Women in Technology Hall of Fame

Selma Svendsen

Selma Svendsen

Senior Director of Program Management, iRobot

Inducted in 2017

Selma Svendsen is the senior director of program management at iRobot where she plays a lead role in advancing iRobot’s technology development strategy.

Selma holds 22 United States patents for the invention of technologies that are core to robot design, including autonomous mobility behaviors and mechanical cleaning systems found on popular iRobot products like the Roomba© vacuuming robot.

Her inventions and leadership helped transform iRobot from a small Massachusetts startup to a global, publicly traded consumer robot company with over $660 million in annual revenue.

In 2003, Selma joined iRobot’s Home Robotics division where she built technologies that formed the foundation of iRobot consumer robots. She became involved in business operations and worked with overseas contract manufacturers to ensure iRobot could scale with rapidly growing demand.

Her efforts in manufacturing efficiency and components cost reductions helped iRobot deliver high-quality products on time and budget. To date, iRobot has sold over 15 million home robots worldwide.

She pursued her passion for engineering and joined iRobot in 1998 as a senior mechanical engineer where she transitioned to lead mechanical engineer.
Selma came to the United States in 1994 as a refugee of the Bosnian War.

Selma holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Dzemal Bijedic University (Bosnia) and a master of science in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University. She actively participates in iRobot’s mentorship and STEM outreach programs where she inspires and encourages young people to pursue careers in STEM.

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