USC’s Women in Engineering (WIE) program promotes leadership, professional and personal development, and academic success for the women of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The goal of WIE is to provide resources and overall support that will address the unique challenges female engineers face.

WIE’s mission is to recruit and retain women engineers and to empower our female students to find personal and professional success, both during their time at USC Viterbi and beyond.

Contact Us





WIE Launch Event

Grad Coffee Hour

WIE Connect

WIE Student Faculty Networking Lunch

WIE Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

WIE Meets Women in Industry (WII) Panels

Professor Spotlight

Dr. Fariba Ariaei, Professor in Electrical Engineering-Systems

How did you get to your position at USC?

I did my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering-Systems. My specialty is in Control and Dynamical Systems. I studied celestial mechanics, under-actuated mechanical systems, sensor networks, and hyperbolic geometry before finally focusing on my Ph.D. thesis on analyzing (human) heart dynamics. Then, I continued my research during my postdoctoral fellowship in cardiology/electrophysiology at the Johns Hopkins University. After completing my fellowship, I started teaching courses in Physics, Controls and Information Theory at Pennsylvania State University before coming to USC.

What ideas in your field excite you and what do you currently work on?

I have always been fascinated by the elegance and complexity of the universe, dreaming of the day when traveling to outer space will be as ordinary as driving your car to work! Living in that dream, I started profoundly studying dynamical systems; that was when I realized the beauty and power of mathematics in modeling and analyzing complex/chaotic systems, with broad applications from space to the human body. I am truly amazed to see how research in science and engineering can change human lives and their futures. My current research is in analyzing the heart as a complex dynamical system with the focus on studying electrophysiology and ECG signal processing to detect and prevent arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.

What are some challenges you face as a female engineer?

We, female engineers, are living in a male dominated world of engineering! I, as one, have had many challenges to reach my goals. One of the most highlighted challenges that I have been facing, and I think that is the same for many other female engineers, is to prove my proficiency and capabilities.
Female engineers are underestimated; they have to work very hard in their fields to earn the trust and respect of others compared to their male peers. I hope one day, engineers and scientists will be evaluated merely based on their knowledge rather than their gender.

What is one piece of advice you would give to other women in engineering?

Advancement of technology, especially robotics, will change the world in a few years. The next generation of engineers, scientists and educators will face a world very different from what we are living in! Imagine this new world, with robots replacing the laborers, automatic transportation, warehouses maintained and managed by robots, and medical science revolutionized by computer science. But the fact is, robots and software cannot make decisions; despite all of these advancements, we will need leaders and decision makers who are scientists and engineers with superior social skills to lead the world with their passion and knowledge.

My advice to the young female engineers is to believe in themselves and that they have all those abilities needed to lead the future world in the right direction. So, be passionate, be knowledgeable, be critical thinkers. Be the leaders!


Support. Guide. Inspire.


The Mission of the Viterbi Women in Engineering (WiE) MENTOR Program is to promote the retention of women in engineering programs by fostering and supporting community among participants specifically during students’ first year.

WiE MENTOR provides both mentors and mentees opportunities for personal, professional and leadership development through interactions with faculty, alumni, and industry partners.


Fall 2019 Mentor and Mentee Applications Opening Shortly! For additional information please contact Monica De Los Santos at mdsantos@usc.edu.


2019-2020 WiE MENTOR Dates Coming Soon!

Fall 2018

  • Launch and Match – October 10, 2018
  • WIE meets WII – November 1, 2018
  • WiE MENTOR Ice Cream Social – November 9, 2018
  • AT&T Tech and Outreach Day – November 9, 2018
  • WIE Connect – November 15, 2018

Spring 2019

  • Introduce a A Girl to Engineering Day – Volunteer as a Pair – February 21, 2019
  • Launch and Match – March 6, 2019
  • WiE MENTOR Ice Cream Social – March 20, 2019
  • WIE MENTOR and WIE: Student Faculty Networking Lunch – April 5, 2019
  • WIE meets WII – April 23, 2019