Name: Pam Lee-Shanok
Program: Mechanical Engineering
University(s) / College(s) Attended: University of Ottawa
Education / Degree(s): Mechanical Engineering (option in biodesign), co-op at the University of Ottawa; Bachelor of Education (Intermediate/Senior, Physics/Mathematics) at the University of Toronto; Masters of Education at the University of Ottawa
Current Job Title: Youth Programs Manager
Current Employer: Engineering Outreach, University of Ottawa
Email: Send Email
Fun Facts About Me
Share one fun fact about yourself: I love making creative one-of-a-kind gifts for people whether it be through sewing, 3D printing, knitting, video editing, baking, or some other creative outlet.
The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?: I cannot pinpoint just one. I'm part of the group 'A Mighty Girl' on Facebook and I get exposed to so many wonderful female role models, such as Margaret Hamilton who was the lead software designer for NASA's Apollo program. She is credited as being the one who coined the term 'Software Engineering.'
Why did you choose to study engineering?: I was always interested in medicine, but I hated memorization. After a year of studying pre-optometry I knew I wanted to change my degree. At the time, the University of Ottawa was offering an option in biodesign for its Mechanical Engineering program (now this has transformed into its own program of Biomedical Mechanical Engineering). I was very excited about the prospect of taking classes such as Artificial Organs and Prosthesis so I decided to study engineering.
What are your best memories of your engineering education?: Honestly, it was everything social outside of my classes. My engineering friends were so supportive and we helped each other through our classes and had a lot of fun just hanging out with each other.
How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?: Although I don't work as an engineer, I help develop programs to get kids and teens interested in engineering. I review engineering-related activities and problem solve a lot in my job. Knowing the basics of coding has helped me as well.
What do you love most about your career?: What I love most about this job is the flexibility, the opportunity to make a difference, and the positive impact created. As the coordinator of outreach programs, I have the power to create new events, workshops, and summer camps geared at getting more girls interested in engineering. I get to hire the best team of instructors and decide on the best curriculum to present. It's incredibly gratifying to know that I can make a positive difference in this world by directly addressing the under-representation of women in engineering.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?: I would tell him/her to work hard in school and to take the time to take part in activities such as Go ENG Girl or robotics competitions. The more exposure you have the engineering, the better you will be able to envision yourself in this field, or the more you'll learn that engineering isn't for you. Follow your passions. Try shadowing a few different types of engineers to see what you like (contact companies or universities for mentors). If you enjoy working with people, problem solving, and bettering the world then you should consider engineering.