The Lehigh Valley Section started as a subsection of SWE’s Philadelphia Section.  Co-founders Haunani Kekuna and Carol Bloch generated enough interest at a September 18, 1979 kick-off meeting in Allentown to pursue seeking full section status.  The proposed section would be able to take advantage of the large concentration of professionals, industrial facilities, and educational institutions located in Lehigh and Northampton Counties.  Once started, the process quickly gained momentum.  By May 1980 a President-elect (W. Anne Stocker) was selected for the proposed new section, bylaws were developed and a petition for charter was endorsed by the parent Philadelphia Section.  The Lehigh Valley Section was chartered on June 25, 1980 with an initial group of thirteen members and became the 37th active section of SWE.

The Section grew in membership and varied activities, many with other engineering societies, but by May 1995 was in danger of being dissolved due to dwindling involvement.  New officers rallied and the Section was reactivated in 1996 thanks to determined members, such as Lisa Walton who is still an active member today.

Today, the Lehigh Valley Section is thriving with well over 50 members, monthly events, and a well-established Scholarship Program for local women entering undergraduate engineering programs.

Over the years SWE-LV members have been recognized for their many accomplishments both by SWE itself and by peer engineering societies:

2021 Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Alexa Rooney

2020 Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Minal Amin

2019 Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Elizabeth Helsel

2017 Engineer of the Year recipient: Mary Rooney

2016 SWE Entrepreneur of the Year recipient: Michele Stuart

FY2016 SWE Society President: Colleen Layman

2012 Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Brianne Wilburne

2012 SWE New Faces of Engineering recipient: Brianne Wilburne

2010 Engineer of the Year recipient: Angelika Forndran

2002 Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Amy Holovaty

1987 SWE Achievement Award recipient: Nance K. Dicciani

1983 Pennsylvania Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Haunani Sue Lin Kekuna

1983 Young Engineer of the Year recipient: Haunani Sue Lin Kekuna

1982 SWE Distinguished New Engineer recipient: Rebecca Johnson Gale, Ph.D.

1981 SWE Fellow Member recipient: Isabelle F. French, Ph.D. 

Visit societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/awards for a listing of the various Individual Awards available to SWE members at the international society level.

SWE’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.