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Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2021


International Women in Engineering Day is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the work and achievements of female engineers. Meet a few of the women making J.D. Irving, Limited businesses a better, safer, more innovative and exciting place to be!

Hannah Caron, EIT --Tissue Research Specialist

BSc Chemistry (MTA), Masters of Chemical Engineering (UNB)

 Hannah Caron Eng


“I love to learn and be part of a team so my favourite part about working in research and innovation for Irving Consumer Products is the engaging, collaborative environment,” says Hannah “Every project is different and I get to work with a wide variety of team members to enhance the experience our customers and consumers have with our tissue products.”

Hannah wishes aspiring female engineers would 'just go for it'. She believes the opportunities are truly endless and that building your network and connecting with other female engineers early in your career is key!

"I have the privilege of being on a team with so many inspiring women,” adds Hannah. “Knowing them, learning from them and seeing their success is motivating and confirms that my choice to go into engineering was the right one.”


Ashley McIntyre, P.ENG – Project Engineer 

University of New Brunswick, B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

 Ashley McIntyre Eng


“I am still fairly new at NBM Railways but I love being directly involved in an operation that has huge growth potential with new challenges every day,” says Ashley. “Also, the people I get to work with are always willing to help when needed and have a tremendous amount of railway specific knowledge.”

Ashley’s advice to young female engineers is to gain good time management skills at work from the start and ask a lot of questions.


Kersti Lee, EIT – Team Lead, Engineering

University of New Brunswick, B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

 Kersti Lee Engineering Women


“Engineering is unique because there are so many avenues that can be pursued,” says Kersti. “You can work with numbers, people, technology and nature, all in a day's work. You're not limited to one task, but can branch out to other areas and work with people from many different professions.”


Helen Ocampo Medina -- Business Improvement Analyst 

University of New Brunswick, B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering

 Helen Ocampo Eng


“In Engineering, do not focus on finishing first, focus on making it to the finish line and take advantage of the opportunities that you find along the way,” says Helen.

“I would tell young girls that want to get in this field to take it with a grain of salt. It is really rewarding! You just have to get in there and bring a positive attitude, an ‘I will work very hard mindset’ and a good sense of humor. This profession opens not one but so many doors to a variety of jobs where you apply your technical and interpersonal skills.”


Vivien Kossuth - Associate Reliability Engineer

B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, University of Manitoba

 Vivien Kossuth Eng


“We need to understand historical perspectives to understand why we need to promote women in engineering today,” says Vivien. “Retention and promotion of women in engineering is the responsibility of everyone who see themselves as a leader who can make positive change. I do my part by sponsoring the Women in Engineering Leadership Award that is eligible to all high school students entering the University of Lethbridge Engineering Transfer Program.”

Vivien urges all aspiring engineers to read the study by Calnan and Valiquette (2010), Paying Heed to the Canaries in the Coal Mine, commissioned by Engineers Canada and to participate in “30 by 30“ initiatives. Engineers Canada is the body that develops national guidelines for provincial and territorial engineering regulators and licence holders, and oversees accreditation of engineering programs at Canadian universities.


Laura MacQuarrie -- Project Manager (Strategy & Governance)

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick

 Laura MacQuarrie ENG


“The best part of my job is seeing ships that were built in the Halifax Shipyard sail out to sea,” says Laura. “It represents the culmination of the amazing effort everyone across the company has put into building ships for Canada.”

Laura encourages young engineers to stay curious and ask lots of questions! 


Irving Wallboard's female Engineers Cathy, Vanessa and Shelley are joined this summer by three engineering students from University of New Brunswick, Julia Lloyd, Meaghan Flinn and Rachelle Basque. 


Julia Lloyd - UNBF, Mechanical, 2nd year

 "I was heavily influenced by my dad and brother who are engineers. I was always interested in physics and how things moved, and wanted to learn how to build them myself."


Rachelle Basque - UNBF, Mechanical, 4th year

 "I'm one of the few females in my class, but it's never an issue. I've found that I've created very close bonds with other female engineers that you meet."


Meaghan Flinn - UNBF Chemical, 3rd year

"Due to COVID-19 we weren't able to go into the labs this past year, but at Wallboard, I'm able to apply what I learned this year in real life. So not only am I gaining real life, on the job experience, but I'm also continuing to learn."

 Eng Women Group Photo
Cathy Dochstader, Meaghan Flinn, Julia Lloyd, Vanessa Barefoot, Shelly Fyffe, Rachelle Basque.