For the fifth year in a row, Codette Celebration Day promotes people with a passion for technology and entrepreneurship who are excited to share their experiences.

This year, the main focus of Codette Celebration Day is Pandemic: a sudden transition from a crowded building to an office in the living room. Our speakers will talk about approaching different projects in the context of working from home, effective communication at work, as well as overcoming obstacles that may arise due to COVID-19.


20th of March, 2021
10.00 - 18.00


Online*, on Discord & Zoom

*invitations will be sent prior to the event


10.00 - 10.30
Meet & Greet
10.30 - 10.45
Opening Keynote:
Silvia Cristina Stegaru, PhD, Co-founder & President @ Codette, Software Engineer @ Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab, Bitdefender
Maria-Alexandra Mihalcea, Vice President @ Codette, Software Engineer
10.45 - 11.00
[EN] Special Guest: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Sharon Umber, US Embassy
11.00 - 11.10
Activity & Energizer
11.10 - 11.40
[RO] Robotics during the pandemic, Sorina Lupu, 2nd year PhD student @ California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
11.40 - 12.10
[EN] Career and Life Changes – Opening up to new 'Stories' of your Life, Sky Edith Gross, PhD, Research and Public Policy
12.10 - 12.40
[RO] Everything from home - The pandemic and its social dynamics, Francisc Czobor, Co-founder @ Grey Light Software, Lead Data Scientist @ Cars2Click, Profesor, Mentor, Voluntar
12.40 - 13.40
Lunch Break
13.40 - 14.10
[EN] Bias on Wikipedia Jess Wade, PhD., Research Fellow @ Imperial College London
14.10 - 14.40
[RO] How to juggle, Laura Antonache, Software Developer @ Thales, Senior Volunteer @ Codette
14.40 - 15.10
[RO] How to support and increase the team's strength in times of uncertainty, Radu Constantinescu, Co-founder & Managing partner @ QUALITANCE
15.10 - 15.50
Fun & Relaxation
15.50 - 17.20
[EN] Panel Entrepreneurship:
Zilla Mary Arach, Chief Product Officer @ EzyAgric
Beatrice Ionascu, Co-founder and CTO @ imagiLabs
Cornel Amariei, CEO & Co-founder @ .lumen – Empowering the Blind
Ayu Abdullah, Co-Executive Director @ Energy Action Partners
Moderator: Silvia Cristina Stegaru, PhD, Co-founder @ Codette
17.20 - 17.45
Thoughts & Networking - Raffle prizes
17.45 - 18.00
Closing remarks


  • Sharon Umber

    Adjunctul Şefului Misiunii Diplomatice, Ambasada S.U.A.

    Sharon Umber became Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in January, 2021. Sharon arrived in Bucharest in June 2018 to serve as Consul General. She joined the Foreign Service in 2001. Her previous tours include as the Unit Chief for Africa and the Americas in the Office of International Religious Freedom, as a Regional Consular Officer (providing guidance and support to officers in 10 to 12 small consular sections predominantly in Latin America), Consular Chief in Karachi, and as consular officer in Warsaw, Managua and Minsk. She has also served as a desk officer in Washington in the Visa Office and on the INR Watch.

    Sharon grew up in Minnesota. She has a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the Minnesota State University in Moorhead. She speaks Romanian, Spanish, Russian, as well as more limited Mandarin and Polish.

  • Sorina Lupu

    PhD student @ Caltech

    Sorina is a 2nd year PhD student at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where she studies aerospace robotics & control. Before starting her PhD studies, she was a research engineer at Caltech and an affiliate of NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where she developed an autonomous in-orbit assembly system for satellites and contributed to other space autonomy projects developed at JPL.

    She has a Master's degree in robotics from EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) and a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Electronics, UPB.

    Topic: Robotics during the pandemic

  • Sky Edith Gross, PhD

    Research and Public Policy

    Sky Gross has an extensive academic background in research in the social sciences focusing on medicine, ethics and technology. She held several high-level positions within the Israeli and Victorian (Australia) governments - including as Director of the National Council for the Advancement of Women in Science & Technology - where she promoted science-based policy making and scientific diplomacy.

    Sky graduated summa cum laude from The Hewbrew University, with a double major BA in Business Administration and Sociology-Anthropology. However, that would only be the beginning of her journey. At present, she has a PhD in Medical Sociology and Science & Tech Studies, as well as 4 completed postdocs (Sociology, Medical\Genetic Ethics, End-of-Life, Ageing studies, Health Systems Management).

    Topic: Career and Life Changes – Opening up to new 'Stories' of your Life

  • Jess Wade, PhD

    Research Fellow @ Imperial College London

    Dr Jess Wade is an Imperial College Research Fellow working in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. Her research considers new materials for optoelectronic devices, with a focus on chiral organic semiconductors.

    For her PhD Jess concentrated on new materials for photovoltaics and the development of advanced characterisation techniques to better understand their molecular packing.

    Outside of the lab, Jess is involved with several science communities and outreach initiatives. She is committed to improving diversity in science, both online and offline.

    Topic: Bias on Wikipedia

  • Beatrice Ionascu

    Co-founder and CTO @ imagiLabs

    Meet Beatrice, the Co-founder and CTO of imagiLabs, a startup empowering and equipping the next generation of female technologists.

    An advocate for diversity in tech, she has previously co-founded an organisation for women in STEM and is now continuing her work by inspiring the younger generations through imagiLabs. Engineer and entrepreneur, Beatrice believes technology education is the key to a better world.

    Beatrice holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from New York University Abu Dhabi, as well as a Master of Science in Machine Learning from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

    Topic: Panel Entrepreneurship

  • Ayu Abdullah

    Co-Executive Director @ Energy Action Partners

    Although an aerospace engineer by training, Ayu has spent over ten years as an energy access practitioner focused on collaborative energy planning within renewable energy mini-grids.

    She is Co-founder and Co-Executive Director at Energy Action Partners, an international energy access organization that has developed an innovative simulation-based mini-grid planning tool, COMET.

    Topic: Panel Entrepreneurship

  • Cornel Amariei

    CEO & Co-founder @ .lumen – Empowering the Blind

    Cornel is a Romanian born Inventor, Speaker and Entrepreneur known for funding .lumen – a startup designing glasses that empower the blind to live a better life. Previously, Cornel operated as Head of Innovation in Continental, one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world.

    For his work, he was nominated as one of the 10 standout members by Forbes USA in the first Forbes 30 under 30 Europe, and is the first Romanian to ever receive JCI’s 10 outstanding Young Persons of the World award, an award previously won by personalities such as John F. Kennedy or Elvis Presley.

    Topic: Panel Entrepreneurship

  • Dr. Silvia Cristina Stegaru

    Co-founder @ Codette, Software Engineer @ Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab, Bitdefender

    Dr. Silvia Cristina Stegaru, co-founder of Codette and Software Engineer in Bitdefender's Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab, is a proud supporter of diversity and inclusion. With over 10 years of experience in leading programs aimed at reducing the gender gap - for all ages, all levels of experience, all tech branches - her activity gained her recognition from the US State Department and as one of the Forbes Romania "30 under 30".

    She has activated as a researcher and teaching assistant for close to a decade within University Politehnica of Bucharest, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers. In October 2018 she successfully defended her PhD thesis, "Modeling, monitoring and optimizing energy efficiency in buildings".

    n 2018, Silvia joined the Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab team at Bitdefender, in the anti-malware department. She has an active interest for indicators of compromise, as well as topics from the realm of forensics and anti-forensics.

    Moderator Panel Entrepreneurship

  • Laura Antonache

    Software Developer @ Thales, Senior Volunteer @ Codette

    Laura is a Software Developer at Thales Systems Romania since 2016 where she works to develop simulators for railway systems.

    She is a PhD student at the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers, UPB, her thesis focusing on the use of Machine Learning in the fight against climate change. In addition, she is a mentor @ Digital Nation and volunteer @ Codette and We Get Big.

    Laura will tell us more about how the pandemic enhanced her productivity and the importance of switching to the online perspective.

    Topic: How to juggle

  • Francisc Czobor

    Co-founder @ Grey Light Software, Lead Data Scientist @ Cars2Click, Profesor, Mentor, Voluntar

    Francisc is a computer engineer and entrepreneur who has always been passionate about education and training the new generations.

    In 2018, he became a computer science substitute teacher at the high school he graduated from and loves so much, Lazărul. The collaboration continues to this day.

    Between work sessions, teaching hours and running his company, he always finds time to volunteer and give back to the company he belongs to.

    "The pandemic has changed a lot about how we relate to our classmates or work colleagues and what we expect from these relationships. From students to teachers, from employees to management and employers, from NGOs to corporations, our lives have definitely changed. Adapting to the new way of organizing has been long and difficult for some and has certainly saved lives, but it has also created many social and emotional problems around the world, regardless of occupation or age."

    Topic: Everything from home - the pandemic and its social dynamics

  • Zilla Mary Arach

    Chief Product Officer @ EzyAgric, Software Engineer

    Zilla is Chief Product Officer at EzyAgric, an ag-tech start-up which focuses on the digitalisation of agricultural value chains.

    An engineer by profession and an advocate for diversity in STEM, Zilla has extensive experience in the field of information technology. She is passionate about Data Science and how it can be used to generate solutions to real problems.

    Zilla is eager for knowledge, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Busitema University. She has also completed postgraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

    Topic: Entrepreneurship Panel

  • Maria-Alexandra Mihalcea

    Vice President @ Codette, Software Engineer

    Maria-Alexandra Mihalcea is the vice president of Codette and Software Engineer.

    With over 5 years of experience in volunteering in departments such as partner relations, human resources and design, Alexandra has a very high affinity for diversity and inclusion and advocates for bringing soft skills components into the technical sphere.

    Furthermore, she believes perseverance is the key to succeed in anything.

    Topic: Opening Keynote

  • Radu Constantinescu

    Co-founder & Managing partner @ QUALITANCE

    Radu founded QUALITANCE in 2007, together with Ioan Iacob. Currently, Radu coordinates the company's operations and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Furthermore, he is an Associate Professor Doctor of the Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Informatics (ASE Bucharest). He holds a master's degree in business informatics and a doctorate in economic informatics.

    The values ​​of a company best demonstrate their strength in times of uncertainty. When people take on and practice common principles, they team up in the face of any challenge and support each other naturally. For QUALITANCE, 2020 was about autonomy, anti-fragility, adaptation, speed of reaction and action in a common goal assumed.

    The lessons we have learned the easy & the hard way we pass on, in a continuous learning process, which we cultivate both in our own team and in the relationship with partners, customers and users of our solutions.

    Topic: How to support and increase the team's strength in times of uncertainty

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