General Electric (GE) Global Research Center sponsored their first Women in Science and Engineering Symposium in Niskayuna, New York December 4 and 5. The symposium featured panels and breakout discussions focused on retaining technical women. GE invited employees, customers, partners and featured speakers to discuss best practices for attracting, developing and retaining women in science and engineering. Participants included experienced men and women in engineering and technology from GE as well as GE key customers and partners.
This year, Dr. Elizabeth Easter, Professor, Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles, was invited to be part of the symposium. Dr. Easter has served as a textile consultant with GE for more than 20 years. She spends one day each week working with the company and her work focuses on clothes care.
In 1988, Dr. Easter established the Textile Testing Laboratory in the Department of Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles and she continues to manage this lab. The laboratory provides contractual fee based services for the Association for Linen Management (ALM) as well as the textile, apparel, and appliance industries. The services for ALM have resulted in grants exceeding more than $600,000. Over 50 corporations and organizations have utilized Dr. Easter’s expertise in textile testing for product development, evaluation and laundry fundamentals.
Upon returning from the seminar, Dr. Easter remarked, “The symposium was a great experience which included a tour of the Global Center, meeting people from all aspects of GE’s business and speakers from inside and outside of GE.”