Engineering Now :: Volume 5 - Edition 3 :: November/December 2008

NCWIE Conference - “Discover Your Place”

By Nancy Quaegebeur


NCWIE delegates network with  Sarah Shortreed, Research in Motion Vice President, Planning & CIO Program Office and conference speaker, at the Delta London Arrmouries.

The 2008 National Conference on Women in Engineering (NCWIE) was held at the Delta London Armouries from Friday, November 21 to Saturday, November 22, 2008.

NCWIE is the only event of its kind in Canada and is entirely student run. The conference originally started as a local conference by Queen’s University in 1990 and became a national event in 2003 as other Universities were invited to participate. In 2007, Queen’s University offered other universities to bid on the chance to host the conference. Four extremely organized and enthusiastic female students in Engineering at Western formed a committee to take on this challenge. From Western, Julie Ladiges, Rachel Oosterhuis, Luna Ghose and Sarah Patterson drafted and submitted a proposal that was successful in securing the conference for 2008.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Discover Your Place,” providing students, faculty, industry and government representatives from across the country an opportunity to network and discuss current issues in the engineering profession. The conference also highlighted how the role of women in engineering has progressed and how it continues to evolve. The conference boasted an impressive line-up of speakers, including keynote addresses by Western alumna Catherine Karakatsanis, Morrison Hershfield Limited Senior Vice President and President-Elect of Professional Engineering Ontario (PEO) and Sarah Shortreed, Research in Motion Vice President, Planning & CIO Program Office, as well as veteran political policy advisor Howard Brown.

At this year’s conference, there were 90 student delegates from across Canada including British Columbia and New Brunswick and 27 delegate volunteers. Following the event, committee member Julie Ladiges commented on the success of the event by stating, “It was really neat to have many of the speakers be Western alumni and that Western really showed their support.”

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.: Allison Stevenson
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Phone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808