Crawford named CEMF Engineering Ambassador for Ontario


Western Engineering News | October 22, 2018

“Why did you choose to become an engineer?”

This question served as the core inspiration when fourth-year chemical engineering undergraduate student Kelsey Crawford applied for the 2018 Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF) Engineering Ambassador Award.

CEMF, a charitable organization funded entirely through donations and partnerships with corporations and universities, supports women in engineering in Canada through scholarships and networking opportunities. Each year, CEMF selects a number of women to act as ambassadors for the engineering profession and to serve as role models for other young women who are entering the field.

Kelsey Crawford, BESc’19 candidate, is this year’s recipient of a $5,000 scholarship and the CEMF Engineering Ambassador Award for the Ontario region.

The award’s in-depth application process requires applicants to develop a presentation entitled Why I Chose to Become an Engineer.

“A big factor for me was realizing that engineering is about taking your skills and leveraging that skillset to help people in everyday society,” said Crawford.

Growing up, Crawford watched shows like How It’s Made with her dad, who’s also an engineer.

“I think people often take products for granted,” said Crawford. “It’s interesting to see how products are made and how they can be improved for the people who use [them] every day. That’s why I chose chemical engineering.” 

Crawford has been highly involved in the Western Engineering community and extra-curricular activities since her first year, playing for Western’s women’s volleyball team; coaching volleyball at the elementary, high school and competitive level; serving with the Undergraduate Engineering Society, where she is currently the Career Events Commissioner; and volunteering for Western Engineering outreach programs.

Crawford recalled helping at events such as GO ENG Girl, Fall Preview Day and March Break Open House, noting the impact these events can have on young students.

“I remember being in high school, and I was stressed about not knowing what engineering would be like and if there would be many other girls,” said Crawford. “It’s nice to give back,  talk to students with similar concerns and reassure them.”

The CEMF Ambassador program focuses heavily on getting involved in outreach initiatives for women in engineering. As part of Crawford’s one-year term as a CEMF Ambassador, she’s required to visit high schools and deliver her presentation on Why I Chose to Become an Engineer.Crawford_CEMF.jpg

“Being an ambassador is being someone who is fully committed to growing the engineering profession and sharing their experiences with other people,” said Crawford. “It’s important for young women to have an example of someone to look up to and say, ‘If I go into engineering, this is what I could be.’ It’s about having strong females in engineering that make girls think, ‘That’s relatable; I can achieve that; I resonate with that.’”

In September, Crawford attended the CEMF awards banquet in Ottawa to officially receive her Engineering Ambassador Award and to network with other ambassadors and industry professionals from all over Canada.

Western Engineering looks forward to seeing how Crawford will continue to share her knowledge and inspire a future generation of women in engineering.