Every year in March, the Canadian engineering community celebrates National Engineering Month. It is the largest celebration of engineering excellence. It is to celebrate the diversity of thought and people that make up the engineering profession, and demonstrates that there’s a place for everyone, especially women, in engineering to learn and grow together. The world of engineering keeps growing and we have to change with it. Here are some statements from IEEE Chapter Chairs and supporters.
Lian Zhao, Chair of Vehicular Technology Chapter, IEEE Toronto Section:
I am happy to celebrate the International Women’s Day, as a way to highlight Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) for women to engage in all areas of specialization, and to recognize the achievements and contributions of Women Engineers and Women Researchers.
Mehrdad Tirandazian, Chair of Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC) Chapter, IEEE Toronto Section:
Engineering is a discipline dedicated to problem solving, it consists of different fields of Science and Mathematics, and helps us to clean the environment and water systems, create clean and efficient transportation systems, find new sources of energy, and find solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges too.
Sylvia Raynham, Previous WIE Treasurer, IEEE Toronto Section:
I like to thank the IEEE Toronto Section for presenting me the “Appreciation of Service Award”. One has said that “women are the pillar of the society”, being a member of Women in Engineering and having 2 daughters who are part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) work force. I strongly recommend women and men continue to striving for the best that they can be to tackle some of the world’s big issues and participate in the more demanding careers in the STEM area such as Artificial intelligence specialist, Data Scientist, Robotics.
Hadeel Elayan Mohammad, Vice Chair of Communications Chapter, IEEE Toronto Section:
Engineering is a passion that I nurtured through my continuous quest to explore all that is new and dig deep into problems until I find solutions. Studying engineering allowed me to constantly rediscover myself as I am always exposed to the most novel technologies and trends. It made me realize that truly disruptive technologies can emerge at the interface of diverse research arenas which is the key to innovative solutions. For all young women interested in a career in STEM, particularly engineering, I would say not to fear failure, but rather fear not trying. Always remember that when one door closes, somewhere a window opens. It’s only through persistence that we can find who we are. Salute to all strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
Abdul Bhuiya, Vice Chair of PELS&CE Chapter, IEEE Toronto Section:
There are a couple of things that comes to mind when I think of engineering. I think of solving, designing, inventing, testing, creating, etc. To me, all these words are just part of what it means to be an engineer. It allows us to dream big and mold them into reality. It is a form of art, and it is the satisfaction you get when you see your work come to realization. Sometimes we find ways to solve difficult problems with simple solutions and other times, we have problems that require us to put hours of work and thought into it. There is so much to engineering and this only hits half of what it means to be an engineer. Everything you design and create will be questioned. We study the trade-offs e.g., cost vs. performance, we study the environmental effects of our work, and we ensure our work is done correctly, safely, and thoroughly. We are held to have the highest of standards, so the public can trust the work we do and the products they use. Engineering can open so many doors and possibilities for your career growth and ambitions. I believe anyone can become an Engineer. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you have the right mindset, motivation, and creativity, you can really accomplish great feats.
Shermineh Ghasemi, Secretary of Computational Intelligence, IEEE Toronto Section:
It’s easy for us to get caught up in negative patterns, versus seeing what positive changes you can make. Especially for women and minorities, we need to learn to see challenges as stepping-stones instead of hurdles. They really can bring you experience and closer to your goals.
Julia Wagner, Chair IEEE University of Toronto Student Branch:
By studying engineering, I feel that my future has unlimited possibilities with the fields I can work in and the impact I can have on the world. While being an engineer can be challenging, I look forward to the rewards of doing complex work and providing an example to women interested in pursuing a career in engineering.
Younas Abbas, Vice Chair, Computer Chapter, IEEE Toronto Section:
Engineering is at its pinnacle and we are in the position to find cures for diseases, elevate the suffering from those parts of the world where hunger, poverty, lack of education and absence of basic necessities of life are ailing humanity. The world has come so far with the help of technology overcoming numerous problems which were a dream in the past centuries. The evolution of science has helped humanity to explore the galaxies, go deeper into the oceans, finding ways to save the endangered species of our home planet earth and about finding new homes for humanity on other planets.
No matter which direction humanity would pursue, women have been playing a great role to bring us to the next level. From centuries, women like Fatima Al-Fihri who belongs to a migrant community in Fes, Morocco established the first degree-granting education institute (recognized by UNESCO and Guinness World Records) in the year 859 to Maire Curie (Marie Salomea Skłodowska Curie 1867-1934) a great physicist and chemist, Edith Clarke an electrical engineer, Grace Murray Hopper a computer scientist, Katherine Johnson, Chien-Shiung Wu, Rosalind Franklin. The list is very long. They were never a step behind to serve humanity and still playing their part. Recently in west Germany when a couple, Sahin and Tureci, founder of BioNTech breakthrough in finding the cure for COVID-19 it has proved that women are a crucial counterpart for curing humanity.
These great women and a lot more I wasn’t able to mention, deserved to be recognized well. The world still needs to learn that equality in every form is necessary to be treated everywhere and humans should not be identified on the basis of their gender, race, color, or anything else but what actually they do.