Inspiring Future Women in Science


Perimeter Institute hosted an inspirational half day conference on Monday, March 9, 2020. The annual event brought together like-minded young women with a strong interest in science and exposes them to the rewards, challenges, and possibilities of a career in science. 




Linda Hasenfratz
CEO, Linamar Corporation
EMBA, Ivey School of Business
BSc, University of Western Ontario (now Western University)

Linda Hasenfratz joined Linamar in 1990 and worked her way up from the ground floor, experiencing all aspects of the business including running a machine, engineering, and operations management. Linamar, an advanced manufacturing company combining leading-edge technology with deep manufacturing expertise, employs more than 29,000 people in 17 countries and generated sales of $7.6 billion in 2018. Linda has earned multiple awards and recognitions and is actively involved in many professional organizations; most recently she was installed as Western University’s 23rd Chancellor. Watch this talk now.

Mack_KatieKatie Mack
Assistant Professor of Physics at NC State University
Simons Emmy Noether Fellow at Perimeter Institute

PhD Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University;
Bachelor of Science, California Institute of Technology

Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator, both in traditional publications and social media. Her book, "The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)" comes out in June. Watch this talk now.
Twitter: @astrokatie; Facebook: AstroKatieLinkedIn; Instagram: AcademicNomad  

Daniel_JulietJuliet Daniel
Professor, Dept. of Biology, McMaster University

PhD Microbiology University of British Columbia; 
BSc Life Sciences Queen’s University 

Dr. Juliet Daniel is a Professor and Cancer Biologist at McMaster University. Dr. Daniel’s research led to her discovery of a new gene “Kaiso”, coined from the popular Caribbean music “calypso”. Her team currently studies the difficult to treat triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) that are most prevalent in young Black women. Dr. Daniel has been recognized for her research and youth mentorship by multiple awards including the UWI Vice Chancellor’s Award, a Hamilton YWCA Women of Distinction Award, and a Harry Jerome Award. Watch this talk now.
Twitter: @bajanjules27LinkedIn; Website: 

2020 PANEL DISCUSSION - Watch Online Now

Raponi_VanessaVanessa Raponi
Product Development EIT @ Spin Master
Founder of EngiQueers Canada

Bachelor of Engineering & Management (BEngMgt), McMaster University

Vanessa Raponi is a Product Development EIT on the Remote Control team at Spin Master - an international toy company founded in Canada. Vanessa graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering & Management from McMaster University in 2018. As a queer woman of colour, Vanessa has been a passionate advocate for intersectional diversity for many years, most notably founding the national non-profit EngiQueers Canada (with member groups in 31 universities in 9 provinces). EQ is now run by university students from coast-to-coast. Photo Credit: Eden Hennessey’s #TurningTablesinSTEM. Twitter: @vanessa_raponi; LinkedIn

Al-Abadleh_HindHind A. Al-Abadleh
Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, WLU
Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry, Air Quality and Climate Change, University of California Irvine (2019)
Chair, Environment Division, Chemical Institute of Canada
Treasurer & Member of Executive Committee, Nano Ontario Inc.
PhD Chemistry, University of Iowa; BSc Honors Chemistry, United Arab Emirates University

Dr. Al-Abadleh grew up in the United Arab Emirates. In high school, she developed an interest in the chemical impacts on the environment.  So, she studied chemistry in university, did her PhD in atmospheric chemistry, and postdoc work in geochemistry.  She is currently the Chair of the Environment Division for the CIC. Through research, teaching and outreach activities, Al-Abadleh highlights how chemistry helps us understand human impacts on the natural balance and its role in building a sustainable future. Website:; LinkedIn

Teed_JessalynJessalyn Teed
First Officer B737-800/8 Pilot, Sunwing Airlines
BESc Geography and Aviation, University of Waterloo

Jessalyn completed flight training and earned her commercial airplane pilot licenses from 2014-2017. She completed her Boeing 737- 800 type rating through the University of Waterloo and Sunwing “Cadet” program. In addition to her love for flying, she is actively developing Sunwing’s first Pilot Mentorship Program, and returned to the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre to help develop and instruct a Multi-Crew/CRM course. Jessalyn is a recipient of the Northern Lights Aviation Foundation Rising Star award and is a strong advocate for women in aviation - her goal is to “Equip, Encourage and Empower” the next generation of aviation professionals. 

Sun_SarahSarah Sun
Chief Data Strategist, GoldSpot Discoveries Corp
Organizer, Toronto Math Circles

Women’s Executive Network, Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, 2019

HMath, Co-operative Education, Double Major Mathematical Finance & Statistics, University of Waterloo

Sarah has worked across multiple industries including banking, technology, and natural resources. While she specializes in data value creation, she was trained as a data scientist and has worked in innovation, venture funding, data governance, and strategy.  As Chief Data Strategist for GoldSpot, she is focused on driving long-term growth and revenue through combining the geological sciences with artificial intelligence. Previously, she has coached Math Team Canada at the International Mathematics Olympiad. Currently, Sarah also works as a speaker and mentor to students looking to pursue STEM careers. LinkedIn


On-site attendees will connect with STEM professionals in small, informal groups. This portion of the program was not webcast.

Ali_AyeshaR. Ayesha Ali
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 
University of Guelph
PhD Statistics, University of Washington; MSc Statistics, University of Toronto; BSc Statistics & Actuarial Science, University of Western Ontario

Allen_StephanieStephanie Allen
Senior Environmental Scientist,
Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation

BSc (Hons), Trent University; M.EnvS (in progress), University of Toronto

Arvanitaki_AsiminaAsimina Arvanitaki
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Aristarchus Chair in Theoretical Physics, Perimeter Institute
PhD Theoretical Physics, Stanford University;
Bachelor of Physics, Athens University


Kellerman_JessicaJessica Kellerman, P.Eng. 
Senior Project Engineer – Stormwater, City of Waterloo
BScEng Environmental Engineering, University of Guelph


McAlister_ChryssaChryssa McAlister
Eye Physician and Surgeon
Saint Mary’s General Hospital & McMaster University

BSc Music and Biochemistry, Dalhousie University; Postgraduate piano performance, Prague Conservatory of Music; MD, Dalhousie University; BJ (Journalism) University of King’s College; Ophthalmology residency, University of Toronto; MHSc, Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto

Moghimi_NafisehNafiseh Moghimi
R&D Director, Mathematical Medicine Laboratory, University of Waterloo
Project Manager/Material Scientist at Element Material Technology
PhD Material Science and Nanotechnology, Chemistry Department, University of Waterloo; MSc Physics, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran; BSc Applied Physics, Kharazmi University, Iran  LinkedIn

Yumna Nasir
Director – Facilities Operations (Construction), EllisDon/Crosslinx Transit Solutions
Bachelor of Applied Technology in Architecture - Project & Facilities Management, Conestoga College; LinkedIn

Nguyen_AshleyAshley Nguyen
Application Scientist, Nicoya
BSc Chemistry, Wilfrid Laurier University


Stephanie Snook 
Chemist III, Septodont
BSc Chemistry, McMaster University;
Chemical Engineering Technology diploma, Mohawk College

Surdu_MarianaMariana Surdu
Process Engineer, Quadrad Manufacturing (A Linamar Company)

MSc Mechanical Engineering; Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania; Project Management PM and GD&T (Geometric & Dimension and Tolerance), Humber College; PMP Certification, PMI; 
Project Management Diploma, Linamar; LinkedIn

Terry_DonnaDonna Terry
Voice Specialist II, BlackBerry
Advanced Diploma Network Engineering and Security Analyst,
Mohawk College



Many organizations are working to highlight female STEM professionals. The following organizations’ directories and websites were a valuable resource for connecting to this year’s guests:

Interested in sharing your story at a future event? Contact us at!

High school students of all genders are welcome to register to attend this annual event.