Carleton University’s undergraduate student, Ann Gunaratnam has been awarded the Hydro One Women in Engineering Scholarship. The award is presented annually to women studying engineering who demonstrate strong communications skills, an impressive grade point average (GPA) and community engagement within their field through outreach, volunteer or educational activities with younger girls. The scholarship includes a prize of $5,000 and a paid developmental work term with Hydro One.
Gunaratnam, who will be entering her third year of study this fall in the Electrical Engineering Program offered by the research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design, has been involved with Engineers Without Borders and acted as a peer mentor for first-year students. She is currently engaged in a co-op placement at Hydro One and has previously interned at Carleton’s Department of Electronics and the National Research Council’s Flight Research Laboratory.
Carleton recently had the chance to sit down with Gunaratnam to discuss her award and the role of women in engineering:
Carleton University – How did you initially become interested in engineering?
Ann Gunaratnam – “I’ve always had a knack for science and math, but more importantly, I wanted to use technology to better the lives of people. What drew me to the Electrical Engineering Program at Carleton was the diverse range of fields to which I could apply my technical training.”
CU – What drew you to Carleton specifically?
AG – “I would say the two things that made me want to study at Carleton were the atmosphere of the campus and the opportunities to work on research projects in my undergraduate career.”
CU – How did you feel when you discovered you had received the Hydro One Women in Engineering Scholarship?
AG – “Being named as one of the recipients of the Women in Engineering Scholarship was such an exciting milestone for me. The work term that accompanied the scholarship has been one of the most eye opening experiences I’ve had. It’s provided me with first-hand experience and training in the power industry, an area I am very passionate about.”
CU – How important is it for women to be engaged in engineering?
AG – “I believe women are the largest untapped potential in the field of engineering. I feel it’s important for women to have a presence in engineering, as it allows for more role models to help dispel the misconceptions on what is often considered to be an unconventional career path for women.”
CU – What advice would you offer to women who are considering studying engineering?
AG – “The inspiration I gain from seeing the ambition and involvement of women in the field of engineering is a driving force in my academic career. My advice for women considering studying engineering would be to go at it with full force. Continuously find things that keep you interested and engaged. You’ll find there are countless opportunities during your academic and professional career waiting to be seized and as long as you do what you love, you’ll excel.”
Please visit our Women in Engineering webpage for more information on the opportunities available for women looking to study engineering at Carleton.
About the Hydro One Women in Engineering Scholarship:
The Hydro One Women in Engineering Scholarship is an extension of Hydro One’s tangible support for young women wishing to embark on a career in Engineering. Fifteen scholarships of $5,000 each are available for women studying engineering at the undergraduate level in accredited Ontario universities. Women receiving a scholarship are also given the opportunity to engage in a paid developmental work term with Hydro One.
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