IEEE 9th World Forum on Internet of Things
12–27 October 2023 // Aveiro, Portugal

Women in Engineering Forum

Women in Engineering Forum

Date:  Wednesday, October 18th, 2023, 08:30 – 13:00 (WEDT) 


The field of engineering, like many others, has historically been male-dominated, with women facing different barriers and under-representation. In recent years, however, efforts have been made to encourage and support girls and women in pursuing their interests in engineering. The active participation of women is essential for driving innovation, advancing technology, and creating a more inclusive and diverse engineering community. The IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) is a global network of IEEE members and volunteers dedicated to promoting women's involvement and leadership in engineering and science, and inspiring girls around the world to follow their academic interests in a career in STEM. One of their notable initiatives is their involvement in the IEEE World Forum on the Internet of Things (IEEE WFIoT). In this year's 9th edition, the IEEE WFIoT2023 is featuring a dedicated program organized by the WIE Affinity Groups from both the Portugal Section and the UK and Ireland Section, and women in IoT forum. 


Opening Remarks

Isabel Almeida Rodrigues, Portugal Secretary of State for Equality and Migration, Portugal

Isabel Maria Duarte de Almeida Rodrigues was born in 1965 in the city of Horta. She has a degree in Law from the University of Lisbon, a postgraduate degree in Child Protection from the Family Law Center at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra, and a in Social Sciences from the University of the Azores. She is a lawyer. She served as a deputy of the Assembly of the Republic in the XIV and XV legislatures. She chaired the Subcommittee for Reintegration and Prison Affairs. She was President of the Azores Commissioner for Children between November 2016 and October 2019. She served as the Assistant Regional Secretary for Parliamentary Affairs in the XI Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores from July 2014 to October 2016. She was a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores from November 2008 to June 2014. She was the rapporteur for the Permanent Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Environment, and Labor. She served as a Member of the Municipal Assembly of Ponta Delgada from November 2005 to July 2014. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the “Projeto Velhos Guetos Novas Centralidade”, funded by the European Financial Instrument, from October 2004 to November 2008. She worked in banking from January 1989 to February 1998. Find more: parlamentares/secretarios-de-estado?i=igualdadeemigracoes


Keynote Speakers Session: Advancing Gender Equality in the Technology Education 


This session will feature two inspiring speakers sharing their perspectives on gender equality and girls’ education in technology. Promoting gender equality and empowering women is not only a matter of social justice but also an economic imperative. The participation of women in the workforce and in leadership positions is vital for innovation, productivity, and sustainable growth. It is crucial to invest in girls’ education and ensure gender equality from an early age if we are to build a more inclusive and diverse workforce in the future. By integrating technofeminist perspectives into children's education, we can encourage educators to critically assess how technology is taught and used, ensuring that it does not perpetuate gender stereotypes but rather serves as a tool to break down barriers. 


Session Moderators/Chairs:

Anikó Costa, NOVA School of Science and Technology, Portugal (LinkedIn Profile)

Anikó Costa received her engineer degree in Electrical Engineering from Czech Technical University in Prague in 1992, her Master's degree in Informatics, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Nova University of Lisbon in 2003 and 2010 respectively. She is currently an Assistant Professor at NOVA School of Science and Technology. Her main research interests include model-based development of embedded systems using Petri nets, and statecharts, digital system design, and hardware-software co-design. Her interests also include engineering education. Anikó Costa is an IEEE member since 2005. She has always been ready to serve IEEE communities as a volunteer, namely supporting IEEE sponsored conference organization. She also served as the Finance Co-Chair for the IEEE IES flagship conference, IECON2019, with more than 1200 participants. From 2020 to 2022, Anikó Costa held the position of Chair for the IEEE Affinity Group Women in Engineering of Portugal Section, and in 2022, she transitioned to the role of Secretary.


Carolina Lagartinho de Oliveira, NOVA School of Science and Technology, Portugal (LinkedIn Profile)

Carolina was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1995. In 2018 she received her master’s degree, in the fields of control systems, digital systems, and robotics, from NOVA School of Science and Technology. She is currently working towards a Ph.D. from the same faculty in the field of Computational and Perceptional Systems, and she is also a Researcher Fellow at UNINOVA Institute. In addition to her research, Carolina is also passionate about promoting the presence of women in engineering. She is the Chair of the IEEE Affinity Group Women in Engineering of Portugal Section.




Keynote #1: Gender Equality and Future Trend of Economy


This presentation delves into the multifaceted realm of gender (in)equality, dissecting their relevant concepts, exploring their underlying causes, and illustrating their profound impact on society. Going beyond the conventional economic discourse, it introduces a compelling perspective - the “Feelings Economy”. We’ll unravel how deeply interwoven economy and individuals’ feelings. And we discuss that gender inequality isn’t just an issue of social justice; it reverberates through economic structures, creating disparities that hinder collective progress. By scrutinizing the emotional landscape of inequality, we shed light on the untapped potential of gender equality. This presentation sparks critical conversations about empathy, inclusivity, and their economic ramifications, inviting us to reflect on the role of gender, human feelings and soft skills in the world of finance and industry.


Speaker: Sanaz Nikghadam-Hojjati, Uninova And Nova School Of Science And Technology, Portugal

Dr. Sanaz Nikghadam Hojjati is a Senior Researcher and EU project coordinator at UNINOVA institute, and invited professor at Nova University of Lisbon. She received her BSc degree in Mathematics from Islamic Azad University (I.A.U.) in 2005, MSc degree in Information Technology Management (Information Resource Management) from Farabi Institute of Higher Education in 2011, and Ph.D. in Information Technology Management (Business Intelligence) from I.A.U, Science and Research Branch in 2017. She has also worked as a Post-Doc researcher during 2018- 2019 at Nova School of Science and Technology, Nova University of Lisbon. Her research interests include Computational Creativity, Affective Computing, Business Intelligence, Human behaviour, and Emerging technologies, ICT, Gender Responsive Technology development, and Innovation Management. She has published several books and academic papers in a number of peer-reviewed journals and presented various academic papers at conferences. She has experience as organizational and technical chair and member in several conferences and events. She has participated in several European Commission projects (e.g., H2020: DEMAND, BIECO, SOLSTICE), Portuguese National projects (e.g. P2020: CESME), National Iranian ICT projects, and Collaborative laboratory for the digitalization of agriculture (SFCOLAB). In addition, she has worked as a university invited professor, and also, she is the director of the WoSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program in UNINOVA. Find more:


Keynote #2: Women in Technology: Contexts of Challenges and Opportunities in STEM


The women in tech inclusion, empowerment and training challenges have a multifactorial complexity, as they require knowledge of historical contexts of gender exclusion, as well as social, economic, cultural and educational contexts, for example, of contemporary times. There are challenges to be overcome by women and young people in schools, many still without access to the internet, others because they do not know information about STEM careers as an option presented since school. In this presentation, a summary of relevant historical contexts regarding women in IT will be discussed, the importance of role models in the training of new generations in universities and the job market, as well as the importance of female communities in IT, such as the Portuguese ones, from of partial results obtained in doctoral research. Aspects of technological feminism theories that point to challenges to be faced today will also be addressed, such as the increasing introduction of artificial intelligence into domestic and professional life in society.


Speaker:  Renata Frade, University Of Aveiro, Portugal

Renata Frade develops a women in tech doctoral research at the University of Aveiro/DeCa/DigiMedia (Portugal). This research is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT). Her motivation for studies in the technological field was more emphasized 11 years ago, when she became a technology entrepreneur in Brazil. Fifteen years ago, she got to know transmedia theory and was a student of its main theorist, Dr. Henry Jenkins, at M.I.T. (Massachussets Institute of Technology, USA). During 2015 and 2017 she was an activist, speaker and volunteer for the international NGO of women in technology, founded in San Francisco (USA), Girls in Tech Brazil. She’s been invited to be a keynote speaker at technological symposiums, such as Gartner’s (the largest technology research company in the world), feminist events and events for society (such as the Porto Feminist Festival). She’s been writing technology articles for press media such as MobileTime and Digitalk, Mídia Ninja. She is the author of 15 fiction and non-fiction books by Brazilian and international publishers such as Unesp, Rocco, Springer, Patuá, Ria Editorial (Portugal), UA Editora (University of Aveiro, Portugal), Livros LabCom.IFP (Univ. da Beira Interior, Portugal). She took UX courses at the California Institute of Arts and USP. She was a Science, Health and Entertainment reporter at InfoGlobo journals. She graduated in Social Communication from PUC-Rio (where she took courses in computing at the Rio DataCentro laboratories), Master in Literature from UERJ. Storytelling and entrepreneurship student at Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center (San Francisco). IT developer (book application for children from Ziraldo and game for Canal Viva, highlighted). Benchmark, digital ethnography and interaction design analyst and consultant since 2019. Content producer and multiplatform campaigns for marketing, education, journalism, editorials (publishing) and corporate communication about Science and women in tech (Web Summit 2018, 2019 and 2020 for Mobile Time, Digitalks Portugal, Sanofi, Actelion, Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (Brasil), Fresenius etc.). Published in 15 academic and fiction books. Bachelor in Social Communication (Journalism) by Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Creator of LitGirlsBr, the first Brazilian multiplatform project of national authors of Brazilian literature, through the initiative O Livro Delas (Editora Rocco) was awarded the Roseli Doleski Pretto trophy by the National Literary Journeys of the University of Passo Fundo, in 2017. She was a science and culture reporter of O Globo and Extra newspapers, and reviewer of editorial releases in Jornal do Brasil. Find more:


Talks and Panel Session: Guiding the Path to IoT Device Education for School Pupils 


This session will feature two inspiring speakers sharing their perspectives on gender equality and girls’ education in technology. Promoting gender equality and empowering women is not only a matter of social justice but also an economic imperative. The participation of women in the workforce and in leadership positions is vital for innovation, productivity, and sustainable growth. It is crucial to invest in girls’ education and ensure gender equality from an early age if we are to build a more inclusive and diverse workforce in the future. By integrating technofeminist perspectives into children's education, we can encourage educators to critically assess how technology is taught and used, ensuring that it does not perpetuate gender stereotypes but rather serves as a tool to break down barriers. 


Session Moderators/Chairs:

Nagham Saeed, University of West London, London (LinkedIn Profile)

Dr Nagham Saeed is an associate professor in electrical and electronic. Since 2007, Dr Saeed has been teaching and researching in the area of electrical and electronic engineering. Dr Saeed is the head of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) research group. In 2011, she completed her PhD research titled “Intelligent MANET optimisation system” at Brunel University, UK. She has written extensively on energy-efficient intelligent systems in smart cities using artificial intelligence and optimisation approaches. Dr. Saeed has published a respectable number of high-quality publications in well-known international journals related to various disciplines including telecommunications, modelling and simulating, industry applications, information, and smart power. She has been an expert reviewer and guest editor for top-rank international scientific journals, conferences, and workshops. She has been serving as a member of many Technical Programme Committees and Editorial Boards. Dr. Saeed is one of the editors of the journals: Smart Applications of 5G Network, and Engineering Future Sustainability. Dr Saeed is a Senior fellow in HEA, a member of IET, a senior member of IEEE, IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) UK & Ireland (UKI) Chair, and IEEE UKI WIE Early Profession Lead. She mentors early career engineers, she promotes women engineers and scientists aiming to change the face of electrical engineering. Dr. Saeed won the IEEE Region 8 Outstanding Women in Engineering Section Volunteer Award 2022.


Keynote #3: Digital Technology for a Sustainable Future in Partnership with the Young Generation


Diversity gain is a fundamental concept in wireless communication that has unlocked unprecedented mobile performance. Similarly, at the IEEE UK&I WIE, we believe that a vibrant community of women and men who collectively use their diverse talents to innovate is the only path towards a better future. To this end we reach out to school students to engage them in STEMS and foster this diverse community of engineers. In this talk I will talk about two such workshops. The first targeted students in Year 9 (8th Grade) in collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute and the Royal Institute. The students were mostly from underrepresented groups who were invited to reimagine their neighbourhood with technology. The second workshop focused on girls in Year 11/12 (12th /13th Grade) and was part of an event organised by Queen Mary University of London. The students were invited to create a solution for a sustainable development goal using digital technology. In partnership with the young and by drawing a diverse community of students into studying engineering and science is our best shot at helping them pave their way toward a sustainable future, their future!


Speaker:  Mona Jaber, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Mona Jaber (Senior Member, IEEE) received the B.E. degree in computer and communications engineering and the M.E. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, in 1996 and 2014, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the 5G Innovation Centre, University of Surrey, in 2017. Her Ph.D. research was on 5G backhaul innovations. She was a Telecommunication Consultant in various international firms with a focus on the radio design of cellular networks, including GSM, GPRS, 3G, and 4G. She led the IoT Research Group, at Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, from 2017 to 2019, where she researched IoT-driven solutions for the automotive industry. She is currently a Senior Lecturer on the Internet of Things (IoT) with the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests include zero-touch networks, the intersection of machine learning and IoT in the context of sustainable development goals, and IoT-driven digital twins. She is the founder and director of the Digital Twins for Sustainable Development Goals (DT4SDG) research laboratory at QMUL. Mona is a steering committee of the IEEE Woman in Engineering affinity group in the United Kingdom and Ireland. She was awarded the title of N2Women Rising Star in Computer Networking and Communications in 2022.


Keynote #4: Inspiring a New Generation of Engineers - IEEE Pre-Univesity Education Coordination Committee (PECC) and its offerings for Volunteers to Empower Educators and Pre-University Students.


Is your Organizational Unit looking for ways to support IEEE volunteers in their efforts to inspire the next generation of engineers? The mission of the PECC is to foster educational outreach to pre-university students around the globe by supporting educators and IEEE volunteers with the tools for engaging activities and measurable outcomes. In this session, you will discover the new offerings available to fuel your K-12 STEM outreach efforts. Learn about the STEM Summit, Volunteer Training courses, and the Global Virtual Classroom Visit platform. Join us at IEEE PECC in our quest to inspire and empower the future engineers of our society. Together, we can make a difference and create a better world, one young mind at a time


Speaker:  Stamatis Dragoumanos, Mobile Cloud Networks, And Services, Greece

Stamatis Dragoumanos earned his B.Eng. degree in computer engineering and informatics, an M.Sc. degree in computer science and technology, and a B.Eng. degree in chemical engineering at the University of Patras. He also earned an M.Sc. degree in computational fluid dynamics from the National Technical University of Athens. In 2019 he graduated from the Rutgers Business School Mini-MBA in Engineering & Technology Management. He is a software engineer and developer with 18 years of working experience in software development, and he is currently a software architect at the Computer Technology Institute and Press “Diophantus”, Greece. He also has 12 years of experience teaching programming languages, algorithms, and data structures to students of a variety of ages and education levels. He is an inquiry-based learning enthusiast, and he strongly believes that soft skills development is one of the most important concepts that is missing in today’s educational system. He is also a certified Soft Skill Trainer by Erasmus+ and a certified Professional Scrum Master by Stamatis Dragoumanos is a senior IEEE member, a VOLT graduate, an HKN member, and a STEM champion. He is currently serving IEEE as the chair of the IEEE EAB pre-University Education Coordination Committee, as a member of the editorial Board of the Potentials Magazine, and as a member of the Institute Editorial Advisory Board.


Keynote #5: Generation Challenges and Routes for Hands-on IoT in Schools


In today's digital age, young students are constantly exposed to an overload of technological attractions, including mobile devices and IoT advances. However, a significant portion of them remains excluded for various reasons, such as, lack of interest, geographical remoteness, lack of information, and no access to environments conducive to engagement. Well-known organizations like IEEE, through initiatives like the Try Engineering Project, endeavor to involve these underserved young individuals who might otherwise miss out on technological opportunities. A potential course of action could involve shaping solutions that facilitate interaction even in such circumstances. This could entail expanding the availability of resources to remote areas or developing affordable kits that any educator can utilize regardless of location.


Speaker:  Catarina Silva, University of Coimbra,Portugal

Catarina Silva is Assistant Professor at the Department of Informatics Engineering of the University of Coimbra. She has a PhD degree in Computer Engineering, with 25 years experience teaching Computer Engineering BSc and MSc, while also supervising MSc and PhD students. She is a senior researcher at the Adaptive Computation Group of CISUC with machine learning and pattern recognition as main areas of research. Skilled at managing different sized projects and scientific entrepreneurships, involving people with different backgrounds, namely faculty, students, alumni and companies. Author and co-author of 4 books, circa 20 journal articles and 100 conference papers. Scientific committee and paper reviewer of several conferences and journals. Board member of the Portuguese Association of Pattern Recognition, IEEE senior member of the Computational Intelligence Society, IEEE past chair of the Portuguese Section.


Keynote #6: Challenges and Opportunities of Internet of Biomedical Things for Girls and Students in Engineering


In an era of rapid technological advancement, the convergence of healthcare and IoT has given rise to the Internet of Biomedical Things (IoBT), fundamentally reshaping our approach to healthcare solutions. This talk intents to shed light on the unique challenges and abundant opportunities that IoBT presents. It places a particular emphasis on inspiring and empowering girls and students in engineering to contribute meaningfully to this transformative field. Acknowledging the necessity of a diverse and inclusive workforce capable of fostering innovation and embracing the unique perspectives offered by female engineering students, this talk attempts to foster a dynamic community of forward-thinkers for the advancement in the fields of IoBT.


Speaker:  Maria Fátima Domingues, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi

M. Fátima Domingues received her PhD in Physics Engineering in December 2014, at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. In 2015 M. Fátima Domingues started a Research position at the Instituto de Telecomunicações – Aveiro; and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)-Madrid, Spain. At present, M. Fátima Domingues is an Assistant Professor at the Biomedical Engineering Department at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi-UAE and a Researcher at Instituto de Telecomunicações – Aveiro. Her current research interests embrace new photonic based sensing solutions and its biomedical and e-Health applications. Dr. Domingues authored and co-authored more than +110 publications, resulting in the current H-index of 24 with a total of 1848 citation. Dr. Domingues has been an organizing committee member of several national and international conferences and scientific meetings. She is an IEEE Senior Member and an active member of several IEEE Societies, and, since January 2022, she is the Secretary for the IEEE EMBS Portuguese Chapter.


Keynote #7: IoT Education vs. IoT-based or Smart Education


Internet of Things (IoT) is a complex, but powerful and continuously evolving ecosystem. It is well-known that the more opportunities one has, the more difficult, challenging is to focus on a topic or direction, especially when dealing with such a paradigm as IoT. Nonetheless, once one gets the balance, the evolution is straightforward. Next, I proposed two surveys based on which IoT Education and IoT-based Education - both for students and pupils - can evolve along with the advance of the domain itself. IoT Education is the process of spreading IoT-related knowledge to pupils and students, whereas IoT-based Education or Smart Education employs IoT devices and technologies to spread knowledge and gain competences in the education process. Processing the responses of the two surveys, the educators and the decidents will gain insights on the challenges and needs of pupils and students to reach the knowledge and increase their interest to advance not only with IoT topic, but also with other subjects that can benefit from IoT technologies.


Speaker:  Ana Maria Drăgulinescu: Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania

Ana-Maria Drăgulinescu received her B. Eng. in Telecommunication Systems and Technologies (2014) and her M. Eng in Multimedia Technologies in Content Production for Audiovisual Domain and Communications (2016) from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB). She received the PhD degree after defending her thesis focused on developing and enhancing sensors and IoT systems based on LPWAN technologies (2022). Currently, she is lecturer with the Telecommunications Department of the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest – UNSTPB (formerly, Politehnica University of Bucharest - UPB). In addition, she is member of AI Multimedia Lab – CAMPUS Research Centre ( She is a drone enthusiast, having a drone pilot certification since 2022. She is very involved in students and pupils education, investing her time in Postgraduate courses on digital tools in the innovative pedagogical approach for teaching (2023) and in Counseling and Leadership in Education and Professional Training (2023-on). From the coordination point of view, she is responsible for AIoT direction both in Vodafone Innovation Hub (Research and Teaching Hub for Innovation, Research and Development) and AI Multimedia Lab. She co-organized 1st Vodafone Innovation Hub Summer School (Bucharest, 26-30th of June 2023) and a Special Session on LPWAN and 5G/6G-enabled Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) for Maritime Internet of Things (MIoT) and Internet of Ships (IoS) at the 9th IEEE World Forum on the Internet of Things (IoT) 2023. She holds one patent and one patent application under review and published more than 48 papers in conference and journals (6 with bachelor/master students as co-authors). She received many awards such as Best implementation of the challenge award, at the hackathon of the "IoT meets AI" Summer School (2019), awarded by the Technical University of Munich, Siemens, IMT Atlantique and others. 2. "Contribution to Industrial Research Excellence" award from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan, Department of Business and Technology Development, Aarhus University and Yokosuka Research Park, Japan for the paper "An End-to-End LoRaWAN-based IoT Platform with Built- in Network Coverage Testing Capability". 3. High Impact Thesis Award, Doctoral School of Electronics, Telecommuncations and Information Technology. She was involved as member in more than 15 projects and currently leads projects as principal investigator. In 2022, Ana was a Postdoctoral research fellow at the I3S/CNRS laboratory, Université Côte d'Azur, Sophia Antipolis, France, in the field of combinatorial optimization algorithms based on machine learning (artificial intelligence) techniques for resource allocation in multimedia communication networks.



The detailed schedule for the Women in Engineering Track is available here.

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