IEEE Canada Women in Engineering Outreach

IEEE Women in Engineering Logo
Special Interest Co-located Event – Presented by IEEE Canada’s Women in Engineering Affinity Group

Friday, October 14th, 10:00-12:30

The IEEE Canada Women in Engineering Outreach at the EPEC 2016 is aimed at bringing together students and professionals from both industry and academia. Our goal is to reach out to female students and encourage them to explore careers in fields of Electrical Power and Energy. Encouragement will come through the opportunity of engaging with women who devoted their careers to these industries. The outreach comprises of a line-up of enthusiastic and passionate female speakers who specialize in power and energy; they will speak about their career paths, perspectives on the industry and trends, tips on internship and job search, and extend on the importance of gender diversity for the future advancement of these sectors. Everybody is welcome to join this event. Come listen to this series of inspirational talks followed by a panel-style discussion and a lunch. You will have an opportunity to casually network, ask questions, meet with other IEEE members and executives, plus expand your network.

The admission is free, but you must register online.

Registrations Closed


  • 10:00-10:20 – Registration
  • 10:20-10:25 – Elena Uchiteleva – Opening Remarks
  • 10:25-10:45 – Joan E. Haysom – “Building a Career in the Integrated Grid”
  • 10:45-11:00 – Rachel Vanasse – “A Window into the Early Career of a Woman Engineer!”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Melike Erol-Kantarci – “A Career in Engineering. Engineering Your Own Career!”
  • 11:15-11:30 – Geneviève Favreau – “Finding Your Way for Those Who Didn’t Always Dream of Becoming an Engineer”
  • 11:30-11:45 – Ivana Kockar
  • 11:45-12:15 – Panel Discussion & Questions
  • 12:15-12:20 – Elena Uchiteleva – Closing Remarks
  • 12:20-13:20 – Networking & Lunch

About Speakers

Joan E. Haysom – “Building a Career in the Integrated Grid”

  • Joan E. Haysom Joan E. Haysom,
    Adjunct Professor at University of Ottawa, Senior Renewable Energy Specialist at Leidos Canada

Dr. Haysom is a Senior Renewable Energy Specialist, working in Ottawa with Leidos Canada – Renewable Energy and Climate Change Program.

Professor Haysom has more than 20 years of experience in semiconductor devices and high tech engineering, including Chipworks, Bookham Technology, Group IV Semiconductor, Nortel, National Research Council Canada, and uOttawa. Over the past 8 years she has applied her talents in solar industry, in applied research and system deployment – she has and is supporting the growth of three very successful Ottawa renewable energy entities: the SUNLAB, OREC and Leidos Canada. She is also active community builder, with engagements in several renewable energy and energy planning initiatives with the City of Ottawa, Hydro Ottawa, and IESO, and training of uOttawa students.

Areas of interest relate to realization of a high renewable energy electricity system, through applied and real-world centered research, technical excellence, partnership building, new deployments, best practices in systems design, economic and performance understanding, and best-in class engineering methodologies.

Dr. Haysom has taught Sustainable and Renewable Electric Power Systems in both English and French, she has been an active public speaker and guest lecturer on several topics in solar energy, as well as sustainable engineering. In May 2016 she was recognized by Women in Renewable Energy organization with the Women of Distinction in Solar Power Award.

Rachel Vanasse – “A Window into the Early Career of a Woman Engineer!”

  • Rachel Vanasse Rachel Vanasse,
    Engineering Analysis at Brookfield Renewable

Rachel obtained her B.Sc.A in Mechanical Engineering and graduated with Magna Cum Laude honours from the University of Ottawa in 2013. In 2014, she went on to complete an M.Eng. in Engineering Management, in order to complement her scientific knowledge with business insights.

During her studies, Rachel completed three consecutive summer internships at Brookfield Renewable, which served as a stepping-stone to her first position as a Junior Project Engineer within the Corporate Development Group.

In 2015, Rachel was given the opportunity to enter a mentorship program with Brookfield Renewable’s Chief Technical Officer where she assisted on strategic acquisitions of renewable assets, provided technical support to Brookfield Renewable’s current operations, and assessed the viability of cutting-edge technologies. In 2016, Rachel entered the Brookfield Renewable New Graduate Emerging Leaders program which involves a series of internal assignments with the overall goal of broadening her skills and accelerating readiness for leadership roles in the organization. As a first assignment she now leads technical due diligence efforts for North American acquisitions and re-financings while working collaboratively with the organization’s Capital Markets group.

Melike Erol-Kantarci – “A Career in Engineering. Engineering Your Own Career!”

  • Melike Erol-Kantarci Melike Erol-Kantarci,
    Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at University of Ottawa, and a Courtesy Assistant Professor at Clarkson University

Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci is a tenure-track assistant professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON and a courtesy assistant professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. She is the founding director of the Networked Systems and Communications Research (NETCORE) laboratory. Previously, she was the coordinator of the Smart Grid Communications Lab and a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa.

Dr. Erol-Kantarci received her Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Computer Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 2009 and 2004, respectively. During her Ph.D. studies, she was a Fulbright visiting researcher at the Computer Science Department of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She received the B.Sc. degree from the Department of Control and Computer Engineering of the Istanbul Technical University, in 2001. Dr. Erol-Kantarci has received a Fulbright PhD Research Scholarship (2006) and the Siemens Excellence Award (2004), and she has won two Outstanding/Best Paper Awards. She is the co-author of “Wireless Sensor Networks for Cost-Efficient Residential Energy Management in the Smart Grid” which is selected to “IEEE ComSoc Best Readings on Smart Grid Communications”. She is an editor of the IEEE Communications Letters and the International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks published by Hindawi. She is a senior member of the IEEE and the past vice-chair for Women in Engineering (WIE) at the IEEE Ottawa Section. She is currently the vice-chair of Green Smart Grid Communications special interest group of IEEE Technical Committee on Green Communications and Computing. Her main research interests are wireless networks, smart grid, cyber-physical systems, electric vehicles, wireless sensor networks, underwater sensor networks, mobility modeling and localization.

Geneviève Favreau – “Finding Your Way for Those Who Didn’t Always Dream of Becoming an Engineer”

  • Geneviève Favreau Geneviève Favreau,
    Project Analyst, System Planning – Downtown Core, Toronto Hydro

Genevieve is an engineer in training with the system planning – downtown core team at Toronto Hydro Electric System ltd. She is responsible for two distribution areas in the downtown core. She also holds a project management position on three different projects that are meant to implement new technology in the system.

Genevieve was born in Boucherville on the south shore of Montreal and moved to London Ontario in 2010 to pursue both her academic aspiration and her international rowing goals. Combining varsity rowing, school and a part time job at a rowing shell manufacturer in London, she graduated in 2016 with a BSc in Electrical Engineering degree from Western University.

After her third year in engineering, Genevieve was hired by Toronto Hydro for a 16 month internship in system planning, which helped her expand her network in the energy field and acquire experience in distribution engineering. This internship also exposed her to several Toronto groups active in sustainability and renewable energy projects, which contributed to grow her passion for energy storage and sustainable system designs.

Ivana Kockar

  • Dr. Ivana Kockar,
    Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, UK

Dr. Kockar obtained her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University (Montréal, Canada). Then she worked at the University of Manchester and Brunel University (London, UK) before coming to Strathclyde in 2007. In addition, she has 5 years of industrial experience.

Dr. Kockar currently leads a team of more than 10 researchers and PhD students who are looking at various aspects of developing new methodologies and tools to enable integration of renewable resources into power networks. This is a multidisciplinary work that includes development of new centralized and decentralized optimization tools for active network management of systems with distributed generation, demand participation and energy storage. The team is also using agent based modelling to evaluate new arrangements that can enable demand flexibility though market solutions and/or aggregators. In addition, in collaboration with colleagues from Management science, they are looking at applications of Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to investigate evolvement of future power networks and to develop decision tools that can help find solutions to improve and accelerate connections of distributed generators to already constrained distribution networks.

Dr. Kockar is actively involved in the IEEE Power and Energy Society. Her current roles include the Chair of the IEEE PES Computing and Analytical Methods Subcommittee (CAMS) and the Co-Organizer and Co-Chair of the IEEE PES Task Force: Agent-Based Modelling of Smart Grid Market Operations.

One of the key drivers of Dr. Kockar work is to transfer her research expertise into solutions and training for industry and other users. This includes projects such as: Implementation of new optimization and operation tools to improve integration of Distributed Energy Resources in Northern Iles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project by SSE; Analysis of connection options in Accelerating Renewable Connections (ARC) Low Carbon Network Fund Project with Scottish Power Energy Networks; Knowledge Exchange project with Community Energy Scotland on developing a tool to support evaluation of options to improve distributed generation connections. Dr. Kockar received Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Secondment Grant to work on modelling tools for distribution expansion and charging methodologies, and she is also a co-author of an academic report for Ofgem TransmiT project that was looking into different approaches to transmission pricing in the UK.