Catherine Mavriplis

Catherine Mavriplis

Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Ottawa

Chair title

NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Ontario)

Chair program

Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program


Chairholder since 2011


The primary goal of the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Ontario) is to address issues for the entire spectrum of girls and women in these numerous and demanding fields from early interest in schools, through university studies and professional lives. The program is comprehensive in its approach to advancing women in science and engineering (S&E) addressing:

  • recruitment to the S&E professions (through outreach to the community and schools, and through university-based programs to attract more women and further develop their skills and motivations);
  • retention and advancement of women professionals already employed in S&E sectors (through career development activities for women professionals at large and diversity awareness activities for men and women); and
  • the status of women and the S&E environment through an interdisciplinary research program with the social sciences.

The vision is to shift the thinking of girls and women to believe they can thrive in S&E careers, while improving the educational and professional S&E environments for all. Ultimately, this increase in diversity serves as a driver for innovation and benefits Canadian society and Canada’s performance in the global knowledge-based economy.

Catherine Mavriplis, PhD, PEng, PE is a Full Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Mavriplis has been a professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering since 1991, primarily at the George Washington University in the United States. She has also worked as a program manager at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in Mathematics and as a research fellow at the University of Oklahoma in Meteorology. Her specialization is in Computational Fluid Dynamics. She has served as President of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Society of Canada and on the Council of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. In 2016, she received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award for Education. Dr. Mavriplis has worked under NSF ADVANCE funding to increase the participation of women in S&E academia since 1996, notably through the “FORWARD to Professorship” workshops, as described in the 2016 book bearing that title.

The Leacross Foundation provides major support for the Chair program based on its mission to educate women and children in Canadian society. CAE Inc., a global leader in aircraft simulation and training, and the aerospace and defence company, Lockheed Martin Canada, also provide financial support for the Chair based on their interests in S&E education and fostering diversity in the engineering industry.

Building on the 2011-2016 Chair activities, the 2017-2020 renewal term program will support a new Women’s Leadership Program and a Women’s Entrepreneurship Program for university students in collaboration with the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and the NSERC Chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design. Additionally, the Chair will support partners in Northern Ontario and in Indigenous communities of Ontario, to reach a wider population of girls and women.


  • The Leacross Foundation
  • CAE Inc.
  • Lockheed Martin Canada

Contact information

Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Ottawa
161 Louis Pasteur
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5800, ext. 8961
Fax: 613-562-5177


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