High-Tech Women 2024

25-26 September

- Welcome Hotel Darmstadt -

Registration is available!

Join us for the fourth Women in Tech Event (HTW’24) on September 25-26, 2024, in Darmstadt, Germany. This exciting event will showcase talks by globally acclaimed female speakers from diverse corners of the world. HTW offers a unique platform for accomplished women in technology and science to share their professional journeys and ideas. Through insightful discussions and presentations, our speakers will inspire and empower aspiring technology and science talents, providing valuable guidance for their career paths and success.


September 25

From 08:30

Welcome Hotel Lobby, Darmstadt, Germany

09:30 – 09:45  

– Prof. Lejla Batina, Radboud University
– Prof. Nele Mentens, KU Leuven, Belgium & Leiden University
– Prof. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Technical University Darmstadt

09:45 – 10:15 

Selina Wen
Chief Representative to EU Institutions, VP for Huawei Europe

Talk title: TBA

10:20 – 10:50

Prof. Eleftheria Makri
Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, Netherlands

Talk title: “A Gentle Introduction to Secure Computation”

10:50 – 11:20 Coffee Break ☕

11:20 – 11:50 

Désirée Sacher-Boldewin
Head of SOC Professional Services, NVISO, Germany

Talk title: “Continuous improvement in operational IT security processes

11:55 – 12:25 

Dr. Christiane Peters
Security Architect, Office of the CISO, Google Cloud

Talk title: “From Math to the C-Suite: Strategies for Enterprise Security in the Quantum Age”

12:30 – 13:45 Lunch 🍛

13:45 – 14:15

Prof. Alexandra Silva
Cornell University, USA

Talk title: “Programming Language Design for Network verification”


14:20 – 14:50

Dr. Thyla van der Merwe
Security Engineering Manager, Google

Talk title: “Embracing the curves, elliptic or otherwise”

14:50 – 15:05 Coffee Break ☕

15:05 – 15:35 

Prof. Ina Schieferdecker
TU Berlin, Germany

Talk title: “Next-Gen Software Engineering: Merging Models with AI Power”

15:40 – 16:10

Ilknur Yetis
Cyber Security Manager at Mercedes-Benz AG, Germany

Talk title: “Safe cars: Beyond Brakes and Airbags”

16:10 – 17:15 

Student, PhD, Postdoc
Panel Discussion

Title: TBA


September 26

09:30 – 09:45  

– Prof. Lejla Batina, Radboud University
– Prof. Nele Mentens, KU Leuven, Belgium & Leiden University
– Prof. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Technical University Darmstadt

09:45 – 10:15 

Prof. Hoda Alkhzaimi
NYU Abu Dhabi, President of Emirates Digital Association for Women

Talk title: “Innovating at the Intersection: Navigating Convergence Cycles in Emerging Technologies”

10:15 – 11:00 Coffee Break ☕

11:00 – 11:30 

Maaike van Leuken
PMC lead Quantum Safe Technologies, Cryptographer at TNO

Talk title: “Transitions: to young professional and to quantum-safe cryptography”

11:35 – 12:05

Sónia Gonçalves
ASIC Digital/Verification Design Engineer, Senior Manager, SERDES, Solutions Group

Talk title: “What a girl has to talk about ASIC Design”

12:10 – 12:40 

Dr. Melissa Azouaoui
Senior Cryptographer, NXP Semiconductors, Germany

Talk title: “Security Challenges of Embedded Post-Quantum Cryptography”

12:45 – 13:15

Veroniek Jacobs
Business coach, The Art of Growing, Belgium

Talk title: “Turning point – choose your life – make dreams come true”

13:15 – 14:30 Lunch 🍛

List of Speakers and Panelists

Hoda Alkhzaimi is a seasoned leader with over seventeen years of experience in industrialization, economic development, greenfield projects, and tech development. She has successfully led numerous international and UAE-based technological investments, focusing particularly on tech-based industrial ventures. Her expertise spans strategic, financial, and operational leadership, contributing to the turnaround of large-scale projects and fostering growth opportunities. Hoda holds various key roles including CO-chair for the World Economic Forum Global Cyber Security Future Council, Director and founder of EMARATSEC at NYU, and research assistant professor at NYU, where she contributes significantly to cryptology, AI, and cybersecurity. She is also President of Emirates Digital Association for Women and Ambassador/CEO for Women in Artificial Intelligence, advocating for women’s roles in STEM fields. With educational backgrounds in Mathematics, Cryptology, Business Management, and International Business Law, Hoda is currently establishing an investment fund aimed at global SDG impact through industrial developments. She advises for the World Economic Forum and serves on multiple global investment committees and boards.

Melissa Azouaoui is a senior cryptographer at the Competence Center for Cryptography and Security in the CTO organization at NXP Semiconductors Germany. She completed her PhD in 2021 at UCLouvain in Belgium, and NXP in Germany, with a focus on side-channel countermeasures and evaluations for embedded cryptography. Melissa is a member of the Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) team and her work at NXP encompasses different PQC related topics, including side-channel and fault injection attacks and countermeasures and other security aspects of the migration of embedded devices to PQC. She currently serves as an editorial board member of Communications in Cryptology and has served as a program committee member in CARDIS 2022, SAC 2022, SAC 2023, CARDIS 2023, ACNS 2024 and FDTC 2024. Melissa is also the employee resource group Women in NXP (WiN) ambassador for NXP Hamburg.

My name is Sónia Gonçalves and I’m a Senior Manager for ASIC Digital and Verification Team at Synopsys Lisbon. I’m from a small sunny town, on the south of the Portugal called Tavira.
Left home to go study at the University of Algarve, where I did my degree in Electronics and Telecommunications. After the finish my degree, I went for a 3 months internship on Chandigarh, India. My biggest solo adventure with 24 years old.
After coming back to Portugal, getting into the microelectronics area, wasn’t that easy from someone that was not from the local(Lisbon) universities, so it took me a while, but I did it, the dream came true and I’ve started to work at Chipidea on Jan of 2008, as a modeling engineer for audio codecs, and the rest is history. After Synopsys acquisition, a digital team was created in Lisbon Site, back then there was only 3 of us. Team grown and embraced the role of manager in 2015, and nowadays I lead a team of ~55 persons. And I’m proud that 13 are Girls.
In nowadays I’m part of the Solutions Group within Synopsys, where I lead 6 product lines. Most of them edge of technology on the world, 112G interfaces for Ethernet Phy’s, D2D Phy’s, Pcie Phy’s.
My team is a full complete digital team, being responsible for all the digital of the products, Design, verification, Modeling, Mix-Signal verification, Firmware, etc. Making us key interface with Clients and also with Silicon support.
Other then work I’m addicted to Sports, in particular to Padel. Work hard and Padel harder 😊.

Veroniek Jacobs is an experienced mentor specializing in personal development for entrepreneurs. With her engineering background, she delivers swift and effective results through sharp analytical insights. Veroniek coaches individuals in growth trajectories, improving both business metrics and quality of life. Her unique approach combines the human and business sides, and she offers training in sales and leadership to foster business growth. Her passion for the growth of people and companies is evident, aiming to create a more conscious and empowered world. Her methodology draws from various disciplines, including NLP, non-violent communication, positive psychology, and Insights Discovery. Veroniek says: “In my coaching journeys, I have seen over 1000 people transform and improve their lives. It’s incredible how a little push can have such a large impact. They now experience more happiness, self-love, self-confidence, positivity, and energy, enabling them to make their real dreams come true.”

After completing her studies on computing science, cyber security and cryptography at Radboud University, Maaike joined TNO in 2021 as researcher in the field of post-quantum cryptography. During this time, she has also worked on the security of trusted execution environments and supply chains for cryptographic hardware devices. Since the beginning of 2024, Maaike is responsible for the portfolio and strategy surrounding quantum-safe technologies within TNO.

Eleftheria is an assistant professor at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) since 2023. Her research interests lie mainly in the field of Applied Cryptography, and Privacy Enhancing Technologies; specifically, technologies and applications of Computing on Encrypted Data (e.g., homomorphic encryption, and multiparty computation). She received her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium.

 Thyla is a Security Engineering Manager at Google, where her team is responsible for developing and maintaining the cryptographic libraries that are used across Google products and beyond. Prior to joining Google, Thyla served as the Managing Director for the ETH Future Computing Laboratory, where she helped to set up an industry-funded research centre focused on next generation computing technologies. Thyla also worked for Mozilla, helping to secure the Firefox browser, and has been involved in several cryptographic standardization initiatives – she represented South Africa on the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) committee responsible for standardizing cryptographic mechanisms and protocols, and is listed as an official contributor to the TLS 1.3 specification, which was released by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2018. Thyla completed her PhD in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway, University of London as part of Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security.

Christiane Peters is a Security Architect in the Office of the CISO in Google Cloud. She has 15+ years of experience in enterprise security architecture, data protection, and cryptography. Before she worked as architect at IBM and a critical infrastructure security startup in the Netherlands, as well as a researcher at various universities and Microsoft. Christiane has a Ph.D. in cryptography and coding theory from TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In addition to her professional roles, Christiane actively engages with industrial and academic researchers. She delivers lectures on enterprise security, data protection, and IoT security. She is also part of the team behind the “Classic McEliece” Round-4 Finalist in NIST’s Post-Quantum Cryptography competition.

Désirée is the Head of SOC Professional Services, where she manages a team that can provide all kind of different services that are useful when building a Security Operation Center (SOC). Her specialty is creating processes, structure information into automatable packages, creating derivations and translating cyber defense related technical information to management functions. During her professional career, she has worked in various positions, configuring and troubleshooting a wide set of security products, and analysed security incidents in different customer environments. This now helps her emphasizing with customers and translating information tothe needed recipient.

Next to her job, she is also an elected Member of the Board of Directors at, where she liaisons the Special Interest Groups (SIG) that develop and document operational best practicesincyber defense and incidentresponse.

Alexandra Silva is a theoretical computer scientist whose
main research focuses on semantics of programming languages and
modular development of algorithms for computational models. A lot of
her work uses the unifying perspective offered by coalgebra, a
mathematical framework established in the last decades. Alexandra is
currently a Professor at Cornell University, and she was previously a
Professor at University College London. She was the recipient of an
ERC Consolidator in 2020, the Royal Society Wolfson Award 2019,
Needham Award 2018, the Presburger Award 2017, the Leverhulme prize
2016, and an ERC starting Grant in 2015.

Ilknur is a Cyber Security Manager at Mercedes-Benz AG, where she leads a team responsible for IT security of the Vans Division on a global scale. She is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of security policies, coordinating with international counterparts to ensure a unified security posture, and leading internal projects aimed at enhancing the cyber resilience of the company. She studied Business Informatics and has over 13 years of practical experience in IT and automotive sectors, blending expertise in technology with a deep understanding of the dynamic automotive industry.

Student, PhD, Postdoc Panel

PhD in Math and Natural sciences in field of Cryptography, Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, North Macedonia.
Now: Post-phd in field of cryptography especially cryptographic algorithms at Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Huimin Li is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the System Security Lab at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. Born in Guangyuan, Sichuan, China, in 1986, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Microelectronics from Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, in June 2009. She continued her studies at the same university, completing a master’s degree in Micro-electromechanical Systems (focusing on sensor signal processing) in March 2012. Then, Huimin began her career as an FPGA engineer at the CT Business Unit of Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd. In December 2014, she transitioned to HiSilicon, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., where she worked as a chip design engineer. In January 2016, she joined the faculty of Southwest University of Science and Technology, China working as a teacher for undergraduate students. From September 2019 to April 2024, Huimin pursued her Ph.D. with the Cyber Security research group at the EEMCS faculty of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Pallavi Borkar is a third year PhD student at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in India. She works in Computer Science and Engineering, under the guidance of Prof. Chester Rebeiro specializing in Hardware Security. Currently she is on a research visit to System Security Lab in TU Darmstadt with Prof. Ahmed Sadeghi.

Hanna completed her Master’s degree in Computer Science under the guidance of Prof. Ross Anderson and Prof. Robert Mullins at the University of Cambridge this June. She is starting her PhD in Cambridge in October and is interning at Prof. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi’s System Security Lab at TU Darmstadt in the meantime. Her main research interest is in security and privacy of Machine Learning, with recent research focusing on DNN model stealing, blackbox attacks and adversarial perturbations.

- Panel Moderator -

Konstantina Miteloudi is a PhD candidate in FPGA security at Radboud University in The Netherlands, under the supervision of professors Lejla Batina and Nele Mentens. She holds a Diploma and an MSc in Electronic and Computer Engineering with a focus on hardware engineering, and another MSc in Operational Research, all obtained from the Technical University of Crete in Greece. Her research focuses mainly on hardware design of cryptographic algorithms and countermeasures, side-channel leakage assessment, and the use of FPGAs in cryptanalysis.

Azade Rezaeezade is a PhD candidate in the cybersecurity research group at Delft University of Technology, under the supervision of Dr. Stjepan Picek. She holds a BSc in Computer Engineering and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence. Her research focuses on the intersection of cybersecurity and deep learning, with a particular emphasis on IoT and cyber-physical systems security. Currently, Azade is investigating side-channel analysis of symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic implementations, focusing on AES, Ascon, and Kyber.

Franziska completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics in 2022 and started her Master’s in Computer Science at the Technical University in October of the same year. Since March 2023, Franziska has been working as a Master’s student in Professor Sadeghi’s System Security Lab. Here, she is involved in research on orchestration security, particularly related to Docker and Kubernetes, as well as satellite security.

Time and Venue

25-26 September, 2024
Welcome Hotel Darmstadt


Prof. Lejla Batina

Radboud University, Netherlands

Prof. Nele Mentens

KU Leuven, Belgium &
Leiden University, The Netherlands

Prof. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi

Technical University Darmstadt, Germany

Sponsored By

High-Tech Women Event is also included in German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)  calendar.

As a proud member of acatech, I am deeply involved in their activities within the security and privacy working group, where academic, industry, and government representatives collaborate to tackle the various security and privacy challenges of today and the future. I strongly recommend their publications, particularly those from the PLS (Platform Learning Systems) working group. Platform Learning Systems, initiated in 2017 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), unites experts to promote the responsible use of AI and support Germany’s leadership in trustworthy AI technology –