Women in Energy Sciences

For Women's History Month we're launching Propelling Women in Power, a podcast all about women in energy sciences! Hosts and UW–Madison students Michelle Chung and Mary Riker will preview the new series and ask our scientist panel how they became interested in research, the challenges along the way, and what choices were made at tough forks in the road.

Join us for a celebration of #WomenInStem!

Register today!

Watch the recording from March 28th, 2022 here!


Michelle Chung HeadshotMichelle Chung
UW–Madison undergraduate student and Wisconsin Energy Institute communications intern; Podcast host, Propelling Women in Power

A biology and environmental studies major, Michelle Chung loves finding fun ways to tell the stories of energy research via the hundreds of social media posts and newsletters she's produced. In addition to working as a lab assistant for the Ellen Damschen lab, Chung is adding podcasting to her accomplishments as she gets ready to graduate in May.

Mary Riker headshotMary Riker
UW–Madison undergraduate student and Wisconsin Energy Institute communications intern; Podcast host, Propelling Women in Power  

A civil engineering major, Mary Riker is the Wisconsin Energy Institute's go-to science writer for graduate, undergraduate, and postdoctoral researcher profiles. She's also covered everything from energy events on campus to complex scientific research. Riker is passionate about discovering how women in energy science value their careers, professional goals, and work/life balance.


Yiying Xiong headshotYiying Xiong
Associate Director, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

Yiying Xiong joined the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) as associate director in 2021. Xiong supports the GLBRC director in management of the Center, including strategic planning, business operations, staff management, research program development, reporting to the U.S. Department of Energy, industry collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and community education and outreach.

Xiong brings 20 years of experience in business strategy and program management in renewable energy and sustainability sectors. She has led nearly 100 renewable energy projects in 17 countries on four continents. She has a strong passion for women leadership and diversity and has served various leadership roles in a number of professional organizations in the U.S. and internationally.

Dominique Brossard Head ShotDominique Brossard
Professor and Chair, Department of Life Sciences Communication, UW–Madison

Dominique Brossard's research program focuses on the intersection between science, media and policy. Brossard studies the public opinion dynamics in the context of controversial scientific innovations, such as biotechnology, stem cell research, nanotechnology and nuclear energy. She is particularly interested in understanding the role of values in shaping public attitudes, and in cross-cultural analysis of these processes, with a special emphasis on the online environment.

Stephanie McFarlane headshotStephanie McFarlane
Graduate Student, Damschen Research Lab, Department of Integrative Biology, UW–Madison

Stephanie McFarlane studies plant community assembly and restoration and related impacts on pollinators and pollination services. She is working to better understand how different management regimes affect restored tallgrass prairie plant and insect communities.

Stephanie Diem
Assistant Professor,  Department of Engineering Physics, UW–Madison

UW-Madison Professor Stephanie DiemStephanie (Steffi) Diem is an experimental plasma physicist and assistant professor in the engineering physics department at the UW-Madison.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from UW-Madison and her Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from Princeton University, and worked as a Research and Development Scientist in the Fusion Energy Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory prior to returning to UW-Madison. Her research focuses on the utilization of high power microwaves to heat plasma to fusion grade temperatures.  She is involved with the Pegasus III project and many others throughout the United States and the world.