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Female engineers stand out during National Engineering Month

- March 14, 2017

Third year Engineering student Cathleen Lupien accepts her award from members of Kelly Services Inc. (Nick Pearce Photo)
Third year Engineering student Cathleen Lupien accepts her award from members of Kelly Services Inc. (Nick Pearce Photo)

Globally, women make up less than 30 percent of the workforce in fields such as engineering and computer science.

Last Wednesday, women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day — a time to recognize women and their achievements. March also represents National Engineering month — a celebration of engineering excellence and an opportunity to showcase the value and benefits of a career in engineering.

At Dalhousie, two women in the Faculty of Engineering are being recognized for their accomplishments at Dal and their promise of a bright future in engineering.

A bright future


For the first time ever, a Canadian engineering student has won the Kelly Services Inc. Future Engineers Scholarship.

Third-year Chemical Engineering student Cathleen Lupien accepted the honour at an award presentation Thursday on Sexton Campus.

The $5,000 scholarship is presented each year to one eligible undergraduate student in either Canada or the Unites States. To be considered, applicants must be full-time engineering student with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

The award money can be used towards tuition, fees, books, and room and board expenses for the 2017 calendar year.

“I feel extremely honoured and grateful that Kelly Engineering has chosen me as the first Canadian to win this award,” says Cathleen.

Since 1946 Kelly Services Inc. has been a global leader in providing workforce solutions and engineering resources to customers in industries such as chemical, medical, pharmaceutical and more.

The Future Engineers Scholarship was established 14 years ago to help inspire students interested in engineering, and to build awareness of engineering as career path. Cathleen hopes her achievements will help encourage other women to also pursue a career in engineering.

“As an engineer, I hope to be a positive influence on society," she says. "I feel that it’s an extremely fulfilling profession if you are interested in sciences and the application of them.

"This field is overlooked, especially by women because of its reputation of being extremely difficult as well as a man’s profession. I believe that you do not have to be a genius to become an engineer, as long as you believe in yourself, you can do anything.”

To the skies


Another female student in Dal’s Faculty of Engineering is making a significant impact in her field. PhD student Zohrehsadat Asaee has been awarded the 2016 Amelia Earhart Fellowship.

The prestigious fellowship was established in 1938 in honour of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. The $10,000 (US) fellowship is awarded each year to thirty-five females around the world pursuing Ph.D. doctoral degrees in aerospace-related engineering or aerospace-related engineering.

Zohrehsadat, whose area is in Civil and Resource Engineering, will use her fellowship to improve crashworthiness in aircraft. This is the ability to decrease the number of related injuries in aircraft collisions.

Zohrehsadat will be studying advanced composite materials and investigating fiber metal laminates (FML). FML is composed of lightweight metal sheets within layers of a 3D Fiberglass. Little research has been done on these materials. By conducting experimental and computational studies, Asaee hopes to characterize the impact response of these new materials to help increase the safety of aircrafts.


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