Society of Women Engineers Creates Windmill Project, Encourages Future Women Engineers


Society of Women Engineers Creates Windmill Project, Encourages Future Women Engineers

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
ange mendez works on drill press

Members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Collegiate Affiliate at Raritan Valley Community College presented their Energy Generating Windmill project at a “Make a Difference” event, held November 16 at the College’s Branchburg campus. The event, designed to give students a platform to share ideas they believe could make a positive change at the College, was sponsored by RVCC’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

During the “Make a Difference” program, the SWE team members spoke about creating the windmill project and shared how these experiences are vital to developing important skills to become successful engineers.

“The Energy Generating Windmill is a great example of RVCC’s Society of Women Engineers members working together on a hands-on project to gain practical skills, build community, and increase self-esteem and confidence. The engineering discipline at RVCC, and at many other institutions, is lacking participation of women. Only about 10-15% of engineering students at RVCC are women. These SWE students are therefore great mentors and role models for elementary school girls, who can aspire to become society’s future engineers,” said Dr. Peter Stupak, RVCC Associate Professor of Engineering and Physics.

The RVCC SWE Affiliate was successfully re-started this semester after a hiatus during the pandemic. The organization’s goal is to increase the participation, retention and graduation success of women in engineering, and science in general, through the active engagement of RVCC women in hands-on projects and community service in local schools.

The SWE members built the windmill over the course of three months, learning valuable skills related to teamwork, leadership and problem solving, as well as fabrication skills such as sawing, sanding wood and soldering.

The SWE team designed the project so that the rotational energy from the windmill was used to turn a DC motor that performed as an electrical generator. The electricity produced was used to illuminate 30 LED lights that were arranged in the shape of the letters “SWE” on a sign attached to the windmill. The windmill blades were fabricated by the SWE team by cutting and sanding wooden sheets and attaching the blades to a central hub. The blades were decorated with images of work by historic women scientists and engineers.

RVCC’s SWE members include Jimena Torres (North Plainfield), Ange Mendez (Flemington), Olivia O'Donnell (Bridgewater), Nicole Vandenburg (Holland Township), Anabelle Tindle (Middlesex), Nathanielle Quiambao (Hackettstown), Bianca Martinez (Franklin Township), Alexandra Hernandez (North Plainfield) and Daisy Cifuentes (North Plainfield).

RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit



November 30, 2021

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

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