NEW ZEALAND – The Philippines, through the Philippine Technological Council – Women Engineers Network (PTC-WEN), has been awarded to host the 20th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES20) in August 2026. It will be the first time that the Philippines will host the global gathering of women engineers and scientists.


The International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) is the flagship event of International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES), a global organization partner of UNESCO. It serves as the platform where female engineers and scientists from all over the world meet onsite and virtually to present and discuss a range of topics.


The announcement was made during the ICWES19 held at Auckland’s Aotea Centre. More than 200 women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from different countries participated in the four-day event from September 3 to 6, 2023.



 Dr. Juana T. Tapel presents the Philippines’ proposal to host ICWES20 collocated with PWESS10 on August 2026 in Clark Field, Pampanga, Philippines

The Philippine delegation to ICWES19 is composed of Dr. Juana T. Tapel (Head of Delegation from DA Bureau of Agricultural & Fisheries Engineering representing the Philippine Society of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering), Dr.  May Rose C. Imperial (PTC-WEN Chairperson representing the Institute of Electronics and Communication Engineers of the Philippines), Dr. Evelyn Laurito (Paper Presenter representing the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers), Engr. Aida Calma (PTC-WEN Vice-Chairperson representing Philippine Society of Sanitary Engineers), Engr. Carina Pecson (PTC WEN from DENR Mines and Geo-science Bureau representing the Society of Metallurgical Engineers), Engr. Archelle Baculi (PTC WEN Board of Director representing the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers), and Engr. Jhoanna Soriano (PTC WEN Secretary representing the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines).


The seven delegates from the Philippines, headed by Dr. Juana T. Tapel, attended the ICWES19 with the theme of “Shaping the Future” that focused mainly on what the future hold for women engineers and scientists including their roles.


The ICWES19 was the venue for 44th Board Meeting (BM44) for the Outgoing INWES Board of Directors, Assembly of General Membership (AGM) and 45th Board Meeting (BM45) for the Incoming INWES Board of Directors with three-year term of office (2024-2026).


Garnering 27 votes or 84.38% of total votes cast, Dr. Tapel, as the Philippines’ official representative and current Chairperson of the INWES Asia Pacific Nation Network (APNN) Cluster, was elected member of the Board of Directors of INWES.


According to Dr. Tapel, the Philippine delegates’ attendance to the plenary presentations and concurrent sessions has broaden their knowledge and innovative strategies in pushing forward women engineers and scientists to be at the forefront in shaping the future.


The technical and cultural visits made the seven delegates realize to improve infrastructures and farm tourism sites in the Philippines to be internationally at par with New Zealand’s Hobbiton, Waitomo cave, and Sky Tower among others.


The conference featured keynote speakers from New Zealand and around the world, panel discussions, interactive workshops and opportunities for networking with like-minded individuals, Dr. Tapel added.


“The ICWES19 was a fantastic opportunity to engage with peers in science and engineering, and to enable to share expertise while exploring important places and structures in New Zealand,” Dr. Tapel concluded. ###(Marshall Louie Asis, MC /DA-BAFE)