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Inspiring Future Women in Science


Perimeter Institute will host an inspirational half day conference on Monday, March 9, 2020. The annual event brings together like-minded young women with a strong interest in science and exposes them to the rewards, challenges, and possibilities of a career in science. Video links to the 2019 presentations are included below and information on the next event will be posted here when registration opens on Monday, January 13.


Prakash_VarunaVaruna Prakash 
Resident Physician (PGY2) - Internal Medicine
University of Toronto 

MD (University of Toronto); MHSc Clinical Engineering (University of Toronto); BASc (Hon) Materials Science & Engineering (University of Toronto)

Varuna is an engineer-turned-doctor currently in her second year of Internal Medicine residency at the University of Toronto. Always interested in taking the scenic route, Varuna previously worked in the field of human factors engineering in healthcare, interning for the World Health Organization and Massachusetts General Hospital, among other local institutions. Her current interests are in health systems leadership, patient safety, and quality improvement. She likes to spend her downtime traveling, writing, and feeding an unhealthy obsession with pens and inks. View Varuna's presentation here.

Viswanathan_PoojaPooja Viswanathan
CEO, Braze Mobility Inc.
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

PhD Computer Science (Robotics and Assistive Technology), University of British Columbia; BMath Computer Science (Honours co-op, Bio-informatics option), University of Waterloo

Pooja's passion to create assistive technologies began at a long-term care facility where she noticed several residents with physical impairments who weren’t permitted powered mobility devices due to safety concerns. To solve this problem, Pooja completed doctoral and post-doctoral research in robotics and assistive technologies at UBC, Toronto Rehab Institute, and UofT, gaining almost a decade of experience developing and testing "smart" wheelchairs that could help prevent collisions and provide navigation assistance. She completed the Impact Centre’s elite Techno entrepreneurship training program in 2015 and founded Braze Mobility Inc. in 2016. Pooja is a recipient of Ontario Brain Institute's Entrepreneur Fellowship and several awards from AGE-WELL NCE. View Pooja's presentation here.

Simpson_CatherCather Simpson
Director, The Photon Factory, University of Auckland
Professor of Physics & Chemistry, University of Auckland

Cather moved from Case Western Reserve University (USA) to the University of Auckland’s Physics and Chemistry Departments in 2007. There, she started the Photon Factory, a laser centre whose mission is to exploit exotic, ultrashort pulsed lasers to enable cross-disciplinary research from the very fundamental to the applied and entrepreneurial. A relatively recent area of focus is in agriculture, where her work has led to two international award-winning spinout companies. Cather is the winner of several teaching and entrepreneurship awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi. View Cather's presentation here.

2019 PANEL DISCUSSION (Watch online here)

Camille Mitchell, OAA, MRAIC, M.Arch
Architect, Gensler
Managing Director, Building Equality in Architecture Toronto

Master of Architecture, University of Waterloo;
Bachelor of Architecture, University of Waterloo

Camille recently joined the design team at the Toronto office of Gensler - the global architecture, design, and planning firm. She was formerly a Project Architect with KPMB Architects where she contributed to the new commercial tower development at the Bay Adelaide Centre (Toronto) and was fully immersed in the design of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (Illinois). She is passionate about promoting the profession among youth and marginalized communities and is the Managing Director of Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT) and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science at Ryerson University. Photo Credit: Leilah Dhore

Roeper_DanielaDaniela Roeper
CEO and Founder of Borealis Wind

Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia

Daniela is a mechanical engineer with a passion for the environment. While still completing her undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia, Daniela founded Borealis Wind, a startup that provides a blade de-icing retrofit for wind turbines, improving their reliability as well as increasing production. The company is now in its fourth year of operation and the system is being validated through pilot testing in Canada. The innovative system can be installed up-tower without removing the blades of the turbine, saving significant installation and maintenance costs. Daniela leads the company in her role as CEO, taking part in the technical and business development.

Tang_ShirleyXiaowu (Shirley) Tang, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Associate Dean of Science, Research & Professor of Chemistry & Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology,
University of Waterloo
PhD, Radiological Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA); BS, Electrical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China)

Professor Tang joined the University of Waterloo in 2006 and currently leads the Tang Nanotechnology Lab – a group that is internationally recognized for its pioneering work on hybrid nanobio-materials and devices, with contributions particularly to the material, surface, and physical chemistries dealing with carbon nanostructures. Significant developments include biomarker sensing platforms for early diagnosis and management of chronic diseases as well as the creation of a class of hybrid scaffold materials for tissue engineering. Her work has led to publications in prestigious journals, as well as patent applications, multiple industrial partnerships, media reports, invited lectures, and national and provincial awards.

Williams_KonaKona Williams, MD, FRCPC (AP/FP)
Forensic Pathologist and Coroner
Sudbury Regional Forensic Pathology Unit, Ramsey Lake Health Centre

Kona is both Cree and Mohawk, from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, and Kahnawake. She completed an undergraduate honours degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. She went to medical school and completed her 5-year residency in Anatomical Pathology at the University of Ottawa, followed by a 1-year fellowship in Forensic Pathology at the University of Toronto. Kona is currently a Forensic Pathologist and Coroner at the Northeastern Regional Forensic Pathology Unit in Sudbury, ON. She is also the First Nations Liaison for the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.


On-site attendees will connect with STEM professionals in small, informal groups. This portion of the program was not webcast.

High school students of all genders are welcome to register to attend this annual event; however, it is designed for female students and those who identify as female to explore the rewards, challenges, and possibilities of a STEM career.