R8 WIE Committees

Meet the R8 WIE Committee!

The 2021 Committee can be reached on ma-wie@ieeer8.org, and consists of:



Maria-Alexandra Paun (Switzerland), Chair
“If you really want to achieve your objectives, three ingredients are key: motivation, perseverance and passion!”
MARIA-ALEXANDRA PAUN is currently a Telecommunications Engineer at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM), working in access to market and conformity of radio equipment, as well as being project leader in the field of drones. Dr. Maria-Alexandra Paun received with honours her BSc and MSc delivering the Engineer Diploma in 2008 from Politehnica University of Bucharest, FILS, Romania, with a major in Computer Science, graduating top of her class. The Master Project was carried out at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, Switzerland). During 2008-2009, she was awarded a postgraduate Marie Curie research fellowship at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, where she worked in the field of OCT. Between 2009 and 2013, she was Assistant – Ph.D. student at EPFL. She received her PhD degree in June 2013 on the subject of Hall Effect sensors. During 2013-2015, Maria-Alexandra was a Visiting Researcher at University of Cambridge, UK, with two postdoctoral fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Between 2016 and 2019, she was a Scientific Researcher at EPFL Switzerland, where she was focused on the development of electronics for medical devices (MedTech). She has worked on various CTI (currently Innosuisse Switzerland) funded research projects with industrial partners, in the fields of magnetic sensors and insulin injection pens, as well as being awarded by Hasler Foundation two own grants to work on cochlear implants. She has published more than 60 scientific papers in reputed international journals and her Hirsch index (h-index) is currently 11. She is an IEEE Senior Member. She is committed to volunteering work within IEEE, as she is currently Chair of IEEE Switzerland Section, Chair of IEEE WIE Affinity Group in Switzerland, as well as Chair of IEEE R8 WIE Subcommittee.
Ana Cigarán Romero (Germany), Past-Chair
“Keep always moving forward, keep learning, keep traveling, keep in constant exchange with people… is my philosophy of life.”
Ana works as a Senior Policy Advisor at the System Management Section of the German Transmission System Operator 50Hertz and is the Convener of the Steering Group Operational Framework under the ENTSO-E System Operations Committee. Since 2011 she has been actively involved in the development and implementation of the ENTSO-E Network Codes as well as in the design of regional processes for a secure operation of the European electricity system. Ana is a Senior Member of IEEE. She has hold several leadership positions within the organization with special focus on Women in Engineering (WIE). She is currently Past-Chair of IEEE WIE in Region 8 (EMEA) and Member of the IEEE MGA WIE Committee, of the IEEE European Public Policy Committee and of the IEEE Region 8 Awards & Recognitions Committee. Ana received her degree in Electrical Engineering from the Comillas University-ICAI (Madrid, Spain) in 2010. In her diploma thesis, she analyzed the competitiveness indicators in the Iberian Electricity Market while doing at the same time an internship in the Energy Management Direction of Iberdrola.
Ana Margarida Trigo (Portugal), Member
Ana Margarida Trigo is a PhD student in Advanced Engineering Systems for Industry doctoral program promoted by University of Minho in cooperation with Bosch. She is also an invited assistant professor at Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave. She is an IEEE member since 2010. She was the Portugal section Women in Engineering chair (2016-2018) and section ExCom secretary (2018-2019). Currently, she is the Portugal section vice-chair (2020-2021).More info: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trigomargarida/
Sally Musonye (Kenya), Member
Sally Musonye is the Design and Construction Engineer at the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). Her greatest achievement is working as the lead for the last mile connectivity program aimed at achieving universal access in partnership with key sector financiers such as the World Bank, AFD, AfDB, and The Government of Kenya among others. She has received training and certification in Enterprise Risk Management. Sally holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Nairobi (UoN) and is a qualified and registered engineer with the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) and Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK). As a member of IEEE, she is the Chairperson for the Power and Energy Society (PES) and the Treasurer for the Kenya Section. In Region 8, she is a member of the WIE Committee as a representative of Student Branch AGs, Corresponding member to SAC, and Coordinating member of Virtual Speakers Bureau. Sally is the past chairperson for IEEE Women in Engineering (Kenya) and the Engineering Students’ Association (UoN). She is a recipient of the KPLC Excellence Award for outstanding performance and the Kenya Section Women in Engineering (WiE) Achievement Award.
Wafa Ben Hmida (Uk & Ireland), Member
Wafa Ben Hmida is a London-based Software Developer currently working as a Software Developer in Test for Ocado Technology. Previously, she has experience of software quality assurance for the BMW Group.She is a strong advocate of female participation in STEM careers and have given talks on the subject in conferences in Tunisia, Poland, Germany and USA. She is also a member of the Women in Engineering committee for Europe, Middle East and Africa for IEEE.
Dora Fourou (Greece), Corresponding Member
“You will fall and you will rise. Put your lipstick on and go after your goals to make your dreams shine.”
Dora Fourou is a Digital Marketer focusing on Performance Marketing, with experience on e-Commerce, while currently her interest is focusing on hospitality. She has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Informatics in Administration and Economy, and she is an active IEEE member for 9 years. On her day to day responsibilities a variety of technical skills and liabilities are required, such as Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Analytics. Currently, she is the Past-Social Media Coordinator of the IEEE Region 8, a corresponding member of IEEE Region 8 Women in Engineering, a member of the Careers New Initiative (Ad-Hoc Sub-committee) and the IEEE Greece Section Secretary.
Kassiani Nikolopoulou (Greece), Corresponding Member
Electrical and computer engineer by choice and social media manager by heart. An active volunteer for many years at her university, including teams of IEEE SB of Thrace and member of electronic communications subcommittee of IAS. As a freelancer i am working with marketing agencies and clients in the healing arts, fashion and IT sectors. Proud cat mom and bookworm.
Seil Elhajjem, (Tunisia), Corresponding members – ex officio: R8 YPs
Seif El Hajjem was born in Tunisia and carries his country at heart. Graduated from ENIT, the National Engineering School of Tunis, back in 2015, he started his professional career already during his studies by taking multiple internships in different companies as Ooredoo Tunisie, STELIA Aerospace, Clinique ENNASR and NSIS. Currently, he’s an SAP (System Application Products) Functional Consultant at WYNSYS in Tunisia, where he has been involved in the roll-out and implementation of SAP for multiple companies in different industry sectors. In his free time, Seif volunteers for JCI (Junior Chamber International) and for IEEE, where he is currently serving as IEEE Tunisia Section Vice-Chair for members activities and as a Member of the IEEE Region 8 Young Professionals team. When time allows, you can catch him with a camera in his hand!
Samina Husain, Corresponding member – ex officio: IEE WiE Committee





Previous R8 WIE Committees

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


  • Ana Cigarán Romero (Germany), Chair
  • Youmna El Bitar (Lebanon), Past Chair
  • Maria-Alexandra Paun (Switzerland), Member
  • Hzar Oqlah (Jordan), Member
  • Ilhem Kallel (Tunisia), Member
  • Philippa Makobore (Uganda), Member
  • Almedin Kavas (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Corresponding Member
  • Wafa Ben Hmida (Tunisia), Corresponding Member


  • 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.