Engineering Students Win Memorial Scholarships

May 28, 2009 - News Release

Two University of Guelph students have been awarded scholarships from the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF).

Madavine Tom, a third-year environmental engineering student, is one of five outstanding students across the country to receive a 2009 CEMF undergraduate engineering scholarship in recognition of her accomplishments. Micha Wallace, an M.Sc. candidate who also completed her undergraduate degree at Guelph, received the 2009 Vale Inco Master's Engineering Scholarship.

The scholarships were created to honour the memory of the 14 women who were slain at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 and to encourage women to choose a career in engineering.

Recipients are chosen for being community leaders, active volunteers and role models, especially for girls and young women. The $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and $10,000 graduate scholarship winners also help promote engineering as a career through local schools and community programs. The awards were handed out earlier this month at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers.

Tom is a member of the U of G chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a non-profit agency that helps people in developing communities gain access to technologies that will improve their lives. She was honoured for her volunteer work and for "continually sharing her passion with others, more specifically young women, to inspire them to take the less conventional path towards engineering," according to Suzelle Barrington, CEMF president.

"The Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation is proud to present these students with these well-deserved scholarships," said Barrington. "We have every confidence that each one of them will succeed in their future endeavours. There is no doubt that they are Canada's future engineering leaders."

Wallace's area of research is biological engineering, a non-traditional field that includes human kinetics, clinical biomechanics and ergonomics. She was part of the design team that created a single-handed bicycle lever to accommodate the needs of a nine-year-old girl with a disabled left hand. The project earned a first-place finish in the 2007 National Dyson Canada Design competition.

“Micha is an outstanding woman and we are lucky to have her representing the Foundation and the profession of engineering as a whole,” said Barrington. “She is bright, and hardworking and committed to her profession. Our goal is to attract more women to engineering, and Micha is a role model for other young women.”

For media questions, contact U of G Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982

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