“My career path in engineering, and all those who supported me, inspired me to create opportunities for the next generation of students and professionals to develop their leadership skills and thrive in this creative profession.”
For close to 40 years, Catherine Mavriplis has served the engineering profession as a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and researcher, and an exceptional advocate for the advancement of women in the profession. Currently a full professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa, she is inspired by the fact that she can start with nothing but a pencil and piece of paper, use her mathematics skills, program a computer, and in the end, simulate a very complex turbulent flow over the wing of an aircraft. This passion for the power of engineering has led her to support thousands of women in academia, government, and industry, and to develop a broad array of programming to recruit and empower women in the profession. She has headed the development of high-impact projects aimed at promoting women in engineering in Canada and beyond. In the U.S., at a time when professional development for engineering faculty members was non-existent, she co-created the FORWARD to Professorship workshop to provide guidance for doctoral women to become professors. The program has since been rolled-out across Canada and the U.S.
Catherine has acted as a role model for women as President of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Society of Canada and as Councillor for the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. As NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for close to ten years, she has developed bilingual activities, materials, and interdisciplinary research to increase the participation of women and girls at every level of the STEM continuum, from K-12 to leadership.
A catalyst of change, Catherine champions the participation of girls and women in engineering through volunteering, mentorship and the development of resources for women. She is recognized as a local, regional, national and international leader in the field of women in engineering.