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08-11-2008

Clarkson University's Liya Regel Speaks at International Women's Congress in France

Liya L. Regel, professor of electrical engineering and director of the International Center for Gravity Materials Science and Applications at Clarkson University, returned from a trip to Europe last week where she had been invited for some events. She said the most interesting was the International Congress of Women Scientists and Engineers (ICWES-14) in Lille, France.

Regel was invited to the conference under the High Patronage of Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic, under the Patronage Minister d�Etat, Minister of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning, and under the Patronage Minister for Higher Education and Research of the Republic. The National Council of French Engineers and Scientists was a prime host of the Congress, which had the theme A changing world: new opportunities for women engineers and scientists.

Regel said it was a great honor to be invited to speak to a very special audience - women from six continents. The coordinator (Valerie Ozier, France) asked IRM panelists challenging questions about their experience, life-balance, what made them succeed, their views on gender diversity as a major topic for companies/universities, how can their experience help others, etc. Regel said that "these were interesting and unusual questions for me to answer. The feedback from the audience during and particularly after the roundtable was amazing."

The keynote speakers at the Congress were women from different countries: Tunisia, France, Canada, Germany, Belgium, the United States, and the European Commission. They presented impressive lectures on topics in economics, physics, biology, social sciences, gender issues, etc. There was also a session with a special program for engineering and science students. There were numerous poster presentations as well.

The topics of the conference varied from climate change, future energy needs, the impact of technology on the environment and on living conditions, information technology and communication, logistics in a global world, biotechnology and genetics, management and leadership, and gender in STEM. These topics and more brought women from around the world - over 500 from 60 countries.

Regel says that the support of the French government and different French organizations, and the organizers under the leadership of the ICWES-14 Chair Monique Moutaud and her excellent team, made this meeting in Lille unforgettable for the participants, guests and VIPs.

Regel is the first woman scientist to receive an honorary doctor of science from Alabama A&M University. The international scientific community recognizes Regel as a highly innovative materials scientist. Among her significant achievements are many successful experiments in space.

She pioneered research on materials processing in giant centrifuges, high-energy heavy-ion implantation, and conversion of graphite to diamonds at low temperature and pressure. She has over 270 scientific papers, is author and co-author of 12 monographs and proceedings published in France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Regel has presented numerous keynote addresses, plenary lectures and invited seminars at national and international scientific meetings, universities and companies around the world. She is also an accomplished artist; her art is in private collections in Canada, France, Israel, Italy, Russia, the US and public displays in the U.S. Although she chose physics over music in college, she continues to compose on the piano. She also writes short stories and thought-provoking poems.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world�s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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