STEM Professional of the week

Katherine Dunphy Guzman, Ph.D.      
Sandia National Laboratories

Katherine Dunphy Guzman is grateful for having experienced the richness of two cultures. She was born to a Peruvian immigrant and a Midwest agronomist who instilled early on an appreciation of an education filled with independent thinking. Her father inspired a strong work ethic, a reflection of his farm background. Her mother, after having realized the limitations placed on women without a college degree, persevered by overcoming language and educational barriers and eventually earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree. Dr. Guzman felt lucky to have had the family background that allowed her to value her abilities in math and science and to learn that even though it was not considered "cool" at the time, it would prove to be key in her success and in turn making her an ideal role model for women and minorities.

Today, as a Senior Member of Technical staff in the Systems Analysis and Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories, Dr. Guzman has the great responsibility of studying the complex and often complicated problems of critical importance to defending the nation against terrorist use of biological and other kinds of weapons of mass destruction. In the process, preparing our nation for natural and terrorist catastrophic events and protecting our nation's energy security. Dr. Guzman is part of a team of national leaders in systems analysis, that perform studies and develop analysis tools that address these national security issues. She must solve complex problems across disciplinary lines, her analysis frequently draw from knowledge of quantitative and qualitative risk and epidemic modeling, public health, sensory systems, data analysis, statistics, and software simulation. She has developed and maintained technical expertise in the fields of risk analysis, chemical and biological terrorism, disaster management and decision support. She played multiple key roles in the development of an important new technology called SUMMIT (Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping and Integration Toolkit), tools that enable emergency planners, first responders and decision makers to seamlessly access information from diverse models and data coming from multiple different sources.

With a strong desire to give back to the community, Dr. Guzman has worked to actively recruit women and minorities to graduate programs. She has mentored women and students of color throughout her career and regularly speaks at the Berkeley EDGE Program, encouraging underrepresented minority students who are competitively eligible for Ph.D. programs, apply to UC Berkeley. She received her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master's and Ph.D. in the same major, from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Guzman was honored by Great Minds in STEM with a 2013 Luminary Award.

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