Name: Alessandra Massaro
Program: Civil Engineering
University(s) / College(s) Attended: McMaster University
Education / Degree(s): Bachelors of Engineering
Current Job Title: Transportation Planner/EIT
Current Employer: CIMA+
Fun Facts About Me
Share one fun fact about yourself: I am one of the founding members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Toronto Affiliate. I am currently serving as the Past President. We help serve professional women in engineering find support after they graduate university. Check us out at Toronto.SWE.org
The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?: Angela Iannuzziello is my personal inspiration. She is a rock star when it comes to transportation engineering. She was one of the only women in the field when she started, and she fought hard to earn her place at the table. She ended up starting her own engineering firm, ENTRA Consultants Inc. and hired mainly other women engineers! Her firm was later bought by GENIVAR. She later became a Vice President at AECOM leading the Canadian National Transit Market Sector. She won the Transportation Person of the Year award in 2014 and was the first woman to do so. She was one of the founding members of Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Toronto Chapter. She gave me my first engineering job and was one of my first mentors in my professional engineering career. She continues to give back to the younger generations of engineers in her retirement.
Why did you choose to study engineering?: I initially chose engineering because I loved math and science. It seemed like a degree that would give me the most possible choices after finishing university.
How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?: I currently work in the field of transportation engineering. I only had one transportation engineering course in university but I do apply the principles I learned then to my current job, however, like most engineering jobs, you learn much of what you will do on the job, this is why it take 4 years of professional experience to get your license.
What do you love most about your career?: I love the impact that transportation has on society. I love making my city and province a better place. I recently worked on a bike lane project in Toronto and got to go out and enjoy it. Active transportation projects are my favourite with transit projects a close second.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?: Don’t be limited by the courses offered in your school, there are so many types of engineering offered just waiting for you once you graduate. Even within transportation engineering there are so many careers you can specialize in (design of roads, construction, transportation planning/engineering (what I do) and transportation safety).