News & Events

Celebrating Women in Engineering

June 23, 2022
UBC MEL - Women in engineering

The Women’s Engineering Society launched International Women in Engineering Day in the United Kingdom in 2014 as a nationwide campaign. INWED has evolved tremendously since then, acquiring UNESCO support in 2016 and becoming fully worldwide the following year.

Within the Faculty of Applied Science, “we are committed to building a community that is as diverse and inclusive as the people our professions serve”, states Faculty of Applied Sciences Dean, Dr. James Olson.

We take this day to highlight our women visionaries and their achievements in the area while they pursue their Master of Engineering Leadership.

From Chemical Engineering to Leading Sustainable Process Operations

Originally trained to be a chemical engineer in Western Australia and amid running a Paper Mill in Tanzania, she gathered that there is more to just being a qualified engineer to run a business. Beatrice Kigodi chose the MEL in Sustainable Process Engineering in order to gain the necessary leadership and people skills in order to run a business.

Fascinated with the idea of having a degree program that combined her two passions, Beatrice was amazed by all the various opportunities that she could acquire during her time at UBC as well as beyond due to the strong Alumni network that UBC offers.

Beatrice is highly engaged on campus amidst her course load. ‘Having an all-rounded university experience is highly important for every student, it helps one grow their network, make long-lasting connections and learn skills beyond the classroom’, says Beatrice.

She describes her schedule of visiting the athletic centre and attending committee meetings after class. Keeping busy and making connections are two aspects that entice Beatrice due to her project on fuel cells in collaboration with a Vancouver Technology company.

According to Beatrice, being a woman within a male-dominated field is all the more exciting and inspiring to her as she mentions that she considers herself an engineer first and a woman later when it comes to her work. She aims to work in the innovation and sustainability sector once she graduates.

Clean Energy Engineering Sustainability Scholar

Interested in Clean Energy Engineering, Hana Nguyen has over eight years of work experience in various fields in sustainability. In collaboration with investors and project developers, Hana has been able to take on multiple clean energy projects.

She soon realized that in order to succeed within the industry, she needed the necessary people and business skills which then led her to pursue the MEL in Clean Energy Engineering.

To Hana, some of the best parts about being a student within the MEL program are all the opportunities she receives to attend industrial events and workshops so that she can connect with professionals in the field.

Breaking all gender stereotypes, Hana mentions that her number one priority, as a woman in engineering, is to be heard and to be involved in making decisions for essential changes.

She believes that the perspectives that women bring to the table must be integrated into final decisions. Hana believes that UBC’s structure is highly inclusive. She was recently crowned ‘Sustainability Scholar’ for UBC’s Sustainability Hub and Community Energy Association. She believes that this brings her a few steps closer to reaching her goals.

Breaking barriers in the Naval Industry

Mathilde is a student of Master of Engineering Leadership in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. She chose to pursue the MEL in NAME because of the mix between technical knowledge, business and leadership.

She paused her career to explore this opportunity, believing, “I need to become better, and I know that MEL has the tools to help me become this person at work.”

The program’s highlight is the people, the network and experience, and the courses which gave her the tools to navigate situations that she previously faced at work. Her future goal is to become a project manager.

She mentions, “To be a good project manager, one must have the technical knowledge and the ability to manage people and improve the team”.

“As a woman in engineering, it can be challenging because you can see that people have a different opinion about you because you’re a woman. However, I think if you have to work and not pay attention to the people’s opinions then they realize you’re just another person who is equally competent as everybody else”, says Mathilde.

Today, the women that we represent are not only skilled engineers but also proficient business leaders.

They are breaking the barriers and stereotypes of women in engineering by getting involved in more senior positions and we at UBC MEL are invested in recognizing and propelling such positive changes in the industry. And for that, we are extremely proud.