Inspiring Future Women In Science


Perimeter Institute will host an inspirational half day conference on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The goal is to bring together like-minded young women with a strong interest in science and expose them to the rewards, challenges, and possibilities of a career in science. Registration will open on Monday, January 14.

The details of the 2018 event, including video links, are included below. 

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2018 Opening Remarks:

Mona Nemer - Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada

The Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada is committed to ensuring that government science is fully available to the public. Before becoming Canada's Chief Science Advisor, Mona Nemer was Professor and Vice-President, Research, at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory. Her research focused on the heart, particularly on the mechanisms of heart failure and congenital heart diseases. She is the author of over 200 highly cited publications that have appeared in prestigious scientific journals and she has trained over 100 students from various countries. Dr. Nemer has served on several national and international advisory committees and executive boards, and is the recipient of many national and international honours. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a Knight of the French Republic's ordre national du Mérite. View Dr. Nemer's remarks here.


Linda Hasenfratz - Chief Executive Officer, Linamar Corporation
Linda Hasenfratz joined her father’s company in 1990 and worked her way up from the ground floor, experiencing all aspects of the business including running a machine, engineering, and operations management. Since her tenure as the Chief Executive Officer started, Hasenfratz has grown the company from an $800 million enterprise to an over $6.0 billion company. In addition to many awards and recognitions, in February 2017 she participated in a roundtable discussion with Prime Minister Trudeau and US President Trump during the first meeting of the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders in Washington, DC. She is the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors at the Royal Ontario Museum, a member of the Board of Advisors for Catalyst Canada, a member of the Women On Boards Advisory Council, and actively involved in many other professional organizations. View Linda's talk here.

Eugenia Duodu - CEO, Visions of Science
 PhD, Chemistry, University of Toronto; HBSc, Chemistry Biology, University of Toronto
Duodu_EugeniaEugenia Duodu, an award-winning chemist, holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto. Her research was focused on the development of detection tools for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. In addition to her success as a scientist, she devotes her time and energy to community and global outreach initiatives and strives to be a mentor and advocate through participating in various boards, organizations, and councils. As CEO of Visions of Science, she leads a team of passionate and talented colleagues whose focus is to provide engaging programs and opportunities for youth who are traditionally under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Her goal is to help make a long-lasting positive impact in communities through STEM engagement and in turn allow youth to unlock their potential. View Eugenia's talk here.

Martha Lenio - Director of Engineering Services, Mars Green Consulting
PhD, Photovoltaic Engineering, University of New South Wales; BASc, Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo

Photo Credit :Cassandra KlosBorn and raised in Waterloo, Dr. Martha Lenio has had a life-long interest in both space exploration and environmental issues. She has worked in the sustainable building industry, the photovoltaics industry, and academia. Her experiences have included teaching math and science in Ghana, doing a PhD in photovoltaic engineering in Australia, and being a university lecturer. From 2014 to 2015 she commanded an 8 month Mars simulation with the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), funded by NASA. Last year she made it to the final 72 candidates of the Canadian Astronaut Selection process. She has founded her own company, Mars Green Consulting, focused on renewable energy consulting and smart grid design. She also works for WWF-Canada on an Arctic Renewable Energy project focused on bringing green energy to Nunavut. View Martha's talk here.
Photo Credit: Cassandra Klos 


Following the keynote address, students had the opportunity to engage in a panel discussion with women that are currently involved in STEM careers. View the full panel discussion here.

Jenan Abderrahman - Process Control Engineer, EIT, Lakeside Process Controls & Senior Part-time Instructor, Zebra Robotics  
Aerospace Engineering - Specialization: Avionics, Ryerson University

Abderrahman_JenanJenan is a process control engineer-in-training by day and robotics teacher and enthusiast by night. She runs and organizes the Women in Engineering and Science Design Competition every summer with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and UofT, hoping to bring the same excitement of STEM to students that she has. She hopes to inspire the future scientists, programmers and engineers, but when she's not working you can find her binge watching tv shows and snowboarding!

Emily Levesque - Assistant Professor of Astronomy, University of Washington
PhD Astronomy, University of Hawaii; BSc Physics, MIT

Levesque_EmilyEmily Levesque’s long-term research program is focused on massive stellar astrophysics. Her research accolades include a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan fellowship in physics and 2014 Annie Jump Cannon research prize from the American Astronomical Society. She was both an Einstein and Hubble postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado.



Jesse Popp - Wildlife Specialist at the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre & Adjunct Professor at Laurentian University
Ph.D. Boreal Ecology and M.Sc.& B.Sc. Wildlife Ecology, Laurentian University

Popp_JesseJesse is a wildlife biologist who specializes in the ecology, conservation, and management of large terrestrial mammals. Her current work integrates Indigenous perspectives and knowledge with western scientific approaches. She advocates strongly for inclusivity and diversity in science.




Monica Torres - General Surgeon, Grand River Hospital & St Mary’s General Hospital 
MD, General Surgery, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) & General Surgery, University of Toronto 

Torres_MonicaDr. Monica Torres began her educational journey in Colombia where she went to medical school and did her surgical training. Then she immigrated to Canada in 2003 where she completed her general surgery residency at the University of Toronto. She spent six years working in Goderich before relocating to Kitchener-Waterloo in 2017. 





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

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