**Trigger Warning: This article includes mentions of gender-based violence 

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CEMF annual scholarships honour memory of 14 women killed at École Polytechnique 

In 1990, in the aftermath of the December 6, 1989, killing of 14 women at École Polytechnique, then-president of Professional Engineers Ontario, Claudette MacKay-Lassonde, gathered a number of other concerned engineers to establish the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF).  

To this day, the CEMF continues to be dedicated to attracting women to the engineering profession so that they may fully contribute to the development of our society. In so doing, they honour the memory of the 14 women—most of whom were engineering students—whose contributions to Canada ended on December 6, 1989. 

Each year, the CEMF presents scholarships to women studying engineering in Canada and who demonstrate exceptional leadership and are volunteers in their communities. Scholarship winners are asked to be ambassadors for the profession, and mentors to those who follow. Since its founding, the CEMF has awarded over 200 of these scholarships to women studying engineering.  

“Every year we receive a high number of applications to our awards and every year, I am amazed at the accomplishments of these young women,” says Lynn Burgess, CEMF Executive Director. “Not only are they exceptional engineering students, but their contributions to their communities through extra curricular activities always amazes me. Sometimes, without even knowing it, they become mentors to other young children considering engineering as a profession. I am happy to be a part of CEMF and watching these young women embark on their engineering journey.” 

The scholarship recipients themselves are also extremely grateful for the opportunities that the awards present to them, and are proud to honour the memory of those killed at École Polytechnique by continuing to strive for greater gender diversity, equity and inclusion in engineering. 

“I was thrilled to receive the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Graduate Award from the CEMF this year,” says Simone Markus, a PhD student in geological engineering at Queen’s University. “The founding principles and history of the CEMF are incredibly meaningful to me, and I am delighted to be involved with a foundation which supports gender diversity in STEM. As a student, support from groups like the CEMF allows me to stay connected with the engineering community and provides excellent opportunities to broaden my network and enrich my studies.” 

“It is an incredible honor to be the recipient of the CEMF Undergraduate Atlantic Regional Scholarship,” adds Katelin Flick, a mechanical engineering student at St. Mary’s University. “CEMF has shown consistent support to young women navigating the world of engineering and for that I am grateful. This support has helped reaffirm my place in engineering and has allowed me to help other young women find their place.” 

A full list of this year’s 14 CEMF scholarship winners is below. 

  • Hayley Galsworthy, studying engineering at Queen’s University 
  • Kailey Beckie, studying engineering at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus 
  • Camryn Williams, studying materials engineering at the University of Alberta 
  • Sophie Stupalo, studying biomedical engineering at the University of Waterloo 
  • Liliya Boyadjieva, studying electrical engineering at the School of Higher Technology (ÉTS) 
  • Marie-Pier Trépanier, studying mechanical engineering at Laval University 
  • Katelin Flick, studying mechanical engineering at St. Mary’s University 
  • Andrea Chakma, studying mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo 
  • Madisyn Szypula, studying mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus 
  • Arliss Sidloski, studying engineering at the University of Saskatchewan 
  • Emily Veinot, studying mechanical engineering at St. Mary’s University 
  • Éloïse Cummings, studying geomatics engineering at Laval University 
  • Simone Markus, studying geological engineering at Queen’s University 
  • Sarah Chun, studying electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo 

“In 2022 we will again be awarding other young women with scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000,” says Julie Lassonde, P.Eng., CEMF President. “These outstanding women will be selected based on their leadership qualities, their volunteer work in the community and their willingness to act as role models and ambassadors for the profession.”

CEMF’s call for 2022 award nominations is now open.  

Learn more about the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women HERE.