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Top 24 Under 24: Veronica Knott, The Engineer

By David P. Ball, 24 hours Vancouver

Veronica Knott is in our Top 24 Under 24. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Veronica Knott is in our Top 24 Under 24. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Women have come a long way in Canadian engineering, and Veronica Knott's mission at 19 is to take them even farther by increasing diversity.

The University of B.C. materials engineering student is co-chairing next month's National Conference on Women in Engineering. About 150 students are coming to Vancouver from 41 campuses to discuss increasing gender and ethnic diversity, retaining women, and building leadership. Knott hopes participants can “make an impact” in their schools.

“We teach our delegates all these different skills so they can go back to universities across Canada with tangible skills they can actually implement,” she said. “There's been a rebranding of engineering — that it's about serving society, not just making machines or building things.

“Women in engineering have taken on leadership and management roles, but there still needs to be awareness. We're continuing to move forward.”

Nearly 25 years after a gunman murdered 14 female engineering students in Montreal, Knott helps organize an annual vigil to remember it. She notes that women still haven't gained equal enrolment in their departments. UBC is also currently reeling after a string of sexual assaults and controversial student chants this fall.

“It's evident that stuff still needs to be addressed, to remind people it's continual,” she said. “Violence against anyone should never be forgotten.”

With an interest in hydrometallurgy, a fluid-based method for extracting metals from ores often used in mining, Knott hopes to use her degree to travel Canada and the world.



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