Ceiling breaker: Carolyn Hansson

Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Carolyn Hansson is a leading researcher in the field of materials science and engineering who has recently been named a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to materials engineering.

She was the first female student to attend the Royal School of Mines at Imperial College, London, and the first woman to graduate with a PhD in metallurgy from there. In the early days, she was frequently the only female among 2,000 to 3,000 attendees at professional conferences. Having attended several conferences aimed at encouraging women to enter the field, her conclusion has been that the best thing she could do to achieve this is to be good at her job.

She excelled in a career that spanned both industry and academia and covered fields as diverse as ion implantation of electronic components to erosion of turbine blades.

Hansson joined the University of Waterloo in 1996 as vice-president of university research and professor of materials engineering, where she has distinguished herself as a gifted educator and world expert on the corrosion of steel in concrete.

Photo credit: One for the Wall

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