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Beatriz Martin-Perez

What is your current job?

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa. My work involves teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Structural Engineering. I also carry out research in the area of concrete durability and reinforcement steel corrosion, and supervise graduate students in their thesis work.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I always wanted to be an architect. My father was a structural engineer, and he had the opportunity to work in very interesting projects all over Spain, my country of origin. As a kid I was exposed to his work, and thus I always knew then that I wanted to be part of that world. I did 4 years of Architecture (in my country of origin, a degree in Architecture takes 6 years). As I was doing my architectural studies, I was drawn to structural analysis, design and construction. This is what made me realize that I really wanted to become a structural engineer instead.

What’s your favourite part of your job? My favourite part of my job is that I am always learning new things. I learn from my research and the research of others, but I also learn from my colleagues and all students I interact with on a daily basis.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month? I have occasionally volunteered as a judge in high school competitions.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field? Engineering is not only about applied math and science, but also a career in which one can be creative in solving problems affecting the community you live in. Develop good work habits and be persistent and confident. You can do it.


I obtained my BSc in Civil Engineering in 1993 from the University of Houston (TX). I then moved to Canada to pursue graduate studies at the University of Toronto. I graduated with an MASc in 1995 and a PhD in 1999. My PhD thesis focused on the development of a service life model of reinforced concrete structures affected by reinforcing steel corrosion. As soon as I obtained my doctorate degree, I started working as a researcher at the Institute for Research in Construction of the National Research Council in the area of rehabilitation of urban infrastructure, where I was involved in the development of performance prediction tools for flexible pavement structures subjected to both environmental and traffic-induced loading. I worked at NRC until 2002, when I joined the University of Ottawa. My current research focuses on the experimental testing and numerical modelling of reinforcement corrosion and associated mechanics of damage build-up in reinforced concrete structures.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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