Tag Archives: Women in Nuclear

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Rewarding Bright Leadership

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Elyse Allan, second from the right, at the GE Peterborough manufacturing plant.

She is one of the most powerful women in Canada and as President and CEO of GE Canada; Elyse Allan is helping to chart Canada’s energy future. In an industry primarily dominated by men, as documented by Statistics Canada, her ascent to the top is nothing short of remarkable.

A dual background in environment and business, Allan is one of the most influential leaders in the energy world. She has been a leading voice in advancing technology development initiatives with Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), and further leads efforts in driving innovation and competitiveness as a board member for MaRS and the Conference Board of Canada amongst others. For this leader of GE Canada, her passion for energy and innovation goes back to childhood.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this natural curiosity for the sciences,” she says. “Discovering how science and technology come together to solve global challenges, particularly in the energy space fascinates me.”

This fascination for problem solving has led her to be chosen as the 2016 Canadian Energy Person of the Year by the Energy Council of Canada. Formed almost 100 years ago, in 1923, the Energy Council of Canada is a founding member of the World Energy Council (WEC); a UN-accredited global energy body which covers all energy sectors in Canada. Since 2011 the organization has recognized Canadian leaders who make international contributions to the field of energy.

Allan’s contributions include a partnership between GE and Actua, providing more than 200,000 kids from across Canada with opportunities to gain hands-on experience through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.  She has played an active role in engaging government and policy makers to bring energy possibilities to more remote communities in Canada. Mrs. Allan was also part of a 10-member panel to advise Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on economic diversification.

Looking ahead, Mrs. Allan’s professional aspirations include stretching the boundaries of technology to meet the ever changing needs of Canada’s energy industry through advances in digital capabilities.

“In our businesses, we need to embrace new technologies, and expose our workforce to leading trends,” states Allan. “As leaders, whether executives or on boards, we need to be sure that we are creating the right conditions for new technologies.”

Under the leadership of Allan the GE Innovation Center in Calgary  is working on data based solutions to change the way energy companies operate in the field. The future of innovation at GE includes using advances in material sciences, 3-D printing, improved software, data analytics and sensors, providing necessary tools to deliver a brighter, more sustainable and prosperous energy future.

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WiN-Canada Conference and Call for Papers

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Talking Climate Change at WiN Global

By Heather Kleb
President
WiN Canada

In late August 2015, I had the pleasure of joining more than 400 Women in Nuclear (WiN)–Global members, from over 60 countries, at our annual conference in Vienna, Austria. Hosted by WiN–IAEA at the offices of the United Nations, the conference featured sessions on: medical use of radiation, safeguards and non-proliferation, nuclear security, and energy, environment and climate change.

Agneta Rising
Agneta Rising

One of the highlights of the conference was a climate-change panel with representatives from six countries. Among them was the Director General of the World Nuclear Association, Agneta Rising. Ms. Rising reminded participants of how quickly nuclear ramped up in the 70’s and that only one country (Germany) is now phasing out nuclear. This important context needs to be included in any discussion of the future of nuclear, and its role in mitigating climate change.

Climate change was also the focus of discussions during the WiN–Global board and executive meetings, where board members agreed to call for member support of a “Declaration of Nuclear for Climate.” The Declaration, which builds on the May 2015 agreement signed by 39 nuclear associations and 50,000 scientists from 36 countries, supports Nuclear for Climate’s global initiative to recognize the contribution of nuclear as a solution to climate change.

The WiN–Global declaration further reinforced that any discussion of low-carbon solutions that excludes nuclear is incomplete. Members of WiN-Canada were among the signatories to the Declaration, which requested that the “UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Protocols recognize nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy option, and that it be included in its climate funding mechanisms, as is the case for all low-carbon energy sources.”

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Cameco Named One of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2014

By Romeo St-Martin
Digital Media Officer
Canadian Nuclear Association

Congratulations to Cameco.

For the fifth successive year, Cameco has been selected by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2014.

The annual competition recognizes Canadian employers that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.

“This award recognizes our long-standing track record in aboriginal and Métis employment,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and CEO. “We are proud to be Canada’s leading industrial employer of aboriginal people and of the proactive approach we take to support career growth in this sector of our workforce.”

Here are some of the reasons why Cameco was recognized by the Globe:

  • Established a northern workforce strategy to focus on the recruitment of residents from northern Saskatchewan, of which a large percentage are Aboriginal – the strategy is managed by a dedicated team of employees who consult with Aboriginal leaders, local schools, community members and professionals on the creation of opportunities for residents as well as overall development of the northern community

Those of us in Canada’s nuclear industry already know it’s a great place to work, offering long-lasting, safe, well-trained and high-knowledge jobs to tens of thousands of Canadians. Cameco continues to set a great example that all Canadian businesses can admire and follow.

Guest Blog

WiN-Canada Gears Up for 10th Annual Conference

By Cheryl Cottrill
Executive Director
WiN Canada

WiN-Canada’s 10th Annual Conference is being held in Pembroke, Ontario, September 29 to October 1. Our theme, “Seize the Future – Innovation in the Nuclear Industry,” will help delegates align with the current trends in nuclear and related industries and learn how to flourish in a change environment, to better position themselves for future success.

The conference will provide practical knowledge on technical and non-technical topics from a line up of inspirational speakers. Registration, open to men and women, is up and running. The link to the conference webpage is: http://www.wincanada.org/event/wincanada-10th-annual-conference-344.

Providing an opportunity for our members to speak at the conference, we will be continuing our tradition of the mini-session. The call for papers is available on the conference webpage.

Joan Vogelesang, known as Toon Boom’s globetrotter CEO, will provide our keynote address. Joan will speak about her own success story, which includes winning Academy Awards for Engineering excellence, and how to innovate to stay ahead of the curve.

Networking opportunities include a Golf Fore the Cure 9-hole tournament and two receptions. In addition to the plenary session, delegates will have the opportunity to choose one of five technical tours.

Looking forward to seeing you in Pembroke, September 29-October 1!

Guest Blog

Getting Girls Energized about Science and Engineering

By Cheryl Cottrill
Executive Director
WiN-Canada

WiN-Canada (Women in Nuclear) hosted Camp GEMS (Girls in Engineering Math and Science) for two full day March Break camps last week at the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre.  The sessions are meant to provide a fun, hands-on experience, using science, math and engineering principles, with a female mentor who has been successful in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.  It’s done to awaken a life-long passion for science and ignite scientific curiosity, so campers will ask intelligent questions around issues like climate change and energy options, and possibly go on to study STEM subjects post-secondary.  In Canada, only an estimated 21% of students enrolled in applied science and engineering are women.

Day one’s theme, All in a Bug’s Life, centered on insects and taught the 25 girls attending about different types and characteristics of insects. They learned about the two types of metamorphosis, a process of dramatic change in a body form during a lifespan, which can be complete or incomplete.  Day two’s theme, Enzymes – Step on it! took the girls through two experiments: Jello Meets Pineapple, to see how the pineapple, acting as an enzyme on the jello substrate, changed the ability of the jello to set and an experiment using controlled quantities of raw potatoes immersed in hydrogen peroxide to initiate a chemical reaction.

These events are hosted by Women in Nuclear and have become well known and supported in the community. This energizing and welcomed approach to engaging young women into science, technology, engineering and math is creating a pathway for their future endeavours, and should help to bring more young Canadians into the excellent careers offered by our nuclear industries.