought in over $40M in external research through individual and collaborative projects.  Dr. Schulz is a Fellow of IEEE and the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).  Noel has been active in the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) serving on the PES Governing Boards for 12 years from 2004-2015, including as PES President for 2012 and 2013.  One of her priorities as PES President was having Women in Engineering activities across the world.  In 2014 she received the IEEE HP Harriet B. Rigas Award based on her efforts to encourage women students and faculty in engineering careers.

Noel has been married to her husband, Kirk Schulz, for over 32 years.  Noel and Kirk have two sons, Tim (29 years old) and Andrew (25 years old).

Prof. Saifur Rahman

Advanced Research Institute
Virginia Tech, USA

President (2018-2019)
IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES)


Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner.  He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published over 140 journal papers and has made over four hundred conference and invited presentations.  In 2006 he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, IoT sensor integration, etc. in over 30 countries.  He is the founder of BEM Controls, LLC, a Virginia (USA)-based software company providing building energy management solutions.  He served as the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2013. He has conducted several energy efficiency, blockchain and sensor integration projects for Duke Energy, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy and the State of Virginia. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

Sımay Akar

Chief Commercial Officer
Innoses -Ruiyi (Shanghai) Renewable Energy Technology Co., Ltd., China.

Vice Chair
IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES)
Women in Power (WiP)


Simay specialized in the solar and renewable energy industry since 2012. She worked in China and Turkey and mostly focused on international commercial activities including communications, marketing, sales, investment management, and business development. She is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Innoses -Ruiyi (Shanghai) Renewable Energy Technology Co., Ltd. in the field of energy storage for renewable energy and electric vehicles and she is in charge of global marketing and business development initiatives. She served roles as Sales & Marketing Director at EkoRE Renewable Energy, Business Development & Marketing Director at GoodWe Solar, Head of International Marketing Department at Talesun Solar, Business Development & Sales Manager at CSUN Eurasia, Marketing Communication at Schneider Electric, and Corporate Communication at Arcelik (BEKO). She joined IEEE as a Student Member in 2007, graduated from Middle East Technical University, Ankara Turkey. Today, she is an IEEE Senior Member, IEEE VOLT Graduate (2019), Certified Soft Skills Trainer (since 2008), METU Alumni Association Energy Commission Member, and Licensed Sailor Athlete at the Turkish Sailing Federation. https://simayakar.com/

Part 2: Women in Power Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Dr. Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga

Assistant Professor,
Engineering Technology Department,
University of Toledo (UT), Ohio, USA

IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES),
Women in Power (WiP) Representative,
Central Africa


Dr. Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga, PE is Assistant Professor at the Engineering Technology Department at the University of Toledo (UT) (www.Drmubenga.com), Ohio, USA where she received the Bachelor’s (2005), Master’s (2008) and Doctorate (2017) degrees in Electrical Engineering with honors. Her research areas include battery management systems, electric vehicles, and renewable energy systems. Her battery research won the 2018 IEEE National Aerospace; Electronics Conference Best Poster Award in the USA, while her hybrid electric vehicle research won the 2008 University of Toledo EECS Dept. Most Outstanding Thesis Award. Prior to this role, Sandrine was the Manager of Electrical Engineering at UT where she helped manage a $65 million budget. She is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio, USA. Sandrine is also an entrepreneur. Since 2011, she is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SMIN Power Group (www.sminpowergroup.com), a solar developer with offices in the USA and in the D.R.Congo. In 2018, Sandrine founded the STEM DRC Initiative, a non-profit organization that aims to encourage Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) in the D.R.Congo (www.stemdrc.com) and offered 63 scholarships in 2019. She is a Member of the Board of Directors at the Société Nationale d’ Eléctricité, the main electric utility company in the D.R.Congo.

Sandrine has been a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for 12 years. In 2009, she started and chaired the first IEEE Graduate of the Last Decade Group in the Toledo Section. She chaired the 2017 IEEE PowerAfrica Conference in Ghana with attendees from over 30 countries. Sandrine received many awards  including the 2018 IEEE Engineer of the Year Award, the 2017 Africa Most Influential Women Award in Engineering and Manufacturing by CEO Magazine, and she was inducted in the 2018-2019 World Association of Cooperative Education Co-op Hall of Fame.

Sandrine was just recently appointed in three different roles within IEEE: she is now serving as the IEEE Power and Energy Society(PES) Women in Power (WiP) representative for Central Africa, IEEE Smart Village Director of Business Development-DRC, and Chair of the IEEE PES Congo Scholarship Plus.

Dr. Omowunmi Mary Longe

Senior Lecturer,
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science,
Uni. of Johannesburg, SA.

IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES),
Women in Power (WiP) Representative,
South Africa and Southern Africa


Dr. Omowunmi Mary Longe is presently a Senior Lecturer in the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also the IEEE PES WiP Representative for South Africa and Southern Africa. She received her Doctor of Engineering (D. Ing) in 2017 from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science. Her M.Eng and B.Eng degrees were also obtained in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2011 and 2001 respectively from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.

She is a member of notable professional organisations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, (IEEE), IEEE–PES, IEEE–WiE, IEEE-WiP, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), etc. Dr. O. M. Longe is also registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

She has published more than forty papers at referred journals and conferences. She is also a reviewer for ISI-listed journals and referred professional conferences. She has served as a member of Technical Programme Committees for local and international conferences.

Mercy Chelangat Koech

IEEE Smart Village Ambassador,
PES Women in Power Representative
Region 8

IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES),
Women in Power (WiP) Representative,
East Africa & Region 8 Lead


Mercy Chelangat K. is an electrical engineer with unending interest in renewable energies, with a focus on sustainable community development and emerging trends such as Electric Vehicles and E-Mobility.Mercy possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Moi University, Kenya.

She specializes in Solar engineering and humanitarian development. Mercy has been an ardent volunteer at the IEEE Kenya Section and the Power Energy Society (PES) Kenya Chapter. Mercy serves as the IEEE Smart Village Ambassador, and PES Women in Power Rep. Region 8. She works in partnership with the IEEE Foundation to craft business and fund development strategies for IEEE Smart Village energy entrepreneurs. This is with a focus on productive uses of energy.

She has overseen the piloting of the NwB PES Renewable Energy for Kids Program and WiE Student Teacher and Research Engineer/Scientist programs which aim to boost one on one interaction between students and professionals in engineering. She was recipient of the Region 8 Women in Engineering Clementina Saduwa Award 2019.

Mercy is currently overseeing the IEEE Smart Village initiative in partnership with the Maa Trust involving the construction of a solar powered Vocational Training Hub. Mercy also works with prospective entrepreneurs who are working to propose humanitarian solutions for their community challenges all over Africa.

Mercy is also researching the power requirements of new social enterprises that are currently in development in partnership with IEEE, including Maa e-Safari, to involve the use of electric tuk tuks and trucks in transportation of passengers and goods in rural communities. Mercy believes the future is electric.

Maimunah Ogunniyi

Assistant Manager,
System Planning and Development Department,
Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)

IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES),
Women in Power (WiP) Representative,
West Africa Lead


Maimunah Oluwatosin Ogunniyi currently works with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as Assistant Manager in the System Planning and Development Department. Her responsibilities cover a wide area of power system transmission system forecast, coordination, monitoring and reinforcement. She is involved in project management, supervision and procurement activities. A dynamic engineer, she is at the forefront in demonstrating her skills and prowess in the course of her assignments.

Maimunah is an active member of the IEEE Nigeria Section and the PES Nigeria Chapter, Maimunah has demonstrated good commitment to the cause of WiE at different fora in Nigeria. Leadership strength and teamwork spirit are some of the assets in her that will be beneficial in her function as WiP Chair (Nigeria).

Yasmine Chelly

Computer Science and Applied Mathematics Engineering,
National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS).

IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES),
Women in Power (WiP) Representative,
Northern Africa Lead


Yasmine Chelly is a motivated student who has developed a mature and responsible approach to the tasks she undertakes and she is eager to learn more about data science through professional experience. She is a Computer science and Applied Mathematics engineering student at National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) and she took her Pre-engineering (Math-Physics) from Faculté des sciences Sfax. She did her internship at Freedom of Dev Services, Sfax Hackerspace/Go My Code, Swallow-labs as a software engineer.

She is an active IEEE PES Member and IEEE PES Women in Power Representative of Region 8 ((Africa, Middle East and Europe). She has been active in IEEE PES WIP since 2018 and organized efficient and productive events for women in power and energy. Ms. Chelly has participated and won numerous international competitions like the Power and Energy Week competition (1st prize out of 20 teams). She was selected for the Research Week Exchange Program with the University of Arkansas, USA.