Dean Wells and Prof Yu named among Canada's most powerful women

Monday, October 30, 2023

The dean of engineering and a professor in chemical engineering have been named to a high-profile list of Canada's 100 most powerful women.

Dean Mary Wells and Dr. Aiping Yu are listed among the leaders in education, business and the community who have made the grade and have campus-wide ties to the University of Waterloo.

The Women’s Executive Network (WXN), an organization that aims to propel and celebrate the advancement of professional women, released today its 2023 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winners to celebrate women across the country for their leadership and accomplishments.

Wells was named a recipient under the Canadian Tire Community Impact category. Since becoming dean in 2020, Wells has prioritized making Waterloo Engineering a welcoming community for all.

Chief among these initiatives within the Faculty has been taking meaningful action toward reconciliation with the creation of a new Elder-in-Residence role, becoming a founding partner of the Indigenous & Black Engineering Technology PhD Project, and continuing to invest in greater outreach initiatives to all equity-deserving groups to encourage their passion for STEM.

Yu received a nod in the BMO STEM category. Yu's primary research within the Department of Chemical Engineering is in materials development for energy storage and conversion, photocatalysts and nano composites. Her work will significantly impact the plastic industry by potentially helping plastic manufacturers enhance the properties of polymers to satisfy the demand for improved plastic consumer products.

Alumni Tabatha Bull (BASc' 00, electrical engineering) and Stephanie Thompson (BASc' 01, chemical engineering) also cracked WXN's Top 100 list. Bull, who is President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, was named to the Canadian Tire Community Impact category. Thompson, Engineering Manager at GM Canada and founder of STEM by Steph, was inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame after appearing on the Top 100 list for a fourth time.

“The challenges we face in our ever-changing world require innovative, unconventional approaches, and this belief informs our work and teaching at Waterloo,” said Dr. Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor of Waterloo. “Congratulations to these strong leaders from the UWaterloo community on being honoured for their meaningful contributions to society.”

Wells, Yu, Bull and Thompson will be celebrated in person at the 21st annual Top 100 Awards Gala, hosted at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto on November 30.

Dean Mary Wells

Dean Mary Wells has been named one of Canada's most powerful women by WXN for her impact on the community.

Dr. Aiping Yu

Dr. Aiping Yu has been named one of Canada's most powerful women by WXN for challenging the status quo in STEM.