EnerNOC and Greentown Labs Host Girls from Somerville High School for an Afternoon of Learning from Women Executives and Entrepreneurs in Technology

Greentown Labs and EnerNOC were thrilled to host girls from Somerville High School at Greentown Labs for an afternoon of first-hand learning about careers and opportunities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).   

Our panel of Women in STEM

Together, we hosted nearly twenty students and teachers from Somerville High School. The students are juniors and seniors enrolled in AP Physics and successfully trekked through the snow to Greentown Labs on their first day back from school following, a snow-induced two-week layoff.

CEO Emily Reichert describes her education in physical chemistry and how it relates to her role as CEO.


 The event kicked off with Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs, welcoming the group. Emily shared her career path that included studying chemistry for nine years before completing her PhD. She explained how her background in science is useful to her job as CEO and a great path for almost any career.

 The girls toured the prototyping space at Greentown Labs and heard first-hand from women entrepreneurs with Greentown member companies.  Liz Cormack, User Experience Designer shared her role atGrove Labs, maker of indoor food growing appliances for the home, and explained the system of aquaponics they are building.  Alison Forsyth, an engineer with bothOpenWater Power andSilverside Detectors, presented the physics and chemistry of both technologies to the visiting students and fielded great questions like “How can aluminum be inert?” and “What makes some metals better at detecting neutrons than others?” On the tour, the students also heard about the technologies developed by Voxel8Autonomous Marine SystemsRailPod and Altaeros Energies.

The students reconvened in the event space for a Q&A session with EnerNOC executives and women founders of Greentown companies.  EnerNOC women included Erin Donohue and Amy Roschelle, Data Analytics team members from EnerNOC with backgrounds in materials science and engineering.  From Greentown, Ali Forsyth and Natalya Brikner, Founder and CEO of Accion Systems also spoke.


The students were surprised by the diversity of fields of engineering, curious as to how to become an engineer, and interested in how the founders came up with their ideas to start a company. Natalya Brikner, resident Greentown Labs rocket scientist, explained how it had worked for her and shared her insights that “once you study something enough it will start to become apparent what is unknown, which can spur an idea.” For Brikner, reading extensively in an array of subjects is what she finds most useful in continuing her education, as it ultimately leads her to make more connections and gives her new ideas on how to approach problem solving differently; she scours Nature and The Economist regularly.

This event is the second of a three-part series on Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, sponsored by EnerNOC and Greentown Labs. The goal of the series is to inspire, connect, and empower women in the fields of technology and entrepreneurship.

Stay tuned for more updates on the speaker series.