See the results of WIRES so far
Connecting Women and Completing the Circuit of International Research Collaboration

The WIRES Network is a partnership with the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT)

WIRES3 will be held in 2015 in Norway

Apply for WIRES 2012

Fostering a WIRES Network
Through efforts of WIRES1 (2009), WIRES2 (2011), and the WIRES online research discussions (2013), we have established a network of collaborators that extends beyond the activities of the summit itself. WIRES1 and WIRES2 results have provided evidence of considerable impact in terms of publications, new collaborations and joint research projects. Additionally, the participants from these previous summits have acted as role models for other women who want to engage in international research collaborations. By working to create women-led teams engaging in meaningful and sustained research, the WIRES Network members are collaborating to solve the large engineering problems of the world. Specifically, our network aims to connect women from different countries and continents who have similar career experiences while providing forums for them to collaborate on research as well as share challenges and successes.

What is WIRES3?
WIRES3 is the third in a series of international summits designed for women who are interested in pursuing international collaborative researching opportunities. The main objective of this summit is to enable meaningful and sustainable research exchanges between female engineers from around the world while identifying issues faced by females pursuing careers in engineering that could benefit from a global strategy.

Since its inception in 2009, WIRES has held the ultimate goal of serving as a community of excellence, through which participants can develop lasting relationships that continue to grow their research beyond the summit.

In Autumn 2011 the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) joined the US National Science Foundation, the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University as the organizing team for WIRES3 (as well as future WIRES events). ECWT has, since 2008, functioned as chair of the International Taskforce on Women and Information and Communication Technology's (ITF) Global Women and Technology Initiative (GWT-I); a network of regional centers focused on the measurable and significant increase of the participation of women in technology.

Who will be at WIRES3?
Summit participation is limited to 60 US and 140 non-US women engineers. Since this event will be the third in a series of such summits, it will focus on three research "clusters" or themes that are based on the NAE Global Grand Challenges.

Participants chosen to attend the summit will include female engineering faculty, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, researchers from industry, and program directors from funding agencies.

Apply for WIRES 2012

Intellectual Merit
This summit is designed to bring experts together to discuss recent research findings and to expose other researchers, graduate students and post doctoral students to best practices in engaging in international research collaborations. The summit will foster the initiation of research collaborations that will make technical contributions through the building of sustained relationships among the female participants. This will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of scientific, engineering and educational activities across the globe. Additionally, the summit application survey and an interview protocol will be used to better understand what is needed for female engineers to engage in international research collaborations. The survey addresses participants' experiences with international collaborations, research and gender equity.

Broader Impacts
The summit will raise awareness of pathways for females to pursue international collaborations and available funding sources. Participants in the summit will include approximately 200 females (60 from the U.S. and 140 international) in various engineering disciplines from a wide range of institutions that offer engineering degrees. Research focus areas for the 2015 summit include sustainable energy, urban infrastructure, and information technology.

What are some of the goals of WIRES?

Obtaining Goals
Summit goals will be addressed with pre‐summit and post‐summit activities as well as the sessions at the summit itself. Below is a more detailed description of how these six goals will be reached.

Pre-summit activities will involve collecting and distributing information about each participant to those attending the summit. The information will include their research-education background, research expertise-interests, facilities available to them and professional society memberships. This information will help identify potential partnerships between the global participants. The Georgia Institute of Technology will host this data base in a secure location that only participants can access. This site will enable summit participants to network prior to and after the summit. We encourage the participants to contact each other prior to the summit.

A panel of at least three pairs of engineering researchers who have successfully engaged in research across national boundaries will be identified to facilitate a session where they will describe their research and collaboration team and will discuss what each partner brought to the collaboration and why the research was uniquely enabled by the collaboration. Participants will be given the opportunity to offer advice or best practices. Each presentation will be followed by questions/discussion from the summit participants. This panel and audience participation will generate a list of recommended practices (and worst practices) for international collaborations. The organizing committee will help identify researchers who have participated in international collaborations to be polled about their best practices/advice. The engineering professional societies recognize that global diversity is desirable and have developed initiatives, programs and policies to foster involvement of engineers from all over the globe.

Representatives from various funding agencies-organizations will describe pathways for funding international collaborations at the summit. Program Directors will address what types of interactions are of the most interest to them and talk about how to integrate international components into their research proposals. Funding agencies will also identify the current initiatives and/or focus areas that would be open to international collaborations. Prior to the summit, program directors will identify potential proposal opportunities and this information will be posted for participants.

There are at least three levels of barriers to females fully participating in international research collaborations: institutional, national and international. The NSF ADVANCE program has made a large impact in breaking down institutional barriers for female faculty advancement. ADVANCE initiatives have encouraged improvements at the college and department level as well as the national level, where many of the practices and policies put in place through the ADVANCE program grants have now become more widely adopted. The most effective strategy to reduce institutional barriers may include elements that do not exist at the institutional level. Therefore, it is important to understand which policy instruments are most effective at reducing the barriers at different levels. Through a short pre-summit survey we will identify gender equity issues that will benefit from a global strategy, thus addressing the international barriers to female faculty full participation and advancement. The results from the global participants will be analyzed and will be discussed at the summit. Briefings from international researchers will allow the participants to appreciate the differences and similarities between the female engineers from different companies.

Researchers from around the world will describe how research is funded and conducted during the summit. Participants will gain an understanding of how funding models vary across the globe. Additionally, the WIRES 3 summit will include an essential skills workshop focused on speeding up the innovation and technology to the market (T2M) processes. Experienced innovators will share their stories, knowledge and recommendations to encourage participants to better engage in technology to the market (T2M) efforts.

The application-survey for the summit will be added to the growing WIRES Network database of female faculty who are interested in conducting international research. Additionally, female engineers who may not be able to attend the summit will be invited to be included in the database. Note that the participants can request that their information not be included in the database.

Dr. Mary Lynn Realff

Angie Beggs

Mary Juhas

Eva Fabry



GA Tech










GA Tech