Two inspirational Sandia women in ceramic and glass engineering

By Mollie Rappe

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New book highlights 100 accomplished women

Science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines have an underrepresentation problem. The reasons for this underrepresentation are complex, including difficulties attracting and retaining women and minorities, sometimes referred to as the “leaky pipeline.” In engineering disciplines, women have received approximately 20 percent of bachelor’s and master’s degrees since 2000, yet women make up only 11 percent of practicing engineers.

Lynnette Madsen, program director for ceramics at the National Science Foundation, recently published Successful Women Ceramic and Glass Scientists and Engineers: 100 Inspirational Profiles,  which highlights the careers and lives of notable women making a difference in the fields of ceramic and glass science and engineering. Madsen says her goal was to attract young women into the field and encourage them to stay. Two of the women featured in this tome have strong ties to Sandia.


Julia Phillips, now retired, was involved in many leadership positions at Sandia for almost 20 years. Julia’s proudest career moment was guiding the research strategy for the Labs. From February 2013 to October 2014 she served as an acting vice president and chief technology officer.

“It is an honor to be included in the book, in the company of so many accomplished women scientists and engineers.  I hope that readers will see that there are as many paths to success in both career and personal fulfillment for women in science and engineering as there are women to make them.  The ‘words of wisdom’ should be valuable for all early career researchers,” said Julia.


Tina Nenoff (1100), a distinguished materials scientist, has worked at Sandia since 1993. Tina’s proudest career moment was enabling Sandia’s crystalline silicotitanate (CST) molecular sieves for the removal of radiological cesium from seawater at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Tina also was honored by her inclusion in the book. “Many of the women featured in the book are my mentors like Julia Phillips, Alexandra Navrotsky, and Carol Jantzen. Many are my friends and peers like Jackie Ying and Claire Gray. I hope this book reminds, or possibly exposes for the first time, the reader to the amazing research in science and engineering that has been happening over the years.”