WITI Hall of Fame

2017 Inductees


Beena Ammanath Beena Ammanath
Global VP - Artificial Intelligence/Data/Innovation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Laura Niklason, M.D., Ph.D. Laura Niklason, M.D., Ph.D.
Founder, Humacyte

Krunali Patel Krunali Patel
VP & GM of Analog Design Services, Texas Instruments

Lisa Seacat DeLuca Lisa Seacat DeLuca
Technology Strategist, Cognitive Incubation Lab, IBM Watson Customer Engagement

Selma Svendsen Selma Svendsen
Senior Director of Program Management, iRobot

Elizabeth Xu, Ph.D. Elizabeth Xu, Ph.D.
CTO & SVP of Technology, BMC Software



Previous Inductees


  2018

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  2015

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Featured Profile


Selma Svendsen

Selma Svendsen

Senior Director of Program Management, iRobot

Inducted in: 2017

Selma Svendsen is the Senior Director of Program Management at iRobot where she plays a lead role in advancing iRobot's technology development strategy. Ms. Svendsen holds 22 U.S. patents for the invention of technologies that are core to robot design, including autonomous mobility behaviors and mechanical cleaning systems found on popular iRobot products like the Roomba® vacuuming robot. Her inventions and leadership helped transform iRobot from a small Massachusetts startup to a global, publicly traded consumer robot company with more than $660 million in annual revenue.

Ms. Svendsen came to the United States in 1994 as a refugee of the Bosnian War. In the U.S., she pursued her passion for engineering and joined iRobot in 1998 as a senior mechanical engineer, soon transitioning to lead mechanical engineer. In 2003, Ms. Svendsen joined iRobot's Home Robotics division, building technologies that formed the foundation of iRobot consumer robots. She became deeply involved in business operations, working with overseas contract manufacturers to ensure iRobot could scale with rapidly growing demand. Her efforts in manufacturing efficiency and components cost reductions helped iRobot deliver high quality products on time, on budget. To date, iRobot has sold more than 15 million home robots worldwide.

Ms. Svendsen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Dzemal Bijedic University (Bosnia) and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. She actively participates in iRobot's mentorship and STEM outreach programs, continuously inspiring and encouraging young people to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.