Meet the Team

Advisor and Founder of Nerd Girls:

Dr. Karen Panetta

Karen Panetta is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University and Director of the Simulation Research Laboratory at Tufts University. Dr. Panetta received the B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. She was the first female electrical engineer given tenure in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Dr. Panetta serves on the Boston University Engineering Alumni Board and is a board member for the Center for Balance by Design. She is also a member of the ACM, SWE, SPHE, AWIS, ASEE and the Society for Computer Simulation.

Believing that real world experience is critical for engineering education, Dr. Panetta maintains consulting positions in industry and brings her experience back to the classroom. She is a Design Consultant for Tycoelectronics,M/A-Com Inc. and advises the National Academy of Engineering, Massachusetts school systems and Science Museums across the United States to inspire engineering and technology education to youth.


I am a junior mechanical engineering student at Tufts, and I have been a member of the Nerd Girls Solar Car Team since my freshman year. I am currently the Technical Leader for the shell and canopy groups. In addition to Nerd Girls, I am a member of STOMP, where I teach LEGO robotics at elementary schools. I have loved being a part of the solar car mechanical design team, and I am very excited to race our car!


My name is Abbie and I am a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am the Tech Lead for the suspension group and the braking group. I have been involved with the Nerd Girls Solar Car project since 2008, and am so excited to get our car ready for the North American Solar Car Challenge!


I am a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with interests in robotics and MEMS. In addition to Nerd Girls, I am the President of SWE, on the Executive Board for STOMP, and a member of ASME. I have been part of Nerd Girls' mechanical team since January of 2007, which was my freshman year. Thus far, I have worked on the suspension system, roll cage, and the mounting of the motor. I look forward to completing the car this year and racing it as a team in the North American Challenge!


My name is Rachael and I am a senior majoring in civil engineering. I have been working with Nerd Girls since freshman year and it is one of the best things I have been a part of at college. On the car, I was responsible for the design of the suspension brackets for connection to the frame. I am now the technical leader for the frame and roll cage group, and I can't wait to see the car built and running!


Hi! My name is Jessica, and I am a Computer Engineering major (class of 2011). I joined Nerd Girls because I wanted to work on projects that would fuse my interests in engineering and the environment. In my free time, I like singing, doing art projects, and solving interesting math problems.


Hi my name is Lisa! I'm an electrical engineer, class of 2012 at Tufts University. I'm working with the electrical system for the Tufts solar car. Currently I am in charge of the batteries and power point tracker. I also play violin and do yoga. I joined Nerd Girls to gain hands on experience working with the solar car and also to work with other amazing female engineers!


Hi, My name is Anna, I am a junior studying environmental engineering and Mandarin. I am responsible for the design and upkeep of the Nerd Girls website. Besides being involved in Nerd Girls, I am also involved in the Society of Women Engineers, the Tufts Traveler magazine, and the Tufts Energy Forum.

Click below to see bios of our previous teams!