GIFTE judging Future City Finals Competition  during Engineers-Week in Washington, DC Feb 2008

GIFTE Board Bios

Roberta Gleiter – C.E.O.

Roberta GleiterAs a re-entrant engineer, my passion is to advocate for an engineering education and an engineering profession. My B.S. in Chemical Engineering is from Purdue University. After my husband (also an engineer) and I raised our family, I re-entered the engineering workforce and obtained my M.S. in Systems Management from University of Southern California (USC).

The Aerospace Corporation, a "think tank" for Air Force satellite systems, has been my ‘employer of choice’ for twenty nine years and currently I am working on the enhanced Global Positioning System (GPS). Previously, I was a project manager working on the development of the Space Based Infrared Satellite System providing space systems architecture and engineering services.

Besides earning my living at engineering, I enjoy advocating for engineering. After my term as the National President of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), my National SWE Treasurer and I co-founded the Global Institute for Technology and Engineering (GIFTE).

I recently received the distinguished Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award from Purdue University.

Felicita Saiez - President

Felicita SaiezIt has been my pleasure for the past eight years to serve as an Adjunct Professor. Currently, at Ohlone College, I instruct eager students in engineering mechanics, and at De Anza College, I teach project management courses primarily to seasoned professionals. In addition, I work as an engineering management consultant specializing in risk mitigation, process management and improvement, and systems engineering and integration to organizations such as NASA and semiconductor chip manufacturers.

I started my career with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University and worked as a pneumatics design engineer on Atlas/ Centaur launch vehicles and as a propulsion research engineer for Intelsat satellites. I expanded my career by obtaining my M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University.

Before turning to teaching and consulting, I served as a Vice President of Engineering at a “dotcom” and also as President & CEO of my own consulting company.

As President & Co-Founder of the Global Institute For Technology & Engineering (GIFTE), I have enjoyed working with students and professionals to expand their engineering and technology opportunities. I have actively participated in programs by JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society), FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Lego League, and the International Mission on Engineering. In addition to other accolades, I received the Distinguished Alumni Award “Service to Profession” from Boston University, and I was inducted as a Fellow in the Society of Woman Engineers (SWE), an institution I have been very active in including serving on the national Board of Directors as a Vice President of Education and Treasurer. I enjoy working in local engineering organizations and am President Emeritus of the Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC), a member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Order of the Engineer.

Marie LaPlante – C.F.O.

Marie LaPlanteAs a chemical engineer, I have enjoyed working in a variety of roles and am currently employed at KBR as Chief Technical Engineer for Utilities in the Project Definition Group. I also serve as GIFTE’s C.F.O.  I earned my B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and am a certified City of Houston First Grade Stationary Engineer and Six Sigma Green Belt.

My early career was focused in operations and project management in chemical manufacturing. Moving to the business side, I sold environmental technologies and helped American customers reduce emissions in the refining, petrochemical, and power generation sectors. I also worked in project management leading product development programs for coal gasification.

I have been very active in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and have served at the national, local, and regional levels for more than 20 years. I have also been a judge with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics for more than 10 years at regional and championship competitions. I am also a longtime member of MentorNet and enjoy working with young women who aspire to enter the science and engineering professions. I have been recognized for contributions as an engineer, as a leader in my community, and mentor to younger engineers with awards from my university and SWE.