Engineering: Knowing the Problem, Finding the Solution

Day 2 Morning

Andrea Armani

Professor, USC Viterbi

Prof. Andrea Armani is currently the Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science with courtesy appointments in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering in the Viterbi School of Engineering as well as Chemistry in the Dornsife College at the University of Southern California.  She also has an appointment in the Ellison Institute. She is the Director of the W. M. Keck Photonics Cleanroom as well as the soon to open John D. O’Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory, two core nanofabrication cleanrooms at USC. She spent her 2015 sabbatical at Northrop Grumman as a Northrop Faculty Fellow.

Breakout Workshop

Ridhi Tariyal

Co-Founder & CEO, NextGen Jane

Ridhi Tariyal, (she/her) co-founder and CEO of NextGen Jane, is a graduate of MIT (SM Biomedical Enterprise), Harvard (MBA) and Georgia Tech (BS Engineering). Before founding NextGen Jane, Ridhi led the operations and finances of a $10M genomic endeavor in West Africa for the Broad Institute. Most of Ridhi's career has been in healthcare, from operational roles in a big pharmaceutical company (Bristol-Myers Squibb) to smaller entrepreneurial organizations (Embrace). NextGen Jane is her second startup. She also attempted to fundraise for her MIT thesis (under George Church) to commercialize genomic testing in emerging markets (Ujala).  Ridhi started her career as an investment banking analyst at Banc of America Securities.

NextGen Jane (NGJ) is a data driven health company changing the way women engage with and access healthcare. NGJ's technology platform allows users to conveniently mail in cells from the reproductive tract collected in the natural liquid biopsy that is a menstrual cycle. The NGJ system allows for superior preservation of DNA and RNA of cells from the endometrium, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. By developing genomic classifiers for specific disease states, Jane hopes to enable earlier diagnosis of devastating reproductive disorders which can take up to a decade to identify today.

Breakout Panel

Belinda Runkle

Director of Engineering, Google

Belinda Runkle (she/her) leads Google Cloud's monetization infrastructure, a collection of massive telemetry systems as well customer product experiences for enabling customers to manage their cloud costs. Belinda is a seasoned product engineering leader who brings enterprise cloud experience to Google (@google) after having served as a VP of Engineering at New Relic where she led their flagship cloud monitoring and observability product line.

Belinda's passion for building awe-inspiring and useful products for developers highlights the past decade of her career. She has been an unsinkable advocate for diversity and inclusion at work. As a non-traditional tech careerist, Belinda's college work was in studio art and anthropology, and she continues to bring insights from both areas to the craft of software engineering and product design. Belinda lives in Seattle with her partner and two dogs.

Breakout Panel

Rachel Morford

Principal Director, The National Aerospace Corporation

Rachel Morford (she/her) is a Principal Director at The Aerospace Corporation (@theaerospacecorporation) in El Segundo, California, where she manages a team responsible for the integration of multiple space and ground programs. In previous roles, Morford led the Aerospace team supporting the production, launch, and on-orbit testing of three high value communication satellites; provided technical leadership and supported strategic development of international agreements between the U.S. Air Force and other nations; and spent several years as a systems engineer working on national security launches. 

Morford has led the Aerospace Women’s Committee, served on the Aerospace Diversity Action Committee, and is an enthusiastic member of multiple Aerospace Employee Resource Groups. She has been recognized with the Aerospace Woman of the Year award and the Aerospace Commitment to Our People Diversity and Inclusion award. Morford is a senior life member of the Society of Women Engineers (@swetalk), currently serving as the organization’s President-Elect.