Jaclyn Spear


Jaclyn SpearI joined SWE in 1971 as a student at Cornell and was instrumental in chartering the Cornell Student Section. At the 1997 25th anniversary of the section, when asked why I helped start the section, my response was, “My mother made me do it.” As a second-generation woman engineer, I have been greatly influenced in my life and career by my mother Amy (Cornell BSEE 1948) and my father Ed (Cornell BSEE 1945), both SWE Fellow Life Members.

The things I value most about SWE are the friendships I’ve formed over the past 35 years (I attended my first convention at age 16) and the opportunities to network across the country. As I have moved around with my job with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, SWE has been one of the constants in my life. I have helped charter three sections and another student section (all in the Carolinas) and was part of the revitalization of the Pittsburgh Section in 1985. I traveled internationally with SWE as part of the first People-to-People Delegation to China and the Soviet Union in 1984 and the 9th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) in England in 1991 and the 12th ICWES in Ottawa, Canada, in 2002.

Serving as SWE President opened my eyes to new opportunities, and in 1997 I was selected as an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Congressional Fellow. I spent a year in Washington serving on the Democratic staff of the House International Relations Committee, which reported to Representative Lee Hamilton of Indiana, following nonproliferation and environmental issues for the Congressman. I continued my service to IEEE-USA by serving on the Government Fellows Committee, which elects future Fellows through a competitive selection process.

  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1975, Cornell University
  • M.B.A., 1985, University of Pittsburgh
  • Fellow Life Member of SWE