Female Up & Comer Nominees

The Female Up and Comer Award recognizes and profiles the next generation of young women in the semiconductor industry. Companies are encouraged to identify women with a technical background and education within their organization who have been in the industry five years or less and have made exceptional contributions toward the development, innovation, growth and success in her short time in the industry. Nominations will be reviewed by an all-female committee that will select the top three candidates for recognition at the GSA WLI WISH Conference. There, a winning recipient will be announced and presented with the Female Up and Comer Award.


2022 Winner

Yi-Rou Liou

Technical Manager


Yi-Rou Liou is a technical manager in the Product Device Engineering Division in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company. In this role, she works with her team to boost the ring oscillator performance (RO%) to meet the roadmap committed to the customers and help them solve product issues in advanced technology 5nm/4nm/3nm. After successfully stepping up the production of N5 and N4, she led the team to increase the product’s performance by 10%, which laid a good foundation for N4P and N4X for faster and more compact solutions.

Yi-Rou believes that regardless of gender, everyone can give full play to their advantages and keep an open mind to new challenges that come in the way. She encourages young engineers and pupils to pursue their goals and strive for self-growth in the semiconductor industry. Yi-Rou earned a doctoral degree in Physics from National Taiwan University.

2022 Nominee

Brittney Nelson

Electrical Product Engineer


Brittney Nelson graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Minor in Math, and Certificate in Holistic Leadership in Engineering. She currently works at Cisco as an Electrical Product Engineer where she works at the intersection of Supply Chain, Engineering, and Manufacturing to ensure that Cisco’s Catalyst 9K Enterprise Switches’ PCBAs are built on time, cost efficient, and manufacturable starting from the prototype builds, mass production, and then to End of Life. Outside of work, she enjoys kayaking, reading, learning about new cultures, and mentoring young children to encourage them to pursue a STEM career.

2022 Nominee

Ritu Walia

Product Engineer

Siemens EDA

Ritu Walia is a Product Engineer in the Calibre Design Solutions division of Siemens EDA, a part of Siemens Digital Industries Software. Her primary focus is the development of Calibre integration and interface tools and technologies. She joined Siemens EDA with a goal of developing new solutions to solve challenging engineering problems. Previously, Ritu held positions as a QA/test engineer and Corporate Marketing Engineer for the Calibre nmPlatform toolsuite. She received a B.Tech. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Nagpur University, India, and an M.Sc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, specializing in Advanced VLSI Design and MEMs, from the University of Massachusetts, USA.

2022 Nominee

Sarah Wang

Cloud Hardware Manufacturing Engineer

Microsoft Azure 

Sarah Wang graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2019 with a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering and minors in computer science and entrepreneurship and began her career at Microsoft later that year in July 2019. Sarah has worked as a cloud hardware manufacturing engineer for Microsoft Azure for the past three years. In her current role, Sarah manages manufacturing lines worldwide, performs server-level design reviews, and develops automation tools for Microsoft Azure hardware such as servers, fused power whips, and full rack integration solutions. Her job is to ensure only the highest quality hardware arrives on a reliable schedule to data centers worldwide.

2021 Winner

Lindsay Kostas

Staff Machine Learning Engineer


Lindsey is a Staff Machine Learning Engineer at Qualcomm. She joined a nascent ML R&D team at Qualcomm in 2018 and since that time she has led multiple projects in ML-based CAD/EDA which have impacted global SoC design process for teams across the globe leading to significant savings in time-to-market, compute and NRE cost. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Lindsey was a scholarship athlete for 4 years at Stanford University where she won two tennis national team championships and was honored as an Elite 89 Award Finalist. After graduating with distinction in Economics, she obtained her master’s degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University.

Beyond designing and implementing state-of-the-art ML for the semiconductor industry, Lindsey is passionate about sharing her time and knowledge with others. Recognizing this commitment, Lindsey was one of six members of her graduating class identified as having a passion and ability for influencing positive change and was inducted to the Stanford Changemakers Society. She dedicates much of her free time to reviewing resumes, and helping mentor & develop junior engineers at Qualcomm.

2021 Nominee

Judith Suter

Senior Researcher

Microsoft Quantum Program

Judith Suter is a Senior Researcher in the Microsoft Quantum Program within Azure Hardware Systems and Infrastructure.

She began her scientific journey at the University of Basel, Switzerland where she pursued a degree in nanoscience. This is where she got hooked on quantum physics.

She joined Microsoft’s Quantum Hardware team in 2018. Initially, she focused on performing and optimizing electrical characterization of quantum devices. In 2020, she transitioned to the integration team, which drives holistic experiments on the physical implementation of topological devices in close collaboration with the teams developing innovative materials, fabrication processes, characterization techniques, and performing theoretical simulations.

Outside of her technical work, she got to represent Quantum Hardware on the Azure Hardware Systems and Infrastructure’s Diversity and Inclusion Council for the last year. There, she worked on exciting initiatives to widen the pipeline to reach and engage a diverse group of people and to promote a more intentionally inclusive work environment.


2021 Nominee

Xin Lan

Senior Process Integration Engineer

Micron Technology

Xin Lan received her bachelor’s degree with honors in materials science and engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 2016, and holds a master’s degree in management of technology from National University of Singapore. She is currently a senior process integration engineer at Micron Technology and focus on process integration, device development and product qualification in NAND technology.

Since joining Micron in 2016, Xin Lan has quickly demonstrated her technical capabilities and made significant contributions into 3D NAND development. During her relative short time in industry, she has received one Micron innovation award, one US patent granted, and another submission currently under review; one of her innovations has created a new frontier of NAND cell structure and been adopted in Micron’s leading-edge product.

Xin Lan is passionate about empowering women in engineering and technology. She volunteers as an advocator in Micron Women Leadership Network and is part of the Women Innovate Singapore pilot team aiming at boosting female technical development.

2021 Nominee

Yiling Zhang

Product Management of Automotive Micro-controllers

NXP Semiconductors

Yiling currently works in Product Management of Automotive Micro-controllers at NXP Semiconductors in Munich. Before her current role, she was a trainee in the Technical Marketing / Automotive Leadership Program and System Architect Engineer / Automotive Leadership Program at NXP Semiconductors, Munich.

Yiling received her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (The Telecommunications and Sensing Systems Track) from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in China. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in English (second major) from the Harbin Institute of Technology.