R8 WIE Committees

Meet the R8 WIE Committee!

The 2017-2018 Committee can be reached on r8wie@ieee.org, and consists of:

Youmna El Bitar (Lebanon), Chair

“Attaining your goals has 4 ingredients: knowing yourself, enjoying what you’re doing, commitment, and time management.”

Youmna graduated from the American University of Beirut – Lebanon with a degree in Telecommunications Engineering, a subject she is passionate about since childhood. She is currently working as a Radio Engineer with a Lebanese mobile operator.

IEEE has always been at the core of Youmna’s volunteering work. She joined the IEEE AUB Student Branch in 2009 and started organizing activities and events in 2010. In 2011, she joined the Third Middle-East Student Branch Congress organizing committee as Speakers Representative, a role she assumed until the Congress took place in 2013.

In 2014, Youmna joined R8 SAC as Electronic Communications Coordinator, and in 2015/2016 as Projects Coordinator, where her main focus was establishing “Mind the Gap!” Student Contest in Region 8. In 2015/2016, she also acted as Region 8 Assistant Secretary.

Currently, Youmna is the regional WIE Coordinator, a member of MGA WIE Committee, a member of MGA SAC, and a member of the Young Professionals Lebanon Committee. She aims not only to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM but also to raise awareness regarding the power of women and their qualifications as engineering professionals. Her email address is youmna.elbitar@ieeer8.org.

Taqua Saeed (Cyprus), Past Chair

“Pay it forward.”



Taqua Saeed has received the B.S.c degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Bahrain, Bahrain. She is currently persuing her PhD in Electrical Engineering at the Frederick University, Cyprus. Her research interests include probabilistic broadcasting in VANETs and Nanonetworks.

She has been involved with IEEE since 2011 and has been mainly working with IEEE IAS. She chaired the IEEE SB at the University of Bahrain for one year. Besides being a corresponding member of R8 WIE, she is currently an officer of the IEEE IAS CMD.



Her motto is “Pay it forward”.

Joyce Mwangama (South Africa), MGA WIE 

“I change the world. I am an Engineer!” – IEEE Women in Engineering 


Joyce Mwangama received her BSc degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) in 2008 and 2011 respectively. In 2012 she began her study towards a PhD in the Centre for Broadband Networks and joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town as a lecturer in 2015.  Joyce has published her research work in a number of peer-reviewed publications. Her research work also contributed to the Universities for Future Internet and the Testbeds for Reliable Smart City Machine-to-Machine Communications international research collaboration projects. Joyce received multiple research awards including the Google Anita Borg Scholarship and the L’Oréal-UNESCO Sub-Saharan Women in Science Fellowship.


Joyce is currently a member of the IEEE MGA Women in Engineering Committee (2015-2017). She has previously served as the IEEE Region 8 Women in Engineering Coordinator (2013-2014), IEEE South Africa Section Students Activities Coordinator (2011-2013), IEEE South Africa Section Young Professionals Chairperson (2011-2013) and IEEE Student Branch Chairperson University of Cape Town (2009-2010).

Maria-Alexandra Paun (Switzerland) 

“If you really want to achieve your objectives, three ingredients are key: motivation, perseverance and passion!”

Dr. Maria-Alexandra Paun received the Engineer Diploma in 2008 from Politehnica University of Bucharest, FILS, Romania, with a major in Computer Science, graduating top of her class. During 2008-2009, she was awarded a postgraduate Marie Curie research fellowship at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. Between 2009 and 2013, she was Assistant – Ph.D. student at EPF Lausanne, where she worked on the subject of Hall Effect sensors. During 2013-2015, Maria-Alexandra was a Visiting Researcher at University of Cambridge, UK, with Postdoctoral Fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). She is currently working on cochlear implants, on her own research project. She has published at present 39 scientific publications, with 27 ISI-indexed journal papers, 10 IEEE Conference proceedings, wrote a chapter in a book and her h-index is 7. Her research interests include the analysis and modeling of sensors (with an expertise in magnetic sensors), development of circuit and three-dimensional physical models, development of Hall Effect sensors in regular bulk and SOI (Silicon on Insulator) CMOS technologies, humidity sensors, cochlear implants.

She is Chair of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group in Switzerland, Vice Chair and Secretary of IEEE Switzerland Section, and IEEE R8 Corresponding Member in the Women in Engineering Subcommittee.

Randa Hammami (Tunisia)

“Dream big, work hard and have fun! Join IEEE so you can do all of them.”

Randa Hammami received her engineering degree and then a masters degree in computer science in 2011 and 2012 respectively, from the National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) in Tunisia. She is currently a PhD student, member of the ReDCAD laboratory (Research on Development and Control of Distributed Applications). Her research studies focus on the interoperability of medical information systems to solve real world problems.

Regarding her IEEE experience, Randa is very familiar with IEEE and has large connections with IEEE members worldwide. She has been an active IEEE volunteer since 2010. In fact, she served / is serving as the:

  • IEEE Tunisia Women In Engineering Affinity Group Chair (2017-2018)
  • IEEE Tunisia Young Professionals Affinity Group Vice Chair (2017-2018)
  • IEEE Tunisia Section Membership Development Coordinator (2016-2017)
  • IEEE Day Global Ambassadors Coordinator (since 2016)
  • IEEE Day Regional Lead for Region 8 (2014-2015)
  • IEEE Day Tunisia Section Ambassador (2013)
  • IEEE Student Branch at ENIS secretary then chair (2010-2014).

She also received the IEEE 2016 outstanding section membership recruitment performance award and was the IEEE Day 2013 best humanitarian activity winner. She is still committed to the voluntary work within IEEE.

Lebogang Madise (South Africa) 

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” – John C. Maxwell

Lebogang Madise is a certified SCRUM Master. She is a facilitator for mobile tech startups at mLab Southern Africa and leads a lean innovation program, Demola, in Cape Town. Lebogang is also continuing with her studies as a part time student at the University Of South Africa, pursuing a degree in Computer Science as well as a certificate in Financial Management. 

Lebogang joined IEEE in 2010 and was an active member based at the University of Pretoria Student Branch. She volunteered as the Women in Engineering Chair in the same year and was elected as the Student Branch Secretary in 2011 and Student Branch Chair in 2012. In 2013, Lebogang was appointed Section Student Representative for South Africa and awarded a certificate of appreciation for outstanding work in facilitating the WIE STAR program.

In 2015 Lebogang was appointed as the Student Branch Coordinator in the Region 8 Student Activities committee and served in this role until December 2016. She is now the Student Branch Chapter Coordinator for Region 8 as well as a member on both the Humanitarian Activities and Women in Engineering Committees. 

Hzar Oqlah (Jordan) 

“Women are born leaders, women always fit in!” – Hzar Oqlah 

Hzar is a 3rd year undergraduate student at Jordan University of Science and Technology currently working towards her degree in Industrial Engineering.

She is a freelance graphic designer since 2012. She has been honored by the reception of an award from the US Department of State for the best Logo Design for the “SheCab Project”, winner of the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund.

In 2013 she succeeded as a young Jordanian entrepreneur to start her first self-run business, by designing bookmarks and other crafts to sell them at Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts, Jordan. After that she has been working as a handicrafts designer in the festival from 2013 up till now.

She is an active member of IEEE Jordan Section, where she is currently the Chair of IEEE JUST Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group and she was a member of the organizing committee of the IEEE Jordan Students and Young Professionals Congress 2017 (JSYP). Hzar has volunteered as a graphic designer in IEEEXtreme 11.0, Jordan.

Recently, she has joined the committee of IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Summit Tunisia 2018 as a graphic designer.

After winning a graphic design competition carried by R8 WIE, Hzar has joined IEEE R8 Women in Engineering Committee as “Publicity Officer”.


Previous R8 WIE Committees

Thanks for all the dedicated volunteers who, for years, were serving Women Engineers in IEEE Region 8. Previous Committees include:


  • Taqua Khairy (Cypurs), Coordinator
  • Farzaneh Abdollahi (Iran)
  • Messaouda Azzouzi (Algeria)
  • Joyce Mwangama (South Africa)


  • Simay Akar (Turkey), Coordinator
  • Reem Turky (Saudi Arabia West)
  • Farzaneh Abdollahi (Iran)
  • Messaouda Azzouzi (Algeria)
  • Safa Ismail (Egypt)
  • Joyce Mwangama (South Africa)


  • Joyce Mwangama (South Africa), Coordinator
  • Reem Turky (Saudi Arabia West)
  • Bernadette Bouchon-Meunier (France)

2013 Committee

R8 WIE Committee 2013

The IEEE Women in Engineering of Region 8 would like to address the following issues (particularly during WIE sessions and events at IEEE conferences):

  • how to prepare high school girls to make an unprejudiced choice regarding their study and careers in Science & Engineering and give them good background for that;
  • how to seal the academic pipeline of women in order to minimize the “pipe leakage” phenomena;
  • how to overcome barriers to the advancement of women in Science & Engineering;
  • and how to balance career and family life.

The R8 WIE committee in Region 8 is made up of member from IEEE WIE Section Affinity Groups and Student Branch Affinity Group Chairs from Region 8:

Region 8 Women in Engineering Coordinator Team

Joyce Mwangama (South Africa) – Chair
Reem Turky (Saudi Arabia West) – Corresponding Advisor
Bernadette Bouchon Meunier (France) – Corresponding Advisor

Section Affinity Groups (AG Chairs)

Bahrain – Eshaa Alkhalifa
Benelux – Teodora Emilia Motoasca
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Lejla Banjanovic-Mehmedovic
Croatia – Vlatka Paunovic
Egypt – Nevin Darwish
France – Laura Marti Tordera
Germany – Friederike Wendler
Iraq – Yasmin AL-Agrash
Israel – Yael Nemirovsky
Jordan – Arwa Abbadi Jwaifel
Kuwait  – Bashayer Al-Awad
Lebanon – Mariette Awad
Poland – Barbara Obryk
Portugal – Professor Filomena Soares
Saudi Arabia – Najat Abu-Haliqa
Western Saudi Arabia – Reem Turky
Serbia and Montenegro – Vladanka Acimovic-Raspopovic
South Africa – Chioniso Kuchwa-Dube
Slovenia – Emilija Stojmenova
Spain – Charo Gil
Switzerland – Samina Husain
Tunisia – Ilhem Kallel
Turkey – Sule Oguducu
United Arab Emerates – Maryam Al Thani
UKRI – Dr. Teresa M. Schofield

Student Branch Affinity Groups (AG Chairs)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium/Benelux Section) – Borbala Hunyadi
University of Zagreb (Croatia Section) – Jelena Matovina
Alexandria University (Egypt Section) – Ramy Ibrahim Omar
Arab Acedemy For Science and Tech (Egypt Section – Yomna F. Heikor
Modern science and arts university (Egypt Section) – Noha Moustafa Rashad
Passau University (Germany Section) – Jürgen Bickert
Democritus University of Thrace (Greece Section) – Nikolaos Tsiantoulas
University of Central Greece (Greece Section) – Raisa Angelidou
Al-balqa Applied Univerty (Jordan Section)  – Bushra Zakaria Al-Habashneh
German Jordanian University (Jordan Section) – Enas Abboud
Hashemite University (Jordan Section) – Hadeel Al-Asaad
Jordan University of Science and Tech (Jordan Section) – Hadeel H Awad
Princess Sumaya University for Tech (Jordan Section) – Dina Masri
University of Jordan (Jordan Section) – Fatima Jawad AL_Hamad
American University of Beirut (Lebanon Section) – Nadida Raad
Beirut Arab University (Lebanon Section) – Ziad A Osman
Notre Dame University – Lebanon (Lebanon Section) – Joan Farho
Polytechnic of Namibia Namibia
Eindhoven Technische Nertherlands (Netherlands/Benelux Section) – Femke Van Belzen
Ambrose Alli University (Nigeria Section) – Oho Ikechukwu Polycarp Nnamdi
Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Nigeria Section) – Obianuju Okonkwo
Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria Section) – Sarumi Bolatito Risikat Ajoke
University of Ibadan (Nigeria Section) – Toulope Falaye
University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria Section) – Chinwe P Omaegbu
Instituto Superior (Portugal Section) – Joao Dias
Iscte University of inst of Lisbon (Portugal Section) – Patricia Duarte Mateus
Texan A&M university at Qatar (Qatar Section) – Fatima Ali
Cyril and Methodius (Rep of Macedonia Section) – Jasmina Bujaroska
Biysk Technological Instutute (Russia Section) – Natalya Bedina
University of Cape Town (South Africa Section) – Magnaem Simon
University of Pretoria (South Africa Section) – Rina Helena Mostert
CPS Universidad De Zaragoza (Spain Section) – Pablo Herrero Tomas
Escuela Tec Sup De Ing Tele – Valencia (Spain Section) – Meli Delgado Calot
Universidad De Sevilla (Spain Section)
Universidad Nacional De Educacion a Distancia (Spain Section) – German Carro Fernandez
Royal Institute of Technology KTH (Sweden Section) – Nasim Farahini
Ecole Nationale D’Ingenieurs De SFAX (Tunisia Section) – Fatma Elleuch
Ecole Nationale D’Ingenieurs De Tunis (Tunisia Section) – Sonia DjaziriLarbi
Bilkent University (Turkey Section)
Dogus University (Turkey Section) – Nazli Turker
Erciyes Universitesi (Turkey Section) – Tugba Ertugrul
Hacettepe University (Turkey Section) – Aysin Cetin
Istanbul Technical University (Turkey Section) – Ilkcan Bilgin
Izmir Ekonomi Universitesi (Turkey Section) – Seren Kuru
Lviv Polytechnic National Univ (Ukraine Section) – Maryna Kushnir
Ajman University of Science and Tech (United Arab Emirates Section) – Tazeen Sharif
American University in Dubai (United Arab Emirates Section) – Mahra Mohammed AL Khaja
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (United Arab Emirates Section) – Swarnalatha R
Higher Colleges of Tech, Sharjah womens college (United Arab Emirates Section) – Widad Suwaidi
The Petroleum Institute (United Arab Emirates Section) – Nada Abdul Kareem Al-Hamar
United Arab Emirates University  (United Arab Emirates Section) – Hend Alqamzi
University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates Section) – Noora Y Esmail
Queen Mary University of London (UKRI Section) – Roya Haratian
University of Southampton (UKRI Section) – Hamza A Rouabah
University of York (UKRI Section) – Selen Toplu

WIE Coordinator 2011

Greetings from Ferdinanda Ponci, WIE Region 8 Coordinator.

I am very happy to have this opportunity to contribute in facilitating the entry, development, retention and success of women in the technical professions, particularly in our Region.

I graduated with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and entered the academic world as an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia in the USA. I am currently apl. Professor at the Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems at the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH University in Aachen, Germany. I have served as Society Liaison with WIE and in other capacities for the IEEE PELS and IMS.