Carolyn Ren named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women of 2021

Monday, October 25, 2021

Carolyn Ren was named among the top 100 most powerful women in Canada in the annual rankings released by theWomen’s Executive Network (WXN). This year’s list from the University of Waterloo also includes Jacqueline Beckford-Henriques, Suzanne Kearns, Anita Layton, Carolyn Ren and Pearl Sullivan (in memoriam). 

WXN rankings are widely seen as a measure of exceptional impact for leadership in business, research, the arts, public administration and community advocacy.

Although the WXN rankings designate the most powerful women in Canada, the organization takes a somewhat unconventional approach to defining power. Whereas other rankings may understand power as a measure of wealth, status or physical strength, WXN sees power as grounded in compassion, humility and the promotion of collective wellbeing. 

As part of its mandate, WXN sets out to support equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in senior leadership throughout professional and public life in Canada. The organization also hosts professional development workshops and produces research on EDI, women in the workforce and women in leadership in Canadian companies. 

Carolyn Ren, a professor of MME, is also the director of the Waterloo Microfluidics Laboratory. The lab is dedicated to gaining a fundamental understanding of microfluidics and nanofluidics and developing chip-based technology for biological, chemical and biomedical diagnosis, analysis and treatment.

Carolyn is a member of the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology, the Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research, the University’s Water Institute and Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology. She is also a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and a fellow of the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers. From 2009 to 2019, she held a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip technology. 

An entrepreneur, Ren has co-founded four companies with different specializations: Advanced Electrophoresis Solutions Inc, which works in protein separation; Quantwave Technology Inc., which focuses on microwave sensing for water and food quality control; Air Microfluidic Systems Inc., which is involved in soft robotic wearable systems; and Alphaxon, which works in protein fractionation.

See 2021 Canada's Most Powerful Women for full story.