CivMin professor, and alumna receive Engineers Canada Awards

Professor Jennifer Drake (CivMin) received the Young Engineer Achievement Award, which recognizes an engineer under 36 years of age for outstanding contributions. (Photo credit: Tyler Irving)

Engineers Canada has recognized Professor Jennifer Drake (CivMin) and alumna Helen Wojcinski (CivMin 8T7) with Engineers Canada Awards. The national awards celebrate engineers who have made distinguished contributions to Canada.

Drake received the Young Engineer Achievement Award, which recognizes an engineer under 36 years of age for outstanding contributions. Wojcinski garnered the Meritorious Service Award for Community Service, presented to an engineer who makes exemplary volunteer contributions to the community.

Drake holds a Dean’s Catalyst Professorship in the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering. Her research is focused on Low-impact Development (LID) stormwater systems, watershed planning and stormwater management, as well as the impact of LID technologies on aquatic environments, urban water security and wet weather policy.

Her work aims to reduce flooding by creating alternative pathways for rainwater within the urban environment. Drake has developed new, more accurate regional flood equations for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for ungauged watercourses, work that is essential for flood response planning.

As a member of U of T’s Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory, she is currently working with the City of Toronto and Toronto Water on research that will inform the city’s Green Roof Bylaw and Green Construction Standard. Drake serves on the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Regional Watershed Alliance.

She is committed to increasing the public’s knowledge and understanding of issues related to urban flooding and flood prevention through social media and other outreach. In 2018, she received an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and was awarded the Ontario Professional Engineers Young Engineer Medal.

An accomplished engineer, Wojcinski managed the Highway 407 West design-build project for the Ontario Transportation Capital Corporation and now operates her own management consulting practice.

For more than 20 years, she has volunteered in leadership roles on boards and committees for several health care and social services organizations, including the Simcoe-York Region District Health Council, Blue Hills Child and Family Centre, Southlake Residential Care Village and Surrey Place. She also contributes to arts and culture as a board member for the Canadian National Exhibition Association.

A passionate advocate for women in engineering, Wojcinski was Chair of the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) Women in Engineering Advisory Committee from 1993-1995, during which time the committee lay the foundation for initiatives related to workplace harassment and changes to the Professional Engineers Act’s Professional Misconduct section. She is a member of the Engineers Canada Equitable Participation in the Profession Committee, Chair of PEO’s 30 by 30 Task Force, and PEO’s 30 by 30 Champion for Engineers Canada.

Wojcinski has received the U of T Arbor Award, the Engineering 2T5 Mid-Career Achievement Award, and the Ontario Professional Engineers Citizenship Award. She is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

“These exceptional engineers demonstrate the tremendous contributions that U of T Engineering faculty and alumni are making at all stages of their careers, as well as the breadth of those contributions,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “On behalf of the Faculty, I congratulate them on this richly deserved recognition.”

By Carolyn Farrell

Story originally posted on U of T Engineering News