NSERC Chair for
Women in Science & Engineering

Kerry Anne Mazurek

Dr. Kerry Anne Mazurek

Go for it! There is no better job.

Associate Professor (Water Resources Engineering)
Department of Civil, Geological, and Environmental Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
As an academic, what is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite aspect of my job is empowering students to serve society in important areas.

What are you researching and what excites you about it?
I work on a number of different areas including prevention of drowning at hydraulic structures, estimating and improving water quality, and problems related to erosion and scour of soils. I am excited about the opportunity to improve the quality of life for society.

What types of professions can students graduating in your field enter?

The students I work with will be Civil Engineers and work in all areas including municipal, provincial, and federal governments, consulting, industry, not-for-profit entities, and international development organizations.

Is your workplace male-dominated? If so, how do you negotiate being a woman in a male-dominated workplace and/or field?

My work place is male-dominated but is becoming less so as compared to 25 years ago. To negotiate this type of workplace, I just be myself and don't worry about what people think when I give my opinions.

How do you foster and encourage diversity in your workplace?

I have had a good mix of graduate students that include female students. On hiring committees, I am also watching to see if there seems like there might be discrimination.

What kinds of systemic support could institutions provide to help encourage girls and women to pursue careers in science and engineering?

Institution needs to ensure that there are a significant number of female faculty, who serve as examples and change the environment of the institution just by being there.

What advice would you give to girls or young women who are interested in careers in science or engineering?

Go for it! There is no better job. The work will be interesting for your entire life and you have a real opportunity at impacting society. The idea that practicing engineers spend all their time doing math is wrong. You don’t have to be a construction site manager either (but can if you want). The job opportunities are broad. One of my recent students suggest engineering could be defined better by “Engineering uses the creativity of art and the tools of science to serve society in solving problems.”. We work with people to solve problems and this is one of the most important aspects of our job.

As a professional in science or engineering, who are your role models and mentors?

My role models are those that are successful engineering practitioners, either male or female, that I meet through work or my involvement in engineering professional societies. I find there is something to learn from everyone.