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Banu Ormeci

Banu Ormeci featured on the front of Ottawa Magazine

What is your current job?

I am an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Wastewater Treatment Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University. I lead a large research group, teach undergraduate and graduate courses, serve as a mentor to our students, and give talks across the country.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I have always been fascinated with science and engineering. I was a good student in high-school and knew that I had the skills and creativity to go into engineering. I was also aware of the great job opportunities, flexibility and higher income that engineering fields provide. At the time, my sister was taking an anatomy class in medical school, which made me realize that I would not enjoy studying subjects that require a lot of memorization and I would rather understand the concepts and apply them to real-world problems, which really what engineering is all about.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Engineers use their science and engineering skills and turn ideas into reality. We design and build things and there is a lot of creativity involved. I love discovering new things in my laboratory and designing novel treatment processes that are needed to keep our water clean and safe. I also love teaching and working with students. There is lots of joy in that and it is great to be able to work with such bright and curious people. I also love the freedom and flexibility I have in my job. In my research, for example, I can go to wherever my curiosity takes me which is fun.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

Every year, Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design organizes several events during the National Engineering Month. Some of this year’s events will include the Catapult and Trebuchet Building Day, Rube Goldberg Machine Construction, Rocket Camp, Student Projects Exhibition, Networking Event and most importantly the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. In addition to these events, I will give a talk on Diversity in Engineering and there are two WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) events that will take place in March.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field? Go for it. It is fun and it is very rewarding. And don’t let anyone discourage you.

Check out Banu Ormeci’s TED Talk video here:


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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