Women in Engineering

The University of Guelph is increasing awareness of STEM among thousands of girls and women, as well as supporting the inclusion and retention of women in Science, Techonolgy, Engineering and Math (STEM) through student-focused programs. In November 2022, a series of new initiatives were launched under the umbrella of the Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering to help close the engineering gender gap.

Jana Levison performing an experiment in the material science lab.

Meet Jana Levison, PhD, P.Eng., the inaugural Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering. Dr. Levison is an Associate Professor in Water Resources Engineering at University of Guelph. Learn more about Levison.

The Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering was created in 2022 via a generous gift from Brian and Diana Doody, and at the time of its announcement, was the latest and largest in a string of philanthropic investments by the Doody Family to the University of Guelph. Both retired engineers in Waterloo ON, Brian and Diana are the parents of Laura Ranieri (nee Doody; B.ENG ’09), whose exceptional undergraduate experience at Guelph’s School of Engineering was part of the inspiration for the family’s support of this Chair. The gift will be fully matched by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, School of Engineering and the President's Office and support the activities of the Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering for at least the next 15 years.

The gift was announced during an event held on campus Nov. 1, 2022. Click here for the full story: Doody Family Gift Announcement

Chair Objectives

Retention and Inclusion

Female student performing an experiment in the fluid mechanics lab.

The Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering will foster the retention and inclusion of women in STEM and engineering. This includes supporting the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) club and developing new undergraduate summer research positions in the School of Engineering. Pictured is Christina Zeuner, a PhD student in environmental engineering works in Jana Levison's research lab.

Professional Development for Students

Group photo of women attending a RISE conference in the Albert A. Thornborough atrium.

The RISE conference brings together female engineers & scientists. This is a safe and engaging environment to discuss, share and learn about various professional development topics as well as talk about various professional development topics, career paths and hurdles.

Community Outreach

Young girls posing around the University of Guelph cannon. The cannon has been painted, reading "#WOMEN IN STEM".

Led by Dr. Joanne O'Meara, a professor in the Department of Physics, outreach initiatives will involve kindergarten to grade eight students, introducing them to STEM concepts from a young age. O’Meara has more than 20 years' experience in the post-secondary education sector and is a strong advocate for engaging youth in STEM activities. Learn more about O’Meara. Pictured is Guelph's tradition of painting "Old Jeremiah" cannon with the Creative Encounters 2022 All-Girls Summer Camp.                

Building Community Through Events

Group photo of volunteers for GoEngGirl from the Women in Science and Engineering club at the University of Guelph.

Cultivating a connected, supported community is a critical mission for the Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering across campus and beyond. For example, GoEngGirl is held every year for girls in grades 7 to 10, and is run by amazing volunteers from WiSE.              


Jean Hein, Manager of Outreach, CEPS: jhein@uoguelph.ca

Jana Levison, Associate Professor, SOE: jlevison@uoguelph.ca