Meet the Women in Engineering at Morrison Hershfield

Celebrating amazing women engineers who are pushing boundaries and making a difference in our world.

Women have long been underrepresented in the engineering field, but that is beginning to change. More and more women are entering engineering fields and making their mark as leaders in the industry. Highlighting the accomplishments of women in engineering helps shift traditional stereotypes, promotes a more inclusive environment and makes it more inviting for women to join the profession.

Women who are engineers bring a unique perspective to the table, one that has often been overlooked or ignored. Highlighting their contributions creates a stronger foundation for innovation and demonstrates real progress within the engineering field, though there is still work to be done. We must continue to break down gender barriers and create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected regardless of gender identity or background.

Morrison Hershfield proudly shares some of the inspirational stories of our colleagues who are making a difference in their respective fields. Our hope is to motivate more women to pursue engineering as a career.

2-Jun-22-2023-05-31-54-6915-PMJob Title/ Role: Design Manger, Registered Architect, Technical Liaison with our team in Vizag, India.

What does your job title mean? I’m responsible for taking projects from the information/gathering stage through production to the final client-hand off stage. I make sure all production team members are given the appropriate info needed to be efficient and produce quality work.

Why did you choose to go into engineering? First, let me mention that I am an architect by profession. However, as an Architect, we know a little bit about everything. I went into this career because I knew Architecture/Engineering is a male dominated industry and I like a challenge. I wanted to be different, I loved the Arts and I love to build and put things why not!? sAJEEN 1

How does the work you do affect people’s lives and the communities you serve? Architecture/Engineering is all about improving the health and safety of the community. We design the built environment with the intent that it has a positive impact in the way people navigate through this world. For example, one of my main projects is designing small cell telecommunication structures/facilities for various wireless carriers. It brings me great satisfaction when I drive down Biscayne Blvd in Miami and see all the small cell poles strategically designed and placed, and while the residence and commuters may not know the tedious process of design/permitting, I know that we have improved how many people live, work and play in the various communities we impact.

What motivates you in your career? Technology, innovation and culture. Architecture/Engineering is dynamic, and I enjoy learning about new cultures and look forward to designing new technology and built environments to facilitate this new generation. I also like the sense of accomplishment I feel knowing that I have impacted someone’s quality of life, no matter how small.

How did you get to where you are today? I always have had the drive to keep evolving. I feel very grateful to have had mentors at Morrison Hershfield who have helped and positioned me to succeed. My Team has, against my will, recommended and volunteered me for projects that are outside my expertise, but in the end, I excelled and came out learning a new skill, project type and knowledge base. I’ve also attained my Architectural licenses to become a Registered Architect while at Morrison Hershfield largely due to the support and exposure of being a part of this great family.

SAJEEN 2What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I love to travel and to take mini vacations – it’s my way of regrouping! I like experiencing new places and cultures.

Tips for starting a successful career in engineering? I won’t lie, it can be challenging at times - which can be good! The industry is ever evolving, so be prepared to keep adding more to your learning curve. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know the answer!” – there is always someone who would love to provide an answer. And finally, don’t shy away from new projects or jobs – you CAN do it! I knew nothing about telecommunication when I first came to MH (I came in as an architect), I originally thought I would give it 6 months and it’s now been 10 years!

1-Jun-22-2023-05-35-00-8438-PMJob Title/ Role: Senior Water Resources Engineer, Principal, and Department Manager for Water Resources Ottawa.

What does your job title mean? I am responsible for leading the planning and design of water resources infrastructure projects. I also manage a local water resources team and work with my colleagues and other teams across Canada on various projects.

What do you do at work? I guide and oversee water resources projects primarily for public sector clients including municipal, provincial and federal government, and the conservation authorities. I mainly do project management and QA/QC, and provide subject matter expertise. Karyn 1 updated

How does the work you do affect people’s lives and/or the communities you serve? The work that I do has a direct impact on both people and the environment. I provide solutions for my clients to help minimize flood risks – which of course, nobody wants to have their home, infrastructure or land be flooded! I design stormwater and drainage management solutions to help control rainfall runoff, prevent erosion, and improve water quality in our receiving water courses (such as lakes, rivers and streams). We also provide hydraulic designs for bridges, culverts, and channels that can often be impacted by major infrastructure projects.

How did you get to where you are today? I wasn’t the best student in university, and naturally had a few setbacks. Despite those setbacks, I stayed at Queens University and was offered the opportunity to do my Masters. It was during that time that I found a new confidence and a vison of what I wanted to pursue and where I wanted to be. I continued to follow that vision with passion. It wasn’t easy by any means along the way. I needed to show up even when I wasn’t feeling it and at times had to remind myself to put one foot forward – even with small steps. I learned the value of perseverance and being open to new challenges.

What motivates you in your career? Getting to work on interesting projects for wonderful clients. My team and colleagues at MH are my big motivator – I love them!

What activities do you enjoy outside of work? Spending time with my family, hot yoga, gardening, cycling, and watching my kids play sports.

Karyn 2Tips for starting a successful career in engineering? This might sound cliché, but I think there’s something to be said about leaning into challenges in small steps. Finding your “people” within the industry is also important – seek out people you connect with at your workplace, develop those relationships, and have some fun. Having that comradery and support in your corner will help you throughout your entire career. 

When I was in high school, I was: A bit rebellious! I was very focused on the social side of school and not always focused on marks.

4Job Title/ Role: Solid Waste Designer, Edmonton

What does your job title mean? My role is a branch of environmental engineering that focuses on solid waste design and management. My job involves a lot of designing landfills and the construction related to landfills and waste transfer stations.  

What do you do at work? Normally most of my work is office based. I work on annual reporting of landfill sites, solid waste management planning studies, and feasibility studies for waste to energy. Depending on the season, I go out to landfill project construction sites. I ensure the contractor is working on and meeting the specific project requirements.

wAJEEHA 1Why did you choose to go into engineering? I chose a BA in Civil Engineering because I was good in math and I felt it was an interesting career path! I became interested in specializing in environmental engineering through my exposure working on solid waste management projects and by doing research during my bachelor’s degree studies. I came to Canada from Oman to complete my masters degree and to learn more about solid waste engineering, which I was very interested in!

How does the work you do affect people’s lives and/or the communities you serve? In so many ways! My work revolves around ensuring communities have safe and sustainable waste reduction, recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and zero waste processes and facilities. Ultimately, I help to create a greener and safer planet.

How did you get to where you are today? In Oman (where I was doing by BA), there wereWAJEEHA 2 not many opportunities available for me if I wanted to specialize in environmental or solid waste engineering. I decided to come to Canada to continue my studies because I felt that there were many more opportunities available to me here. Getting to Canada was a huge struggle. I applied for many scholarships and eventually was offered an opportunity to learn through the research project work that I had previously done. When I got to Canada, I was worried that I did not have Canadian experience and that would hold me back. So, I networked as much as I could and reached out to people on LinkedIn. I asked them what I needed to do to succeed in this field. I was determined! People got to know me and understood my skills. The connections I made have really helped me

What motivates you in your career? I have the hunger to learn and grow in my field. I enjoy working on new projects and having my eyes opened to new experiences. The exposure I am getting is keeping me motivated.

What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I love to travel – seeing and exploring new places. Since I am new to Canada, I am really enjoying the opportunity to explore the country.

Tips for starting a successful career in engineering? Determination. If you feel like something is not possible, try your best to keep going. You can do it! We need to believe in ourselves that we CAN do the hard things and we CAN succeed.

3Job Title/ Role: Building Science Consultant and soon to be Department Manager of our new Los Angeles office!

What does your job title mean? It’s about problem solving and the design and construction of buildings. It’s a varied role.

What do you do at work? When I’m in production mode I can spend a lot of time at the computer, but I also do a lot of design reviews and construction field reviews. I also have staff management roles where I help junior staff navigate the technical and political sides of our role as consultants and help clients navigate their construction or rehabilitation projects. cAROLINE 1

How does the work you do affect people’s lives and/or the communities you serve? In a vary tangible way! The work that I do is all about improving the quality of the built environment. I solve water and energy efficiency issues, helping people purchase new buildings and make financial decisions based on the quality of the construction, and help to create new buildings that are durable and efficient to last many years without long-term issues. The work I do promotes sustainability and efficiency.

How did you get to where you are today? Trial and error (to a certain extent!). I finished my degree in environmental engineering and took classes from different disciplines along the way to sample different things. I worked for an architect right out of school and found that I missed having the technical balance. I took another course and found a job that provided me with opportunities to learn and get involved in more varied projects. My luck came when I entered my career at the end of the leaky condo crisis in BC. I have moved around quite a bit over the years and have contributed to the industry in Alberta, Oregon, and now Southern California. 

What motivates you in your career? How different every day can be. I love seeing a tough problem solved. I love doing a review of a building design, recognizing there is a challenge and wondering how we’re going to solve it. I love when my teams come together to work on a challenge and get to see the successful implementation of that solution in the field.

What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I love arts and culture and I’ll try any craft, anytime. I like to spend time in the outdoors, camping and hiking, or with my dog in my garden. During the pandemic I took up beekeeping!

caroline 2Tips for starting a successful career in engineering? Your voice needs to be heard, and the only way it can is if you speak! Share and discuss your ideas, let others know why your ideas may have a positive impact. There will always be someone in the room who will recognize that your ideas are YOUR ideas.

When I was in high school, I was: Hyper, nerdy, artsy, outdoorsy, and AWKWARD, but I wanted so much to be cool and unique! I loved science and arts, was equally charmed by my physics class as by photography and graphic design. I definitely explored many experiences before I figured out which way to go.



Morrison Hershfield is a market leading, employee-owned professional engineering and management firm that has been making a difference since 1946. We deliver technically sophisticated, cost effective and sustainable infrastructure solutions across the globe.

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