2021 Women in Welding Virtual Conference

August 19, 2021

Virtual Conference


AWS Contact
Sarai Claveria


Women in Welding: Welding Engineers

Our March Women in Welding Virtual Conference was a huge success. And after listening to your feedback, AWS is hosting another Women in Welding conference. This time, we’re delivering exactly what you requested.

Please join us for this ½ day mini-conference, featuring three prominent women welding engineers at retired, mid-career, and early career levels. Our panelists will discuss both technical and non-technical subject matters in the engineering field. In addition, we will be featuring a Keynote Speaker focusing on Imposter Syndrome, which many women face in every aspect of their lives.

Register to attend today to further connect to the women in our industry and come away with a stronger sense of community.


meet the WIW speakers

Pierrette Gorman
Pierrette Gorman

Retired Welding Engineer

Sandia National Laboratories

Read Bio

Coming Soon

Karen Gilgenbach
Karen Gilgenbach

Area Vice President


Read Bio

Coming Soon


Andrea Orr
Andrea Orr

Research Engineer

Ford Motor Company

Read Bio

Andrea Orr believes hands-on experience is a key resource of knowledge development within the welding and joining field. She currently serves as a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company focusing on welding solutions for new body structure and powertrain applications. Before her current position, Andrea was a Ford College Graduate where she was able to rotate throughout the company to gain perspective on different roles and responsibilities. She tailored her rotational experience around the welding and joining field and spent time in research, product development, safety, and manufacturing. Andrea was able to be a key contributor in the development of resistance welding practices and the use of simulation to enable the utilization of new advanced high strength steel (AHSS) materials in automotive body applications.

From 2017 to 2020, Andrea served as a project leader through the Auto/Steel Partnership collaborating with industry representatives on the development of 3rd Generation AHSS and overcoming the challenges of liquid metal embrittlement (LME). Along with her extensive knowledge on steel resistance welding, Andrea has also spent time working with aluminum arc welding processes, non-destructive techniques for assessing weld quality, and laser welding of copper components. She serves on the AWS D8 committee for Automotive Welding and was selected as a 2021 AWS Future Leader. Andrea holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Welding Engineering from Ohio State University. In her free time she enjoys hiking and participating in water sports.

Bettina Blair
Bettina Blair

Keynote Speaker

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Bettina has been teaching full-time at Ohio State University since 1998. During that time, she has had the opportunity to develop and deliver course work for computer science topics at all levels. Prior to that, she was an adjunct lecturer for smaller programs in Denver, Colorado and Central Ohio. She has taught and developed curriculum for business and computer science degree programs.

Prior to her career in academia, Bettina worked in industry for nearly 20 years. This real-world experience, somewhat unusual at a research institution, has given her a unique and valuable perspective on the practical aspects of the material taught.
Bettina is consistently one of the top-rated instructors in her department, and very engaged with students at the undergraduate level. She received recognition for Teaching Excellence at the CSE Awards Banquet in 2020. She has received many awards for her work encouraging the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science.

Bettina is also an active member of the ACM-W (ACM’s Women in Computing) Executive Committee as Communications Chair. In 2005, Bettina organized the first Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC), a well-attended statewide conference that was reported in the Chronicle for Higher Education as well as in the computing media. OCWiC is now one of the longest running and best attended regional celebrations of women in computing, delivering events and providing support and advocacy for women in computing. In 2008, Bettina and a small group of women students chartered an ACM-W Student Chapter at Ohio State, which is today the oldest continuously active student chapter. In 2018, Bettina founded the first ACM-W Professional Chapter in the United States.

Bettina has created computer science content for TED-ED, and authored several research papers and articles highlighting the gender imbalance in computing.


organizing committee

Monica Pfarr

Executive Director

AWS Foundation

Nancy Porter

Navy ManTech Program Manager





1:00pm – 5:00pm Half Day (4 Hours)
1:00 – 1:15pm Welcome & Introductions
Nancy Porter (Moderator)
1:15 – 1:45pm Pierrette Gorman
(recently retired)
1:45 – 2:15pm Karen Gilgenbach
2:15 – 2:45pm Andrea Orr
(early career)

2:45 – 3:00pm Break
3:00 – 3:30pm Discussion Panel with Speakers
Nancy Porter (Moderator)
3:30 – 4:15pm Keynote Speaker – Bettina Blair
Introduced by Monica Pharr
4:15pm Wrap-up / Final Thoughts
Nancy Porter (Moderator)

*Conference Schedule Subject to Change

registration & Pricing


Open: June 2021

Deadline: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 6pm

Technical Program
4 PDHs Earned

Get Notified when Registration Opens >

Regular $35 $45
Students $25 $25

Attendee Registration Coming Soon

All cancellations MUST BE IN WRITING. If you cancel 35 DAYS PRIOR to the school you will receive a refund of 50%. If you cancel from 34 DAYS to 3 DAYS PRIOR to the conference, you will receive a refund of 10%. NO REFUNDS will be given 3 DAYS or less prior to the conference.

Registrations are non-transferable.



*Sponsorships Subject to Change

WIW Logo Sponsorship

Benefits Include:

  • One Complimentary Registration for Company Representative
  • Company Logo and Link to their Website on WIW Landing Page
  • Company Logo placements during Virtual Event break

Video or Ad

Benefits Include:

  • Company Video (2 mins) or Ad highlighted during the Conference
  • Company Logo and Link to their Website on WIW Landing Page
  • Company Logo Displayed during Virtual Conference Break
  • Attendee List

Sponsorship Registration Coming Soon
For More Info on Sponsorships
Sarai Claveria


American Welding Society Learning