Instructor 1Sawsan Abdul-Majid, PhD, P.Eng, SMIEEE

ANCWT introduction session

Sawsan is ANCWT president, part time professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Abdul- Majid, established the ANCWT program during 2016 , and lead a successful pilot project by then .

Her goal is to help new comers’ women (immigrants & refugess) who have gained their educations in Engineering, IT, and computer science from abroad, and landed in Ottawa, to find their dream jobs in Canada, to merge with the Ottawa community, by offering their expertise to the Canadian community.

Sawsan has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Varna University Bulgaria in the field of Optical communication, is an accomplished academic/researcher. For over 20+ have joint many Faculty of Engineering departments internationally. She has been with the University of Ottawa as Researcher/ project manager/ Part time professor for the last 10 years.

Sawsan is licensed as Professional Engineer of Ontario, Director at Ottawa PEO , Chair oGLP  .She is also a Senior Member IEEE and an IEEE Canada Humanitarian Initiative Committee (HIC) member, acting as IEEE Canada HIC Student Activities Chair, as well as technical committee co-chair.

Sawsan is a distinguished Engineering Professor who has made choices for a better life. A woman who makes it happens, especially in the field of Science, Technology and Engineering, a true inspiration to women and girls everywhere.

Instructor 2: Julie Lavigne

Resume Writing and Job Interview Skills

Julie always valued and was interested in supporting others in their well-being which led her to complete a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree (completed in 2002) in Educational Counselling at the University of Ottawa.

After graduating, Julie developed her counsellor career on the Gatineau and Ottawa regions in vocational, mental health and human resources roles by working in various industry sectors: the non-profit, semi-private and public service.  In April 2013, Julie left a varied federal public service career and is enjoying the dynamic and creative context of the University of Ottawa by helping students tackle their career questions and liaise with faculties and services to better respond to the students’ career needs.

Outside of work, she enjoys fulfilling her artistic interests/passions through dance, song and music, cooking/baking or painting and decorating.  She also values spending quality time with her family and friends and leads an active lifestyle.

Instructor 3: Catherine Mavriplis

Communications and Cultural Diversity

Catherine Mavriplis is professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Ottawa. Her specialty is numerical methods for aerodynamics simulations.  Dr. Mavriplis also holds the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering since 2011, a program that aims to recruit, retain and advance women to leadership.

Dr. Mavriplis holds a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering from McGill, as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a postdoctoral stay at Princeton, she became professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at George Washington University. She has also worked at the National Science Foundation, NASA Langley and University of Oklahoma before returning to Canada. Dr. Mavriplis has been President of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Society of Canada and a Councillor of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute.

Instructor 4: Marie Mitsou, BA, Bed, Med, CCC

Resume Writing

Marie has been a Career Counsellor at the University of Ottawa’s Career Development Centre since 2008. She began her studies at UOttawa in the Honors’ Co-op Communications program and followed up with a bachelors in Education. For several years, Marie taught high school English for the Conseil des écoles catholique du Centre-Est while completing her Masters in Counselling. Upon graduation, she got her start in personal counselling working in the community before eventually returning to her alma mater as a Career Counsellor. Marie truly enjoys offering guidance, encouragement and education to students and alumni searching for a career that is rewarding, challenging and that is, most importantly, suited to them as individuals.

Instructor 5: Joan Kerr

Strategies to cope in the Canadian workplace

Joan Kerr is an Entrepreneur and humanitarian with over 35 years in facilitating community economic development projects, specializing in community organizing and planning, participatory approach of public/community engagement, multi-stakeholders’ collaboration. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities, a not for profit with a passion for promoting philanthropy and supporting resilient neighbourhoods. She bring with her a diverse background in Project Management, marketing and film production. Her expertise lies in the not for profit, private and entertainment sectors.

For the past 30 years, Joan has focused on green technologies, small business development and community organizing. Through the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC), and prior to that, the Energy Conservation Society of Ontario (ECSO), Joan has organized numerous fairs, events and demonstration sites for public participation and education.

She is the regular guest on Rogers Community TV, appearing on shows such as:

  • Fabulous Joan: showcasing her sustainable lifestyle
  • Being Your Own Boss
  • Municipal Hotline
  • Community Commentator on elections, gardening, DIY/Maker events


  • Recipient of the United Nation WSIS Civil Society Award for Content & creativity.
  • Region of Durham Partnership Award.
  • Certified in Horticulture, Aromatherapy and Community Facilitation.
  • Former Master Gardener.

Instructor 6: Winnie Ye

Women In Engineering (WIE)

Dr. Winnie Ye is a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Nano-scale IC Design for Reliable Opto-Electronics and Sensors. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electronics at Carleton University. Her expertise is in silicon photonics and its applications in bio photonics, telecommunications, and renewable energy. Dr. Ye received her B.Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University. She then studied Photonics and received her M.A.Sc. and PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto and Carleton University, respectively. After working with the Silicon Photonics/Optoelectronics team at the National Research Council (NRC) during her Ph.D. program, she joined Prof. Lionel Kimerling’s laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Prof. Kenneth Crozier’s laboratory at the Harvard University as a NSERC postdoctoral fellow to work on opto-electronic integration and silicon nanofabrication. Dr. Ye returned to Canada in 2009. She is the recipient of the Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the Ministry of Innovation Ontario in 2012, and the Research Achievement Award from Carleton University in 2013. She has also been the Chair of the IEEE Women in Engineering (WiE) Ottawa Chapter since 2012.

Instructor 7: Moody Samuel Farag

PEO/EIT Licensing

The Manager of Admissions at Professional Engineers Ontario since March 2002, Mr. Farag comes to this position from a solid manufacturing base in both Canada; where he was a senior Process Engineer for six years at Celestica; as well as in Sudan, where he supervised the engineering manufacturing team and was assistant production manager at a pharmaceutical company.  Mr. Farag obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Khartoum, Sudan and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Instructor 8: Marilyn D Spink

Marilyn Spink began her career in Northern Ontario’s Mining and Pulp & Paper industries in mechanical design. After specializing in Materials & Metallurgical Engineering at Queen’s University, she joined Dofasco, working in both their Hamilton and Kentucky operations.  Her proven aptitude for project engineering took her to Hatch where Marilyn executed projects globally. While at SNC-Lavalin, she managed both the basic engineering phase for the Nickel Refinery and then the detailed design for the Processing Plant for the Ambatovy Nickel laterite project located in Madagascar. Marilyn offers more than twenty five years of multi-discipline project execution experience, covering the entire project life cycle – from feasibility studies through to basic & detailed engineering, construction and commissioning.

Currently, Marilyn is part of the “Grey Hair Team” at Isherwood Geostructural Engineers – an Infrastructure Engineering Consulting firm in Toronto. She has a strong interest in governance and volunteers her time with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) as a Lieutenant Governor Appointee to PEO Council. She is appointed Vice-President and a member of PEO’s Executive Committee and sits on PEO’s Complaints Committees in addition to chairing PEO’s Public Information Campaign Task Force who’s goal it is to solidify PEO’s brand as the Regulator of Engineering in the province of Ontario.Marilyn’s passion for technology, engineering and science education stems from her engineering career and past teaching positions at Queen’s, Humber College and as a presenter for “Scientists in School”. Marilyn and her husband, Jamie Gerson (another Engineer), live in Etobicoke, with their 3 children, whom are also passionate about math and science

Instructor 9: Magdalene Coo-man Maxwell

Interview Competencies and Networking Tips – Strategies for Successful Job Searching

Author. Speaker. Coach. Entrepreneur. Facilitator. Blogger.

Advocate for employment opportunities for newcomers, refugees, youth and women.

Magdalene is an advocate for living life fully from the soul, both in her career and her personal life. She has over thirty years of experience working in the fields of Education, Special Education, Employment, Management, Newcomers, Youth and Women. She has helped to initiate and develop new programs with a focus on improving the lives of others, wherever she has worked. She is passionately interested in empowering others to be leaders and to live a meaningful and purpose driven life. She received a Community Leader’s Award by Immigrant Women Services in 2009, which recognized her leadership skills and contribution to Ottawa.

“I am a girl on a soul mission to live my life to the fullest and to die feeling happily exhausted from using every bit of talent which I am blessed with, and to bless whoever comes into contact with me, in whatever capacity, wherever they are.” (For WOW feature – Immigrants of Ottawa.)Magdalene is the author and publisher of Mags Magazine, an inspirational magazine designed to inspire others to live their soul missions. She has completed two editions: Live Your Future Now and Soulful Encounters.

Magdalene Cooman is the Director of Employer Engagement at World Skills Employment Centre. She leads employer engagement initiatives and works strategically with employers in Ottawa to establish partnerships and promote newcomer talent as a valuable asset for businesses (Private Sector and Government) as well as labour market integration. She is internationally trained herself and has extensive experience working as an employment counselor and coach with newcomers. She has developed several curriculum and training programs for organizations in Ottawa and Ontario, for both newcomers and staff who work with newcomers. She is a keen advocate for newcomers.

Instructor 10: Laura Paul 

Personal Branding on LinkedIN:
In this session you will learn the basics of personal branding in the social media era, we will help to create or refine a LinkedIN profile, show how to set yourself apart from others in your industry, build meaningful new connections, leverage your current network, and seek employment opportunities using the LinkedIN platform.
 Bio :
Laura Paul’s, P.Eng wide-ranging experience encompasses multiple perspectives: Client, Designer and Contractor. She is currently a Project Manager and Team Leader with Tiree Facility Solutions, a management consulting and professional services company focused on providing intelligent solutions for infrastructure, real estate, assets and workspaces through leading complex construction programs for government and Fortune 500 companies, ensuring smarter capital investments, including support for building responsible and sustainable infrastructure. Previously she worked as a Sustainable Building Desiger, as well as on-site Field Engineer.

In 2014 Laura was appointed as President of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Ottawa Region Chapter, and was instrumental in building and supporting Emerging Green Builder (EBG) Groups across Canada. She achieved a National Leadership award from the Canada Green Building Council, Carson Award for Community and Environmental Leadership, and was ranked as a top 20 Influencer for Sustainability and the Built Environment on Twitter.

Laura obtained her Civil Engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario. She holds an MBA from Telfer School of Management at University of Ottawa. She is passionate about the power of Social Media to create change, obtained a Social Media Marketing Certification from Hootsuite Media, and is a Part Time Professor at Telfer School of Management teaching Social Media Marketing for Business as well as Personal Branding.

Instructor 11 :Dayna Peloquin

Ottawa Women in Engineering is a non-profit group aimed towards building relationships between women in various fields of engineering and develop skills to assist in career development. The presentation is about the importance of forming the group, what we have achieved in the past and what OWiE can offer new and future members in the Ottawa community.

Dayna is a Structural Designed for WSP Canada for the Buildings Department. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Carleton Univeristy and is 2 1/2 years away from attaining her P.Eng. She has worked on the structure of several buildings around the Ottawa area. She has been an Outreach Coordinator for the Faculty of Engineering and Design where she introduced the career of engineering to elementary and high school level students and coordinated events to encourage an increase in enrollment of women in engineering. Dayna was formally involved with Engineering without Borders Ottawa, and now spends time Mentoring Carleton Students or recent graduates and is on the Ottawa Women in Engineering committee as the Promotions Officer to assist in bringing together women in the Engineering Industry and help cultivate worthwhile relationships. When she’s not busy promoting women in engineering or working on buildings in our Nations Capital, she can be found cycling Ottawa’s multi-use pathways or back country-camping in our provincial parks.
Instructor 12 : Mawuena Torkornoo

Mawuena is a research facilitator and also responsible for business development at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, Carleton University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA. Prior to her current role, she was the Outreach Coordinator for the Faculty of Engineering and Design where she managed recruitment and engineering outreach. She has also been the Director of Virtual Ventures, an award winning not-for-profit organization focused on youth technology and engineering education. In this role, she oversaw setting the organization’s vision and strategic plan, talent acquisition and training, marketing, and fundraising.  Under her leadership, Virtual Ventures saw tremendous sustainable and innovative growth and was awarded the 2012 Actua GE Canada Award for Leadership and Innovation.

Mawuena’s ability to strategically identify and cultivate collaborative relationships to achieve synergistic results has been one of her key assets. She enjoys making connections for and with people. As the newly appointed liaison officer for OWIE, her goal is to strengthen and expand the networks’ partnerships for the betterment of all its members.