Outstanding Woman in Engineering 2018 Award Winners

This year, five spectacular graduating seniors were recognized as Outstanding Women in Engineering at SWE's Evening with Industry


The winners are (from left to right):

Cate KraskaRebecca Kandell, Amy Tsai, Naomi HennefeldAlaina Standish,

Meet the Winners

Naomi Hennefeld

Environmental Engineering

Naomi is described by one of her professors as “the ideal student: extremely academically successful, well respected by her professors and peers, a leader within student clubs, and active in competitions and research.” Naomi is on track to complete her degree in four years, while maintaining a 3.97 GPA. Furthermore, she has worked for the Regional Water Quality Control Board since her sophomore year both during the school year and during academic breaks, and held several leadership positions at Cal Poly including serving as Vice President of the Society of Environmental Engineers.

Rebecca Kandell

Biomedical Engineering

Rebecca has excelled academically, maintaining an extraordinary undergraduate GPA of 3.95, and a perfect graduate GPA of 4.0. Additionally, since the beginning of her freshmen year, she has worked in Cal Poly’s Biomedical Imaging and Bioinstrumentation Lab, where she took on a key role performing cell culture and begin studying the protective benefits of milk phospholipids against ultraviolet radiation on skin cells. For the last 3 years, she has served as lab manager. In addition to excelling at academics and research, Rebecca has held numerous extracurricular leadership positions, including serving last year as President of Cal Poly SWE and currently as the SWE Collegiate Representative for all universities in the southwest region. Additionally, Rebecca has had impressive internships at Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake.

Cate Kraska

Civil Engineering

As an active leader in both Cal Poly’s Society of Civil Engineers (SCE) and Engineers Without Borders, Cate has an inspiring record of service. Currently she is President of SCE, an extremely active and nationally recognized chapter, where she previously established a very successful mentorship program for younger students. As referenced in a nomination letter from two of her faculty, Cate is “a fantastic student and an outstanding positive leader”. Furthermore she has had a variety of technical internships including Clune Construction, Kimley-Horn, and the City of Atascadero Public Works.

Alaina Standish

Aerospace Engineering

During her time at Cal Poly, Alaina has been involved in Cal Poly Space Systems, taking on numerous leadership positions over the years, including serving as Vice President twice. Concurrently, she is pursuing a dance minor and has earned an extraordinary 3.96 GPA. Her technical work experience has included two internships with Northrop Grumman where she worked with the electronics and payloads teams.

Amy Tsai

Computer Science

Amy is described by one of her faculty members as, “one of the best students and all around fantastic people I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching”. Throughout her four years at Cal Poly Amy has maintained a remarkable 3.86 GPA while holding numerous leadership positions, including currently serving as Vice President in 3 organizations: WISH, White Hat, and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In addition, she has had three impressive internships, the last two with Google where for one of her projects she developed a URL resolution service for Google Assistant.