WISE 2017 National Conference: Ignite Your Passion

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Date(s) - Jan 21st - Jan 22nd
All Day

Toronto Region Board of Trade

About The Event

Women and Science and Engineering is proud to present to you our prestigious 5th Annual National Conference! The WISE National Conference serves as a catalyst to inspire and empower individuals to pursue their passions, broaden their horizons, and form meaningful connections.
The conference brings together delegates from all across Canada to share ideas and become inspired over the course of a two-day event dedicated to professional and personal growth.
We will feature inspirational leaders from a wide range of STEM fields, workshops and competitions, all of which are designed to provide you with the insights and experiences to ignite your passion!

Registration is now open! (Early Bird $85, Regular $100)



Day 1, Saturday January 21st

Time Event
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Registration and Networking
10:00 AM – 10:20 AM Opening Ceremony
10:20 AM – 11:20 AM Keynote: Dr. Eve Tsai
11:20 AM – 11:35 AM Competition Briefing
11:35 AM – 12:45 PM Lunch
11:40 AM – 1:00 PM Three Minute Thesis Competition
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM Networking Break
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Women Creating Impact – Panel
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM Networking Break
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM Fireside Chat
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM Wine and Cheese Networking
Day 2, Sunday January 22nd

Time Event
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM First Round Consulting Case Presentation
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Networking Break
10:45 AM – 11:45 AM Keynote: Catherine Karakatsanis
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Networking Break
11:45 PM – 1:30 PM Career Fair
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Workshop – Round 1
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM Networking Break
3:15 PM – 4:45 PM Workshop – Round 2
Final Case Presentations
4:45 PM – 5:00 PM Networking Break
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Closing Ceremonies & Announcement of Competition Winners


Subsidy information is updated once a week. If a school is not listed here and you would like to find out more, please email info@wiseuoft.org

  • McGill University

  • McMaster University

    • Faculty of Engineering
    • All delegates will receive 50% subsidy if tickets are bought before November 17th
    • Contact: WISE – McMaster Chapter (wes@mcmaster.ca)
  • University of Ottawa

  • Queen’s University

    • Faculty of Engineering
    • 6 students will be subsidized. Contact for more information.
    • Contact: Queen’s WiSE (wise@uottawa.ca)
  • Ryerson University

    • Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
    • Contact Nika for more information.
    • Contact: Nika Zolfaghari (nika.zolfaghari@ryerson.ca)
  • University of Toronto Mississauga

    • Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences
    • 5 delegates will receive a 100% subsidy for registration fees. Applications should consist of a cover letter and CV in a single PDF and should be received no later than Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
    • Contact: cps.utm@utoronto.ca
  • University of Toronto Scarborough

  • University of Toronto St. George

    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • 10 Students will receive a 50% subsidy as reimbursement on the day of the conference.
    • Contact: Ghazal Haddad (ghazal.haddad@wiseuoft.org)
  • York University

    • Faculty of Science
    • The first four students registering will be reimbursed for 80% of the ticket price.
    • Contact: sciadstu@yorku.ca


  • Opening Speaker

  • Dr. Cristina Amon | Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Toronto

    • Dr. Cristina Amon joined the University of Toronto (U of T) in 2006 as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Since her appointment, she has created programs to foster collaborative scholarship, enhance student experience, and accelerate innovation. She has also led the creation of cross-Faculty centres and institutes in the areas of healthcare engineering, sustainable energy, global engineering, identity, privacy and security, design innovation, as well as leadership education in engineering.

      Dean Amon has a demonstrated track record of commitment to outreach and diversity. Under her leadership, U of T Engineering has recruited 31 new woman faculty members and achieved a historic 40% women first-year undergraduate enrolment in 2016. She is a pioneer in the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics for formulating and solving thermal design problems, nanoscale thermal transport in semiconductors, energy systems and biomedical devices.

      Active in executive boards and professional societies, Dr. Amon is chair of the research committee of NCDEAS (National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science in Canada)

      Dean Amon has received numerous awards, including the ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award, ASEE Westinghouse Medal In 2011, honoured with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Achievement Award, for her outstanding contributions to engineering over more than 20 years. In the same year, she was also the recipient of the prestigious YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction award.

      Cristina Amon was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Influential Women, and was awarded the 2015 PEO Gold Medal which is Ontario’s most prestigious honour for engineering public service, technical excellence and professional leadership.
  • Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Eve Tsai | Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa; Neurosurgeon Associate Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)

    • Gained early acceptance into medical school at age 19 and obtained her medical degree from UofT. Her main surgical interest focusing on all spinal cord diseases such as: spinal cord injury, spinal cord and spine tumors, syringomyelia and myelopathy. her research focuses on repair strategies, axonal regeneration, and MRI imaging. In 2010, she won Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. Dr. Tsai was also selected by committee as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence by Women of Influence Magazine in the Health Category.
  • Catherine Karakatsanis | Chief Operating Officer of Morrison Hershfield Group Inc

    • Catherine Karakatsanis is the Chief Operating Officer of Morrison Hershfield Group Inc., an employee-owned consulting engineering and management ‘Top 100 North American Engineering firm’ with 18 offices across North America. She is also a Director and Secretary on the firm’s Board.
      Catherine Karakatsanis has had a progressive career at Morrison Hershfield moving successfully through a series of engineering and senior management positions before becoming COO. She brings extensive engineering and management expertise to her role. As COO she is responsible for the domestic and international operations of Morrison Hershfield providing business leadership and overseeing 850 professionals.

      Catherine has also had professional leadership volunteer and public service roles. She has served as President and Chair of Engineers Canada, representing the 250,000 Professional Engineers in Canada; President and Chair of both of Ontario’s licensure and advocacy engineering bodies. She has also served on the boards of Hydro One, The Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, The Foundation For Education. She currently sits on the boards of Engineers Without Borders, Western University, and chairs Western University’s Faculty of Engineering Advisory Council.

      She has consistently been recognized for her business and engineering contributions including having been inducted in to the Canadian Academy of Engineering as a Fellow; awarded the ‘Engineering Medal of Management’; Engineers Canada as a Fellow; been inducted into ‘Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame’ having been named Canada’s Top 100 Woman in four separate categories. She was awarded Ontario Women’s Directorate – Leading Women Building Communities Award; among many others. Her dedication and commitment to the enrichment of the engineering profession and to best management practices have earned the respect of her colleagues at Morrison Hershfield and her peers across the country. She continues to be a role model, mentor and an inspiration for other professional women and men.

      She is member of a number of professional organizations and has authored more than a dozen papers. Ms. Karakatsanis obtained her Bachelor of Engineering Science and Masters of Engineering Science at Western University
  • Women Creating Impact – Research Panel

  • Dr. Imogen Coe | Professor; Dean, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University

    • Award-winning biologist, with 15 years of research into membrane protein cell biology and biochemistry is recognized worldwide. She is now the dean for Ryerson University Faculty of Science and is a leading advocate for Women in STEM.
  • Usha Srinivasan | Vice President, Learning and Insights, MaRS Discovery District

    • Usha leads a team dedicated to nurturing the talents of Ontario entrepreneurs through a range of diverse programs, including the Business Acceleration Program, Data Catalyst and Studio Y at MaRS. She is an NRC fellow and has completed post-doctoral research work at the US Environmental Protection Agency, the University of New Brunswick, and the Northern Research Institute/Department of Forestry in the Yukon.
  • Jessie MacAlpine | Researcher, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, University of Toronto

    • One of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 because of her research in developing a bioherbicide and antimalarial drug (under review for international patent). She has presented this research internationally and won Best in category for Medicine and Health Sciences at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
  • Women Creating Impact – Technology Panel

  • Linda Nakanishi | Lead Design Instructor at HackerYou, Design Director at Nascent Digital

    • Linda is a Design Director for Nascent Digital, and lead design instructor for HackerYou. She considers herself a problem solver, whether it’s a user experience challenge, visual design consideration, or how to help others grow, pulling on her creative and technology background to find a path in any situation.
  • Heather Payne | Founder of HackerYou and Ladies Learning Code

    • Heather is a 27 year old entrepreneur living in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder of HackerYou and Ladies Learning Code. She is also an angel investor (with one exit so far), one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and a role model for people who are thinking about changing their careers and their lives. She’s really passionate about showing people that they can do anything they put their mind to, whether it’s learning to code, starting a business, investing in a startup, or taking on some other exciting challenge.
  • Pearl Chen | Head of Developer Relations, Connected Lab

    • From HTML to LEDs, Android to Arduino — Pearl Chen takes on a cross-disciplinary approach to her work. With over 10 years of professional experience in building interactive experiences, Pearl currently works independently as both a developer and educator. Pearl’s goal is to raise the bar for technology education by creating engaging and effective educational user experiences. Pearl has worked with Intel, Google, TELUS, Ladies Learning Code, CFC Media Lab, and Samsung. Pearl also runs electronics and web development workshops under the umbrella of her own company, Karma Laboratory.
  • Julie Lévesque | Managing Director, CPPIB Enterprise Systems.

    • Julie Lévesque is responsible for the evolution of system applications for Corporate services as well as production support for all CPPIB‘s application. She is also responsible for the IT delivery in strategic project and initiative for this sector. Prior to joining CPPIB, she was vice-president, IT Delivery – Finances, Risks, capital market and HR at National Bank for 13 years. Her career path is marked by solid experience as a leader and an expertise in delivering strategic initiatives. Recognized for her mobilizing leadership style in the context of transformation, she has leaded numerous process re-engineering and technology deployment.

      Mrs Lévesque has over 13 years of experience in the financial domain and more the 20 years in information technology. She has an EMBA McGill-HEC. Her notable force resides in her capacity to adjust to change supported by her enthusiasm for challenges and her acute sense of responsibilities. From a leadership point of view she demonstrates great capabilities on how to mobilize, motivate a team in achieving ambitious objectives while encouraging collaboration and maintaining a stimulating work environment.
      In parallel of her professional duties, Mrs Lévesque has been very active in the Juvenile Diabetes research foundation and the United way campaign. She is also very active as a sponsor and mentor with the Woman Initiatives.
  • Fireside Chats

  • Dr. Adele Buckely | Canadian Pugwash Group

    • Adele Buckley is a physicist, engineer and environmental scientist. Formerly, V.P. and founding partner of Sciex, developer and manufacturer of mass spectrometry systems with extensive worldwide installations V.P. Technology and Research, Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement; formerly V.P. Solarchem Environmental Systems. Her wide-ranging work includes innovation, entrepreneurial consulting, commercialization of new environmental technology and science, verification of performance and international projects in Bangladesh and China.
      For many years, she has been a volunteer peace activist with Canadian Pugwash, the national affiliate of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Nobel Peace Prize 1995). She is a member of the international Pugwash Council, past Chair of Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG), presently Board Member and Treasurer. She leads the CPG campaign for a nuclear-weapon-free Arctic. Since 2007, she has presented the proposal in 9 countries, often several times. An important initial step would be for the Arctic policy of the Government of Canada to support eventual formation of a nuclear weapon free Arctic.
  • Miriam Hird-Younger | Board, Engineering Without Borders

    • For over ten years, Miriam has worked and volunteered with nine international development and social justice organizations in Canada, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Sri Lanka, always with the intention of deepening her understanding of the structures and systems that underpin poverty, social injustice and inequality. Miriam is now a researcher and practitioner of international development, food and agricultural systems, gender and youth leadership, with focus areas in West Africa and Canada. From 2011-2014, Miriam worked with Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB), during which time she managed a development program that supported improved agricultural education opportunities for youth in Ghana. Miriam is now a member of the Board of Directors of EWB. In Canada, Miriam has been involved in social justice movements and programs, such as the Grey Bruce Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa. Miriam graduated with a Bachelor Honours from the University of Ottawa’s International Development and Global Studies program in 2011 and with a Masters in Sociology from York University in 2016. She is now a PhD student in Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Miriam is a Graduate Associate of the Centre for Feminist Research and the Centre for Critical Development Studies and a member of the Sociology of Development Research Cluster of the Canadian Association of Sociology. Miriam’s research examines trust within the participation of local communities in development projects. Whether in academia or in her professional experience, Miriam is passionate about building community and working in partnership to share research, to address complex socio-political challenges and to drive positive and sustainable change. When she gets the chance, Miriam often returns to the small farm where she grew up in Southern Ontario to help bottlefeed lambs and feed the sheep.
  • Betty Li | Lead Front-end Instructor, Bitmaker Labs; Program Developer, Shopify

    • Betty’s path to becoming a web developer was an unconventional one. Starting her career in a different industry, she discovered her affinity for coding while managing online ads. Guided by that spark of curiosity, Betty forged her new path into tech by enrolling in Bitmaker’s Web Development immersive program over three years ago. Upon graduation, she joined Think Research Corp as a web developer. Helping those who also wanted to gain new career skills, Betty rejoined Bitmaker as an Assistant Instructor for over one and a half years before becoming a Lead Instructor for Front-End Web Development. Her role expanded to product development, creating curriculum and working on internal infrastructure. Betty has stayed within the realm of tech education with her current role at Shopify. Here, she is designing a program to level up the technical skills for Shopify’s support teams. Within the community, she organizes workshops for Women Who Code Toronto, and spends her free time building learning tools for aspiring programmers.
  • Dr. Janet Rossant | Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus, Professor at UofT

    • Former Chief of Research at the hospital for Sick Children and is currently a senior scientist in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology of Molecular Genetics and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of Toronto. She was the recipient of the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award for 2015.
  • Dr. Connie Eaves | Director and Co-Founder, Terry Fox Laboratory

    • Co-founder of the Terry Fox Laboratory in British Columbia, working on hematopoietic-stem cell biology. She is the President of the International Society of Experimental Hematology.


Fundamentals of Storytelling
Presented by TD

Storytelling is the oldest form of education and it’s been proven that we remember stories much more than data, facts or charts. Stories make presentations better, stories make ideas stick and stories help us persuade. Hear Corrine Bell, Recruitment Manager at TD share the fundamentals of storytelling and learn how to frame your unique knowledge in a way that engages your audience with your purpose and ideas.

Corrine Bell | TD Recruitment Manager

Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Presented by Schneider Electric

Join Jenny Ng, Field Services Business Development Director and Maria Celis, Solutions Sales Representative at Schneider Electric to discuss the barriers women face in the workplace, particularly in male dominated industries such as the engineering industry. Hear both of their unique stories about how they learned to break the glass ceiling and the importance of knowing how to effectively brand yourself.

Jenny Ng | Marketing Director for Field Services Canada at Schneider Electric
Jenny Ng has 12+ years of experience working in a variety of roles in the energy industry. She is currently the marketing director for the Field Services Canada business at Schneider Electric where she is responsible to drive business growth and marketing strategies. Prior to working for Schneider Electric, she worked for General Electric as the global technology partnership leader, technology operations manager and new product development in the GE Energy Management business. She enjoys leading the Women in Schneider Electric committee and in her free time playing and watching sports.

Maria Celis | Solution Sales at Schneider Electric
Maria Celis has a Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Waterloo and currently works in Solution Sales, but has also held roles in Project Management and Offer Marketing for Schneider Electric over her 6 years with the company.
When Maria is not working, she enjoys playing soccer fan and volunteering with animal rescue organizations.

Insights from a Campus Recruiter
Presented by GE

Jennie An | Campus Programs Lead for GE Canada
Jennie joined GE in 2005 as an intern with GE Healthcare before becoming the business’ first National Service Sales Specialist for the Clinical Systems modality. Having stayed with Healthcare for several years, Jennie held various titles on behalf of the Commercial Service organization; allowing her to expand her portfolio to include multiple modalities such as Diagnostic Imaging, Biomedical Solutions, and Asset Management.

In 2013, Jennie took on a brand new challenge, as the Campus Programs Lead for GE Canada. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing recruitment activities for GE’s world-class Leadership Programs; and building relations with the many Universities and Colleges in the country. Outside of GE, Jennie is a very active squash player and is known to openly challenge fellow GE personnel to a game

Ace the Interview
Presented by Hydro One

Job seeking processes can be tedious and nerve wrecking but it also unlocks new possibilities. Hear Eva and Charmaine, Recruitment Consultants from Hydro One share their tips so you can ace the interview and build a resume that truly stands out. Learn how to handle various types of interview styles, to effectively prepare answers, and how to leave a lasting impression with the employer! Hydro one also offers internship / new graduate opportunities and scholarships for women in engineering.

Eva Tong | Recruitment Consultant at Hydro One

Charmaine Lata | HR Recruiter at Hydro One


Consulting Case Competition

Interested in working with a team to create a solution for a real industry problem?Work with a team of four people over the conference weekend to turn a Deloitte’s case to a conceptual solution and showcase your creativity and ingenuity to a panel of judges. Ideas will be judged based on your presentation, depth of market research and novel ideas. Details of the case will be revealed on the first day of the conference, January 21st, 2017. Each will have close to 24 hours to define the scope and recommendation. For the first round team will present to judges from various science, engineering and technological backgrounds and the top three teams will move to the second round to present to panel of judges from Deloitte.The winning team will be announced at the closing ceremony and awarded cash prize of $1000 CAD and lunch with Tech executives from Deloitte.

Presented By:
Wise Sponsor: Deloitte

Three Minute Thesis Research Competition

3MT Logo

Ever tried to sum up your 70 page thesis into 3 minutes? Think it’s impossible? Think again.
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by students and builds students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience using only a single slide. Undergraduate and Graduate students will present to diverse panel of judges with prizes of $500 CAD, NSERC-funded conference travel grant to be part of the Gender Summit North America 2017, and interview to Schneider Electric’s rotational internship program.

Presented By:
NSERC, Schneider Electric, and Dr. Mavriplis, NSERC/ Pratt & Whitney Chair for WISE
WISE Sponsor: Chair for Women Wise Sponsor: Schneider Electric Wise Sponsor: NSERC


We have found a very great deal for you with Strathcona Hotel!

The rooms are bookable via phone (416-363-3321), email (reservations@thestrathconahotel.com) or by using the online booking system.

Guests must request the block for the “Women in Science And Engineering” by phone or email to receive the discounted rates.

The rates are bookable based on their room availability only, there should be enough rooms for everyone, but the earlier you book your room the better!


  • Room for 2 : The rates are $119 plus 16% taxes per night for rooms with one queen bed, one king bed or two -twin beds for up to 2 people per room
  • Room for 4 : The rates are $149 plus 16% taxes per room per night for rooms with two double beds for up to 4 people per room

The discounted rates are available between January 19-23, 2017 for guests who wish to arrive earlier or stay later.


Sponsors make this conference possible and let us make this an unforgettable weekend.
Wise Sponsor: TD Bank
Wise Sponsor: Altera
Wise Sponsor: Schneider Electric
WISE Sponsor: GE WISE Sponsor: CPP Investment Board Wise Sponsor: Deloitte Wise Sponsor: Hydro One
Wise Sponsor: NSERC WISE Sponsor: 3M WISE Sponsor: RBC
WISE Sponsor: IBM
WISE Sponsor: Leigh Fischer WISE Sponsor: Aecon WISE Sponsor: Accenture WISE Sponsor: Amec Foster Wheeler WISE Sponsor: Ivey Business School WISE Sponsor: CH2M WISE Sponsor: Packetlabs WISE Sponsor: Ceridian WISE Sponsor: Microsoft WISE Sponsor: FDM
Academic sponsors
Wise Sponsor: University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Wise Sponsor: Ryerson University WISE Sponsor: University of Toronto Mississauga WISE Sponsor: University of Toronto Scarborough WISE Sponsor: University of Ottawa WISE Sponsor: Queen's University WISE Sponsor: McGill University WISE Sponsor: Windsor University WISE Sponsor: McMaster University WISE Sponsor: York University WISE Sponsor: Chair for Women
WISE Supporter: PheedloopWISE Supporter: The Cannon