for industry, the press, and our sponsors

breaking the stigmas and stereotypes of women in engineering

The Team
With the support of the following faculty and staff, our undergraduate team
is able to design and build the solar car and reach communities.
  Professor Karen Panetta, Tufts University

Dr. Karen Panetta received her B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Computer Systems Engineering from Northeastern University. She worked full-time for Digital Equipment Corporation as a Principal Engineer developing simulation engines for fault simulation of digital logic systems and CPU designs. With this industry experience, Panetta joined the Tufts faculty with two missions: To prepare students for the real world and to promote women in engineering. As a strong advocate for women in engineering, she is breaking those stigmas and stereotypes and is currently teaching core and advanced computer engineering courses and developing the multimedia curriculum at Tufts. She is responsible for creating the Nerd Girls program and building the team of young woman to expand their horizons, develop their skills and abilities, accomplish their goals, and reach their full potential as engineers.

Professor Ron Lasser, Tufts University

Dr. Ron Lasser received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. Ron spent 25 years in industry at such companies as AT&T Bell Laboratories, DuPont ImagiTex, and General Scanning, Inc., in various roles from design engineer to senior executive. Prior to joining the Tufts faculty, he was an international consultant in product development, innovation, and product portfolio strategy and planning. His objective to inspire students to reach their full potential, bring diversity to engineering so new ideas and innovations may be discovered, promote collaboration to solve challenging problems, and work to expand and excell the Tufts University project-based and practical engineering curriculum in the School of Engineering.

George Preble, Tufts University

George is the Manager, Engineering Lab Systems. He works endlessly with the Nerd Girls to educate the team in the computer systems, laboratory equipment, and to demonstrate methods and techniques to promote engineering skills and practical approaches to solving problems. His approach is to show and to teach which allows the Nerd Girls learn and acquire practical skills and insights. George is involved in design, part procurement, system setup, test, and problem-solving. His dedicated efforts and dependibilty have significantly contributed to the accomplishments of the program and the education and post-graduation opportunites for members of the Nerd Girls team.

Matthew Heller, Tufts University

Rick Columbo, Tufts University