Female Engineering Graduates Break Barriers, Change Lives 

“These women come from different walks of life, but they share a passion for their fields and for changing lives that serves as an inspiration to others.”  

– FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg 

Some of Our Outstanding WorldsAhead 
Engineering and Computer Science Graduates 

  • Giselle Valdes conducted genetic engineering research and was accepted to graduate programs at Harvard and MIT – all while caring for a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease and a mother with multiple sclerosis. 
  • Alexandria Segovia is the first FIU student to earn an Internet of Things (IoT) degree. 
  • Sheila Alemany researched how to more accurately predict hurricane trajectories using artificial intelligence. 
  • Cesia Bulnes is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who has been hired by Microsoft. 
  • Gabriela Gutierrez Duran accepted a job offer at Boeing as a flight test engineer after graduation.
  • Claudia Ramirez-Mederos assisted in developing a three-axis shake table to study the effects of earthquakes on structures. 
  • Rossana Zotti designed a hospital patient transfer system that allows one nurse to move a patient from one bed to another, regardless of the patient’s weight. 
  • Angela Hogan re-established a university chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a nonprofit organization that helps communities meet their basic human needs. 
  • Ariana Bueno interned for Lockheed Martin, conducted optics and laser related research as an intern for Boeing and plans to become an astronaut. 

“Women in the engineering field are in a process of empowerment by
breaking gender barriers through developing and producing skills that
surpass conventional gender roles. This empowerment, combined with
the development of the logistics industry area, allows modern professionals
to stand out.  Because of this opportunity, my experience has led me to
find professional and personal fulfillment that no other career could grant me.”

Stephanie Serrano Costa Ramos ’19, M.S. in Logistics Engineering
Logistics Engineer Manager, Orange Technologies, Inc. 

Notable Alumni

Claudia Rodriguez, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Tekmovil
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, 2000

Claudia Rodriguez is the co-founder and chief operating officer for Tekmovil, a full-service wireless distribution company. Before Tekmovil, Rodriguez worked 19 years for Motorola Solutions, where she served most recently as corporate vice president and global chief procurement officer. Rodriguez has experience in product design and development, engineering, procurement, business development, competitive intelligence, strategy, operations, marketing and technical sales. Rodriguez is also an advocate of women/gender inclusion. She is the former president of Women’s Business Council at Motorola Solutions and is the recipient of the 2019 South Florida Business Journal Most Influential Business Woman award. Rodriguez holds an electrical engineering degree from Florida International University, where she serves as the vice-chair of the Dean’s Leadership Council for the College of Engineering & Computing.

Patricia Bonilla, Owner and President of Lunacon Construction Group
Master’s Degree in Construction Management, 1994 

Patricia Bonilla is owner and president of Lunacon Construction Group, a business built on core values of integrity, courage, resourcefulness, excellence and a strong work ethic. A civil engineer with a master’s degree in construction management from FIU, her early career began as a project manager, then head of the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Construction Management Division. Bonilla took a leap of faith in 2007 and began her own company in her garage. She is committed to a small business entrepreneurial agenda with government-based construction projects. Clients include the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Broward College, FIU and Miami Dade College. Lunacon currently manages commercial projects in excess of $400 million with 45 employees operating in Florida, across the Southeast and Midwest; Virginia, Missouri and Seattle. 

Bonilla has received many honors for her success. She was recognized as the 2012 Woman-Owned Contractor of the Year, 2014 Florida Small Business Association Minority Owned Small Business Person of the Year, 2016 GMCC South Florida Good to Great Award, and the 2017 Excellence in Construction Award. She is an invited speaker on diversity and inclusion at many national conferences. 

Patricia Bonilla, Owner and President of Lunacon Construction Group
Master’s Degree in Construction Management, 1994 

Patricia Bonilla is owner and president of Lunacon Construction Group, a business built on core values of integrity, courage, resourcefulness, excellence and a strong work ethic. A civil engineer with a master’s degree in construction management from FIU, her early career began as a project manager, then head of the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Construction Management Division. Bonilla took a leap of faith in 2007 and began her own company in her garage. She is committed to a small business entrepreneurial agenda with government-based construction projects. Clients include the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Broward College, FIU and Miami Dade College. Lunacon currently manages commercial projects in excess of $400 million with 45 employees operating in Florida, across the Southeast and Midwest; Virginia, Missouri and Seattle. 

Bonilla has received many honors for her success. She was recognized as the 2012 Woman-Owned Contractor of the Year, 2014 Florida Small Business Association Minority Owned Small Business Person of the Year, 2016 GMCC South Florida Good to Great Award, and the 2017 Excellence in Construction Award. She is an invited speaker on diversity and inclusion at many national conferences. 

Irma Becerra-Fernandez, President of Marymount University
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1994 

Irma Becerra is the seventh President of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. A Cuban-born American, Becerra immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was an infant, living in Puerto Rico through high school. Those formative experiences ignited her mind, imbuing her with a passion for knowledge along with a deep-seated belief that “no one can take away your education.” She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and went on to become the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Florida International University (FIU).

Prior to Marymount, she served as provost and chief academic officer at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida, and also spent three decades at FIU in a variety of positions that include vice president, vice provost, entrepreneurship center director and tenured professor in management information systems. She founded FIU’s Knowledge Management Lab and led major projects as principal investigator at the National Science Foundation, NASA (Headquarters, Kennedy, Ames and Goddard Space Flight Centers) and the Air Force Research Lab. She was also a sloan scholar at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research. 

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