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History of the Program

The Women in Engineering program was first developed and introduced by Catherine F. Pieronek in 2002. Cathy pioneered the program,

"When the College of Engineering decided to create an initiative to improve the recruitment and retention of women students, I wanted to be an integral part of it," says Pieronek, who began her tenure as the first director of the program. "I wanted to be part of developing a program that would draw on the strengths of the Notre Dame educational experience and community, my own experience as a practicing engineer, and the experiences and knowledge of our alumnae. I also wanted to help make Notre Dame known for what it is … a place where women can come to study a challenging curriculum and succeed, no matter what career or life choices they make after graduation."

Cathy served as the director of the program until her untimely passing in 2015. In 2017, a Women in Engineering Impact Award was introduced in her honor and will be presented on an annual basis to the woman faculty or staff member who makes a significant impact upon women engineering students.