Forum presents Women Engineers Panel Discussion



Central Standard Time



Angelika Film Center | Mockingbird Station
5321 E Mockingbird Ln #230
Dallas, Texas 75206

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Maria Gomez, FAIA - Panel Moderator

The Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, design, and the urban environment, inaugurates its 2023-2024 Panel Discussion Series by presenting Women Engineers Shaping the Built Environment. This Panel Discussion will be held at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station at 6:30 pm. This event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC – No Reservations Required. Pre-Panel Reception will begin at 6:15 pm in the Angelika lobby. The Panel will begin at 6:30 pm. 

For many years, Engineering was a profession dominated almost exclusively by men. That “steel ceiling” has begun to be broken by a group of talented, determined women. The Dallas Architecture Forum is pleased to present a Panel Discussion on the topic of “Women Engineers Shaping the Built Environment”. The Panel, moderated by Maria Gomez, AIA will feature three women who have pioneered leadership roles in the engineering profession. Join us on Wednesday, October 25th for this FREE Panel, featuring Camille Barton, Ann Piazza and Emily Zoellner, which will discuss not only the essential role engineering has in designing and building successful projects, but also the challenges and opportunities for women in the engineering field.  

Topics to be covered by the Panelists include their career trajectories, the role that engineers perform in the design process, and highlights of some significant projects from their illustrious careers. They will dialogue about how architects and engineers can successfully collaborate, innovation trends in the industry, and how engineers incorporate sustainability and resiliency into their projects. The Panelists will also discuss how mentorship and active education and advocacy can increase the number of women in engineering until the “steel ceiling” is completely removed. Join us for this free Panel, open to all design professions and the general public, at the Angelika Theater, Mockingbird Station, on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. 


Maria A. Gomez, AIA, LEED AP is a Principal and Studio Director at GFF Architects in Dallas. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in her native country Colombia. After opening her own firm in Colombia, she relocated to Texas and joined GFF in 1999. Maria has diverse experience on projects ranging from corporate offices to institutional facilities as well as a passion for sustainable design which has led to her achievement as a LEED-accredited professional.

Maria is active in civic organizations, including the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Board, the City of Dallas Urban Design Peer Review Panel, the Dallas Arboretum Board, and the Trinity Park Conservancy Design Advocacy Committee. Maria served as AIA Dallas President in 2020 and has been a long-term leader for both AIA Dallas and the Architecture and Design Foundation Board. She has served as a Juror on numerous Design Award committees, including as Chair of the Texas Society of Architects Design Awards. Maria helped create the North Texas Sustainable Showcase, and her many honors include The Links Dallas Chapter Women Who STEAM Award, the first recipient of the Trammell Crow Recognition Award for Outstanding Service, and Design Awards for her own projects from AIA Dallas, Texas Construction, and the Bienal de Arquitectura. The Dallas Architecture Forum is grateful that Maria is also a member of our Board of Directors. 

Camille Barton joined Purdy-McGuire in 2007 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering at TCU. She also obtained a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Texas A&M. In 2012, she became a Texas Licensed Professional Engineer. She began her PMI tenure working mostly on National Accounts projects and quickly learned to design in all three disciplines offered by Purdy-McGuire (mechanical, electrical, plumbing). This broadened her capabilities significantly and she advanced in the organization, eventually joining the leadership team as CEO.

Under her innovative leadership Purdy-McGuire continues to prosper, working hand in hand with owners and developers as well as architects to ignite the vision for their buildings by designing critical systems that are hidden in the walls and ceiling spaces, yet are vital to the operation of any building. Serving the community is important to Camille, so she flexes her philanthropic muscle in several ways. She chaired the CREW Dallas Golf Classic Committee and served on the CREW in the Community (CIC) Board. Additionally, Camille sits on the Engineering Advisory Boards for Kansas State University and Texas Christian University

Ann Piazza is a Principal Emeritus with L.A. Fuess Partners (LAFP), the largest single discipline structural consultant in DFW. During her thirty-seven years at LAFP she served on the board of directors, was a team leader, principal-in-charge and vice president. She has designed hundreds of structures throughout the metroplex and country including corporate office buildings, high-rise residential, hospitals, airports, shopping malls, schools and mixed-use developments.

In addition, Ann has served on multiple boards and committees including President and Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Texas, the Dallas Standards and Rehabilitation Board, the Virginia Tech Civil Engineering Alumni Board and the UT Arlington Civil Engineering Advisory Committee.

Emily Zoellner, PE is a Project Manager in Manhard Consulting’s Dallas office, leading teams throughout the design process across multiple projects. Emily has practiced Civil Engineering within land development for nearly ten years, with a majority of this time focused on Dallas development. Emily is an active member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Dallas and the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), including being a member of their Associate Leadership Class of 2023. She is passionate about mentorship, leadership and advocating for young women in the industry.


Sponsors for this Panel Discussion are Panel Season Sponsors Purdy-McGuire, Turner Construction and Walter P Moore.

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