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SWE Scholarships


SWE Scholarships support women pursuing ABET-accredited bachelor or graduate student programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science in the United States. In 2016, SWE disbursed approximately 230 new and renewed scholarships valued at more than $750,000.

Applicants complete one application and are considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible.

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View SWE’s how-to video, Am I Eligible for a SWE Scholarship? and learn if you are eligible for a SWE scholarship. New for 2016-2017 academic year: The ABET-accredited program requirement is now the same for both PhD and Master’s students. Graduate students must be enrolled or accepted at a school with ABET-accredited programs.

View SWE’s how-to video, How to Apply for a SWE Scholarship – Part 1 and learn the steps necessary to be considered for a SWE scholarship.

View SWE’s how-to video, How to Apply for a SWE Scholarship – Part 2 and learn the steps necessary to be considered for a SWE scholarship.

Scholarship Name Class Major(s) # Available Amount
U.S. citizenship required. 9 @ $5,000. Renewable for 5 years. Availability dependent upon renewals.
Preference is given to students in computer related engineering majors. 3 @ $1,500
1st choice college AND home address must be in one of these States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0.
Awarded once per renewal cycle. 1 @ $7,000 Renewable 5 yr. max.
U.S. citizenship required, under-represented groups preferred. California colleges/universities. 1 @ $1,000.
2 @ $1,500

Barbara W. & Thomas W. Benko Scholarship

Barb and Tom were born and raised in Chicago, IL and attended the College of Engineering at University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC). Barb and Tom hold a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Engineering. Barb majored in Computer Engineering and Tom majored in Electrical & Computer Engineering. They have been married for over 35 years and live in St. Charles, IL.

Career: Barb started her career in 1979 at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where she worked as a software engineer on AT&T's first digital telecommunications switching system. In 1983, Barb worked at GCA, where she developed software for a network control system used to automate manufacturing through robotics and machine tools. In 1985, Barb profitably ran her own software consulting business, SofTech Design, Inc. for 3 years, after which she was recruited into Ameritech, for her expertise and leadership in Advanced Intelligent Networks (AIN) technology. It was at Ameritech, that Barb transitioned into management. Barb also held executive level positions at Encyclopeadia Britannica (EB) and Motorola. As Vice President of Online Product Development and Operations at EB, Barb built a new engineering organization chartered with transforming EB's paper publishing business into an online internet resource of expert knowledge. At Motorola, Barb managed engineering organizations as large as 500 engineers, worldwide wireless network system product lines with P&L's as large as $500M and the licensing of multi-million dollar intellectual property portfolios. Barb is currently self-employed in a joint consulting business with Tom.

Tom has been self-employed in his own consulting business since 2004. Prior to that he was an officer at Motorola responsible for engineering in their mobile phone division. Prior to joining Motorola, he was an officer at Bell Laboratories leading the Wireless Networks Division, a multi-national organization providing wireless networks worldwide. In this role, Tom launched every new wireless technology network developed at Bell Labs. Over his 24 year tenure at Bell Labs, Tom held numerous executive and senior leadership positions in both the International and US product lines.  Tom joined Bell Labs after completing his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Tom has been published in International Symposium on Large Engineering Systems, the Bell System Technical Journal and the Bell Labs Record.

SWE: Barb was a recipient of a SWE scholarship when she graduated from high school in 1975.  Barb and Tom are honored to be able to go "full circle" by giving other women an opportunity to pursue an engineering degree with the aid of their SWE scholarship. As life time members of SWE, they anticipate getting more involved with SWE events and programs, as other business, financial management and philanthropic demands lessen.

Other affiliations: Barb served for 5 years as a member of PEO, a women's philanthropic organization focused on raising money to give underprivileged women an opportunity to pursue a college education. Barb also served for 4 years as co-founder and board member of The Colette A. Miles Foundation, a 501(c3) charity focused on aiding cancer patients and their families in their fight and healing journey.

Scholarship: Barb and Tom created this scholarship in 2016 to be awarded to U.S. born women engineering students pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering or Energy Engineering at their alma mater, University of Illinois at Chicago.

SWE membership required. 2 @ $1,400.
US citizenship and SWE membership required. Selection also based on financial need. First choice is for the applicant to attend a college/university within the Region F boundaries. 2nd choice would be for the applicant’s home address to be within the Region F boundaries. Region F Connecticut, Maine, Mass, New Hampshire, New York (upstate), Rhode Island, Vermont. 1 @ $1,500.
1 @ $2,500.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 All

* Note that the numbers, award amounts and conditions are approximate, since they vary with actual fund earnings and the level of corporate support received during the year. Scholarship renewals, where applicable, are contingent upon continued academic achievement and verification of eligibility.

* Aero=Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Astro=Astronautical Engineering ArcE=Architectural Engineering AutoE=Automotive Engineering BioE=Bioengineering Biomed=Biomedical Engineering CE=Civil Engineering ChE=Chemical Engineering CprE=Computer Engineering CS=Computer Science EE=Electrical Engineering EnvE=Environmental Engineering IE=Industrial Engineering ME=Mechanical Engineering MfgE=Manufacturing Engineering MSE= Materials Science & Engineering PetE=Petroleum Engineering SftE=Software Engineering

* The number of awards indicated is the total for all classes and graduate levels indicated.

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Thank you for your interest in SWE's Outreach for students. We are sending you to EngineerGirl.

Their website contains great information for exploring and pursuing a career in engineering. You can meet real engineers, find scholarships, participate in contests and become part of SWE through our SWENext program. It's your time to BeThatEngineer!

Proceed To Engineer Girl