Leadership and Staff

Yuting ChenWIE Director 

Yuting W. Chen
is a Teaching Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) where she is well known as a fantastic mentor and excellent teacher. Prof. Chen has contributed to Grainger Engineering in many capacities: an Education Innovation Fellow in AE3 (Academy of Excellence in Engineering Education) from 2020 to 2023, the ECE coordinator of WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering) Summer Camps since 2016, a faculty advisor to WECE (Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering) from 2017 to 2022, and a recipient of the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2023. 

She received a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, all in Electrical Engineering. Prior to joining Grainger Engineering as faculty, she worked at IBM Systems Group in z Systems Firmware Development. Her current interests include recruitment and retention of under-represented students in STEM, professional development for graduate students, curriculum innovation in computing, and service-learning. 

She is excited to serve as the Women in Engineering (WIE) Director, aiming to leverage her experience as an undergraduate herself from our very own ECE department, her experience in industry as well as her deep knowledge of the undergraduate student experience in Grainger Engineering to help the community thrive. 

statue of the quintessential engineer, also known as "Quinn"

Assistant Director

Valeri Werpetinski is the Assistant Director for Women in Engineering and a KEEN Instructional Catalyst in The Grainger College of Engineering. An Illinois alum, Valeri is an educator, social entrepreneur, and intrapreneur with 20 years of multi-disciplinary experience as a changemaker in the university-community engagement sector. She is passionate about inclusive entrepreneurship and STEM education, social innovation, and sustainable global development, and has received awards for her work in public engagement and social justice advocacy.
Valeri has served in several leadership roles at the University of Illinois, including as Director of Learning in Community, an interdisciplinary service-learning program in The Grainger College of Engineering, and as Associate Director for Entrepreneurial Education at Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Director of Curriculum and Service-Learning at the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, in Gies College of Business. She has launched and led initiatives like the Engineering for Social Justice Scholars Program, Illinois Impact Incubator, Women in Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation Global Scholars, and Entrepreneurs Without Borders. She also has served as a mentor and advisor to startups and social ventures for iVenture Accelerator, Cozad New Venture Challenge, Illinois Enactus, Founders, and Zero2One.
While at Illinois, Valeri has taught over twenty courses across five colleges, including innovative community-engaged courses and short-term education abroad programs, in topics like social innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, design thinking, and applied project management. She has worked with 100+ community partners, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, foundations, and international non-governmental organizations spanning four continents and has provided oversight and mentorship for hundreds of university student projects that created technical, economic, and social value.

Stacey Goad

Office Support Associate

Stacey Goad has worked with Women in Engineering since July 2023. Previously, she worked at the Champaign County States Attorney's Office for 17 years. In her spare time, Stacey loves to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

Past Directors and Staff

Angie Wolters is a graduate from Engineering at Illinois, holding a BS and an MS in Civil Engineering, and is a licensed professional engineer. Angie joined Applied Pavement Technology in Urbana, Illinois, after completing her master’s degree. During her 11 years with APTech, Angie worked her way from Engineering Associate to Associate Partner. Angie also has work experience with the higher education division of Pearson Education. In the Undergraduate Programs Office, Angie serves as an academic advisor while directing efforts for Women in Engineering including the overall retention and recruitment efforts of women students. During her time with WIE, she has been involved in a number of women-focused endeavors including developing a leadership program – WIE Lead – for women engineering students, co-authoring of a book on the accomplishments of women engineers at the University of Illinois, serving on the committee responsible for the artist selection and overall creation and placement of a statue on engineering campus celebrating women engineers, and collaborating with the International Programs in Engineering office to establish a study abroad program for Women in Business and Technology with ORT University in Montevideo, Uruguay. Angie and her husband have two children and live in Mahomet.

Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois

The book, “Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois” was inspired by a similar volume published in 1967 titled “Men and Ideas in Engineering – Twelve Histories from Illinois.” “Men and ideas” highlights “twelve accounts of men, events, and inventions in the hundred-year history of the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering”. The university’s sesquicentennial is the perfect time to complement “Men and Ideas” by releasing this companion book, which will share stories of female engineering alumni, their impact, and their visions.  The stories of these women have proved to be exhilarating and intriguing, and have challenged us to build upon our own stories. Some of these stories are being told for the first time, making us all the more excited for their release. We have marveled at the creativity, determination, brilliance, and hard work of these women, whose discoveries and inventions have benefited us all. The stories of and reflections by the women in this book speak for themselves. But Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois does not end here. There are still untold stories. And each day, there are new stories to tell.

Buy the Book Book Appendices

Dr. Susan Larson is an assistant dean and a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She also oversees the First Year Engineering Undeclared Program in The Grainger College of Engineering. She earned undergraduate degrees in physics and German at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her MS and PhD in environmental engineering science at the California Institute of Technology before joining Illinois as a faculty member. She has received campus and national teaching awards. Within The Grainger College of Engineering, she has been recognized with the Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence and the Stanley H. Pierce Award. She has also received an award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and McGraw Hill. Her research focuses on the behavior of air pollutants and has been recognized with a Presidential Young Investigator Award and an Illinois Junior Xerox Award.