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Two new chairs will encourage women in science and engineering

Chairholders will push the boundaries of traditionally male disciplines

May 22, 2015 – Burnaby, British Columbia

Dr. Lesley Shannon for the BC/Yukon region and Dr. Eve Langelier for the Quebec region were announced today as new Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering during the Creating Connections 4.0 conference at Simon Fraser University.

The two leading Canadian women researchers will receive $95,000 each annually for five years, through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), with matching funding from host universities and industry partners, to encourage the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Both Chairs have already made important contributions to research by mentoring girls and women and by promoting gender equity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM fields–disciplines that remain predominantly male.

NSERC’s Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program began in 1996. Its goal is to increase the participation of women in science and engineering, and to provide role models for young women in these fields. The five Chairs are regionally based in the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie, and British Columbia/Yukon regions. NSERC funding must be matched by contributions from corporate sponsors.

Quick Facts

  • Dr. Lesley Shannon is an associate professor at the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University. She specializes in computing system design, in particular improving the way different types of computer systems work by increasing speed and creating the ability to run a wider range of applications.
  • Dr. Eve Langelier is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Université de Sherbrooke. She works in the field of mechanobiology and human biomechanics. She is particularly interested in developing approaches to prevent and treat long-term injuries to tissues (like tendons, ligaments and cartilage).
  • Promoting a supportive environment that provides equal opportunities for women to pursue careers in science and engineering is a top priority for NSERC. Chairholders discover, innovate and contribute to diverse perspectives and enhance the pool of human talent.
  • Industrial partner Simba Technologies Inc., a software company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, will provide 50 per cent of funding for Dr. Shannon’s Chair program. Simba staff will also assist in hosting tours for girls and young women to see examples of careers for computer scientists and engineers.
  • Creating Connections 4.0 brings together people of all genders and backgrounds for two days to discuss issues of personal and professional development, networking, and inspiration. The objective of this conference is to engage individuals and organizations to create a world where everyone can explore and participate in the opportunities provided by engineering, science and technology to improve our world.


“Encouraging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for young Canadians is a key commitment in our science, technology and innovation strategy. It helps ensure our young people have the opportunity to pursue higher education and well-paying careers in these fields. The Chairs being recognized today, Dr. Shannon and Dr. Langelier, were selected because of their leadership and dedication in inspiring the next generation of women and girls to pursue STEM careers.”
—The Honourable Ed Holder
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“NSERC’s Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering are committed to making science, technology, engineering and math more attractive to women and girls. Together with industry partners and community organizations, these Chairs promote careers in science and engineering for girls. We welcome the work of these researchers in continuing the program’s legacy to increase diversity, eliminate barriers and provide mentorship for the next generation of women discoverers and innovators.”
—Dr.B.Mario Pinto, President, NSERC

Associated Links

Dr. Eve Langelier

Dr. Lesley Shannon

This link will take you to another Web site Creating Connections 4.0


NSERC is the primary funding agency supporting Canada's science and engineering research community. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by working with over 3,000 Canadian companies that are participating and investing in post-secondary research projects.


Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-943-7618