NSERC Chair for
Women in Science & Engineering

Qiuyan Yuan

Qiuyan Yuan

Keep your dream and never give up.

Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering
University of Manitoba

Qiuyan Yuan joined the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba in July of 2013 as an assistant professor. She earned her PhD degree from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Yuan has 10 years research and development experience in sustainable nutrient removal and recovery processes applied to wastewater and biosolids. Since 2014, her research area has expanded to solid waste treatment and management. Currently, she is focusing on: 1) developing technology to produce high value product form solid waste including organic waste, glass and tires; 2) landfill methane mitigation using innovative bio-cover, 3) wastewater nutrient removal and recovery, including landfill leachate treatment. She has supervised and co-supervised 12 MSc and PhD students. Prior to joining the University of Manitoba as an assistant professor, she was a process specialist at Stantec Consulting Inc. where she worked on many process design projects for water and wastewater treatment plants. From these projects she gained valuable industrial experience, which she continues to use in her research

As an academic, what is your favourite part of your job?

Sharing my knowledge with my students and watching them grow and thrive.

What are you researching and what excites you about it?

How to treat wastewater and solid waste in a cost-effective and sustainable way. Finding a solution to a problem related to the environment.

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

Consulting firms, municipalities and governments.

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

Yes. I don't have any problems working with male/female engineers in my workplace.

How do you foster and encourage diversity in your workplace?

I recruit students with many cultural backgrounds.

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

Have a female mentorship program.

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

Keep your dream and never give up.

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

My PhD advisor Dr. Jan Oleszkiewicz is my most important role model and mentor. Others throughout my career have been: Dr. Jeannette Montufar, Dr. Christine Wu, Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst.