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Fran Lasowski


Conversation with Fran

What is your current job? Please list the title and briefly describe what it involves

I am finishing my PhD in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. With my supervisor and another PhD student, we have started our own business- 20/20 OptimEyes- to commercialize a treatment for dry eye. Right now that involves finishing our pre-clinical work in the lab and fundraising for future trials.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I was a big fan of math and science in high school and really loved problem solving. I knew I wanted to help people and engineering seemed like the best way to combine all of these things. It was only after I started studying engineering that I realized how many different ways I could do this- I was very happy to have a degree that gave me so much flexibility in choosing my future career path!

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I like that my job is always changing. There is always a new challenge and new problem to solve. This keeps everything really interesting and always makes me excited to tackle the task at hand and ensures I never get bored!

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

I love all of the activities that go on during Engineering month. It is a great time to get into local classrooms and share my passion for engineering with younger students! Some of my favourite activities have been the interesting and creative Rube Goldberg machines students have made!

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field?

Have confidence in yourself! There are a lot of things that will make you doubt if you can do it but believing in yourself is key to getting through it. Mentors can be a great way to help you through these tougher times and help build that confidence.

Fran’s BiographyFran completed her B.Eng and Biosciences at McMaster University in Chemical Engineering. She is now completing her PhD at McMaster working with Dr. Heather Sheardown on drug delivery devices to the eye. This has allowed her to travel to China, Russia, Australia and across the US. She has been President of the Graduate Students Association and was a Coordinator for Let’s Talk Science for 4 years. She was awarded the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde for her leadership by the CEMF. She is an avid sports fan, playing hockey, field hockey and participating in triathlons.

Learn more about Fran’s workThis is a video of Fran’s Thesis about “Ocular drug delivery systems for use with children”.

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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