ME Alumnae Event
Women of ME: You're Invited!
Please join us for ME's inaugural alumnae gathering hosted by student group She is ME. This event will include a panel of local ME alumnae who will share their stories and advice from their careers as well as an opportunity to network with past and present ME students.
Please share this invitation with people in your professional network who might be interested in attending this event.
More about the panelists:
Rachel Anderson — 2019 (BME), 2020 (MSME)
First job after UMN ME and current position: Contract Mechanical Engineer at Minnetronix Medical, Inc.
Hometown: Viroqua, WI
Current city: Minneapolis, MN
Bio: I completed my bachelor's and master's in mechanical engineering at the U from 2015 to 2020. Along the way, I was privileged to partake in an incredible range of experiences: from student groups, to internships and travel opportunities, research, teaching, and leadership. Throughout my academic career, I focused my coursework on a blend of product design, control systems, and robotics. For my master's thesis, I derived a novel method for creating a variable stiffness joint, and I designed an ankle exoskeleton intended to improve the prescription process for plastic ankle-foot orthotic devices. While I was deeply immersed in my technical studies, extracurricular leadership opportunities continued to emerge, giving me the air I needed to make it through the rigor of engineering school. The most significant of those was She is ME - an organization I helped start in 2017 with my now closest engineering friends and female support system. Having recently completed my degree in Aug. 2020, I am currently getting my feet wet in industry as a contract mechanical engineer for Minnetronix Medical, Inc. in St. Paul, MN, living with my new kitten Kippa and best MechE friend Laura Bartels, and planning many non-academic adventures with my partner Shawn.
Barb Balinski — 1986 (BME)
First job after UMN ME: Quality Engineer, Saturn Corporation, General Motors
Current position: Vice President, Engineering, Tennant Company
Hometown: Grove City, MN
Current city: Independence, MN
Bio: Barb Balinski oversees the Global Engineering Team as well as focusing on innovation. In addition, Barb is leading the strategy of Tennant Company’s autonomous robotic program. Prior to joining Tennant Company in 2018, Barb led the engineering team for Integrated Business Units at Whirlpool Corp. She also held various positions at Whirlpool, including product manager, advanced technology leader and go-to-market strategist. Previous to Whirlpool, Barb spent 11 years with General Motors Saturn Division focusing on automotive product development. Barb is passionate about mentoring the next generation of women leaders.
Wei Liu — 2003 (PhD)
First job after UMN ME: Sr. Applications Engineer, TSI Incorporated
Current position: Sr. Staff Engineer, Seagate Technology LLC
Hometown: Shenyang, China
Current city: Eden Prairie, MN
Bio: I have been working in the industry focusing on particle technology, contamination control, heat transfer and fluid flow. I am interested in solving technical obstacles in product development cycle.
Kathleen Stenersen — 1991 (BME), 1993 (MSME)
First job after UMN ME: Process Engineer, Seagate Technology
Current position: Sr. Director, Product & Process Development, Medtronic
Hometown: River Falls, WI
Current city: Saint Paul, MN
Bio: As a collector of experiences, Kathleen Stenersen has worked at seven different companies in nine different roles over her 27 year career. Through it all, she found she was most passionate about new product development, especially in the medical device field. She believes the best products come from solid engineering, strong collaboration and a good measure of curiosity along the way.