On Campus

Waterloo Engineering hires first female dean

But women still underrepresented

The new dean of Canada’s largest engineering school, the University of Waterloo, is a woman. Pearl Sullivan will be the first female to take on the top job when she starts on July 1.

Sullivan is originally from Malaysia. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Technical University of Nova Scotia and her PhD at the University of British Columbia. She taught at the University of New Brunswick and then Waterloo where she founded the graduate program in nanotechnology and chairs the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.

Sullivan isn’t the first female engineering dean in Canada. Elizabeth Cannon was Dean of Engineering at the University of Calgary before she went on to become president in 2010.

But engineering schools are still mostly male. Only 20.6 per cent of undergraduate engineers in 2001 were female. The proportion declined to 17.7 per cent in 2011, reports Engineers Canada.

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