Explore Engineering: Panel for Teens

Do you have questions about engineering? CAGIS Teen Ambassadors are hosting a live, virtual event on engineering for teens in high school or entering high school. The event is an opportunity for upper-year high school students – particularly girls and gender nonconforming youth – to talk to engineers about training, career trajectories, and ask questions that are important when considering future areas of study.

The FREE event will include rotating breakout rooms with engineering professors, engineering students, and industry experts. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and foster conversation. Every 15 minutes, the experts will move to the next breakout room so that all participants have the chance to hear from the student, professor, and industry engineer panelists.

Join us on June 19th for an inspiring virtual panel.  The panel will follow a Q&A format and will be open to teens in high school or entering high school.  Pre-registration required (registration closes one hour before the panel).  This is a free event (no cost).  

June 19th at 10 pm Pacific • 11 am Mountain • 12 pm Central • 1 pm Eastern • 2 pm Atlantic 


Ayse Turak

Ayse Turak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University. Her research focusses on growth of organic and hybrid organic-inorganic (perovskite) thin films and nanoparticles for microelectronics. Her vision is to develop easy, versatile, and inexpensive methods of exploring and tuning interfaces, particularly in organic and hybrid solar cells, light emitting diodes and sensors. By making electronic products cheaper, more accessible, and more flexible, her research will have a huge impact on the way people use clean energy, access information and measure the world around them. To achieve this vision, the Turak group uses simple manufacturing approaches (reverse micelle deposition of nanoparticles), allows nature to dictate morphology (entropic self-assembly, beneficial dewetting), and develops widely applicable characterization tools (“MORPHOLOGIES” Monte Carlo simulation code, “dis-Locate” spatial order classification package, 3D printed environmental testing chamber).

Erin Richardson

Erin Richardson is an aerospace engineering student at the University of Toronto currently interning at Canadian space technology company, MDA. She has had the opportunity to work on cutting edge Canadian space robotics, contributing to projects such as Canadarm3, a Mars rover, and planetary science instruments. Inspired by generations of space innovation, Erin is excited to see what the future holds for Canada’s role in space exploration and hopes to travel to space herself one day!

Julia Lobo

Julia Lobo is a Continuous Improvement Engineer in Training at Peel Plastic Products Ltd. She completed her BSc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she balanced work and play by acting and directing Skule Nite, the faculty’s annual musical sketch comedy revue. She also volunteered with the Girl’s Leadership and Education in Engineering (GLEE) program for 3 years straight, hosting female high school students for a 30-hour event immersed in the hands-on engineering workshops and student spirit activities. Since then, she has joined the flexible packaging manufacturing sector and is focused on driving improvement projects to increase production efficiencies and product sustainability. Her greatest weapons are Lean Six Sigma methodologies, data analytics, and a sense of humour to get through the 7-4 workday (now if only she also drank coffee).

Laura Berneaga

Laura Berneaga recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering, having specialized in Bioengineering and Mechatronics. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering also at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on designing an open-source framework for a ventilator controller that is agnostic to specific ventilator designs and flexible enough to operate both high-acuity limited operability (HALO) and full ICU ventilators, with the hope of aiding companies reach necessary production levels in disaster situations, such as COVID-19. Throughout her university career, she has developed a strong passion for bioengineering and medical devices, which is why she also completed a 16-month co-op term at Conavi Medical Inc, a company building minimally invasive cardiac imaging devices. Post-graduation, she hopes to pursue a career that allows her “to engineer with purpose” in the field of bioengineering since helping people is one of her biggest motivators.

Kim Jones

Kim Jones is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. She is also the Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE), an organisation that coordinates the efforts of Ontario universities to recruit a more diverse engineering student population. She has been named the 2019 Engineer of the Year for the Hamilton/Halton region. Kim is a strong advocate for inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in engineering. In addition to facilitating outreach programs that reach thousands of girls annually, she does research on effective interventions to create inclusive environments for all engineers.

Nandhini Ramachandran

Nandhini Ramachandran obtained her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Information and Communication Engineering, Anna University, India, in 2014. She also completed my Master of Engineering leadership (MEL) dual degree from applied science, UBC Sauder school of business from UBC, Vancouver. She has nine years of teaching experience where she helped students and recent graduates navigate their dream tech careers and build products, and four years of experience in the IT industry as a Technical consultant with Claystone Technologies, India. She worked as Teaching Faculty at BCIT, the school of computing science, and worked as an online training assistant at YWCA, Vancouver, helping newcomer women to pursue their careers in the tech industry. She currently works as a Python Developer at Galvanize, Vancouver. Her research interests include machine learning and data science. Outside of her work, she is interested in DIY projects, gardening, hiking, and cooking. She is a lifelong learner. She transitioned her career from academic teaching and research to data analytics and software development.

Whitney Surgenor

Whitney Surgenor has 10+ years of Highway Engineering consulting experience with Ainley Group and McIntosh Perry. She attended Acadia University and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. She worked as a structural engineering summer student at Fulcrum Engineering in Alberta and as a research assistant at the BRE Center for Innovative Construction Material (BRE CICM) at the University of Bath in England. Sports has always been a foundation of her life, a passion that led her to pursue cycling at the highest level while working startup. She continues to train while completing a Masters of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE ’21) at Smith School of Business Queens University and working part-time as an Operations Specialist with MIMOSA Diagnostics, a state-of-the-art mobile health platform that uses Near-Infrared Light to non-invasively assess tissue health. She believes with a curious mind and a bike, anything is possible. Always keep an open mind and embrace the ability to learn and grow.