Congratulations to the 2021 WTS Toronto Area Chapter Scholarship Recipients!
Alyssa Ritchie – General Scholarship
Alyssa is currently enrolled in her final year Durham College working towards her Civil Engineering Technology Advanced Diploma. This past year, she was employed as a Junior Project Coordinator at a construction company which opened the door to new possibilities in the transportation industry. This opportunity focused on the heavy civil sector, specifically on the demolition and construction of bridges. After completing her education, her plan is to obtain her C.E.T. through OACETT, while seeking new opportunities in the field to work towards her career goal of becoming a Construction Superintendent.
She noted: Being a recipient of the 2021 WTS Toronto Area Chapter Scholarship has instilled in her the confidence to keep moving forward towards her future path. Being able to develop and create innovation in the industry is just one reason the transportation industry has become an interest of hers. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You must do the things you think you cannot do” because, if you don’t try, how will you ever know?
Matea Ceric – Undergraduate Scholarship
Matea is an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo studying Civil Engineering with a plan to obtain the department’s Transportation Specialization at the culmination of her degree. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Matea has participated in a diverse set of transportation-related pursuits that have solidified her interest in this field including being part of the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology research group at Waterloo. She is working on her capstone design project that proposes a mixed-use and transit-centric neighbourhood redevelopment to encourage sustainable growth in one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada. Currently, she is on a co-op work term as a Rail Systems Engineering Assistant at Boxfish Infrastructure Group.
Matea’s interest in transportation stems from her broader interest in climate change and the ways that cities and a city’s transportation infrastructure can help to mitigate its harmful effects. She hopes to become an ambassador within the transportation industry to mentor students, and encourage other women to contribute within this highly dynamic field. In her free time, Matea enjoys painting, hiking, travelling, dancing, and learning new languages.
Olivia Wiper – Undergraduate Scholarship
Olivia is a second year Civil Engineering & Society student. She is passionate about incorporating sustainability into her work and hopes to improve transportation infrastructure in her future endeavours. She also enjoys learning languages in her free time. Olivia has studied French extensively in high school and on exchange in Geneve, Switzerland and is currently learning Mandarin on an application known as Duolingo. Some of her other hobbies include baking, and animal care. At school, she has participated in clubs such as the McMaster Solar Car Project where she helped the chassis sub team, the McMaster Engiqueers, and the Welcome Week group known as the RedSuits. She is very excited to have been awarded the 2021 WTS Toronto Area Chapter Scholarship and looks forward to meeting everyone within this wonderful community.
Jing Li – Focused Scholarship
Jing is a first-year Ph.D. student at McMaster University and a researcher with the AI-enhanced Mobility Lab at McMaster. Her research focuses on machine learning-enhanced traffic prediction, analysis of the spatial-temporal impact of traffic incidents, prediction of traffic incidents’ risk and severity. She has published three journal papers and holds two patents. Jing has received several awards and recognitions, the most recent is the 2021 WTS Toronto Area Chapter Scholarship and the Outstanding Graduate Student award. Jing’s career goal is to be a transportation professional leading research teams that promote safe and efficient trips based on connected and autonomous vehicles.
Sara Wagner – Graduate Scholarship
Sara is a PhD candidate studying Civil Engineering in the freight transportation group at the University of Toronto. As a licensed professional engineer, she has extensive experience in both the public and private sector specializing in Project Development and Environment (PD&E) studies. Sara aspires to produce a thesis that is practical, policy driven, and will have a positive impact on people and places. She is also building equity and diversity into her research on designing neighbourhoods for complete communities. She is supported by her co-supervisors, Professor Matthew Roorda (University of Toronto) and Dr. Sara Diamond (OCAD University). Sara has served in a variety of meaningful professional roles, including as Chair of HDR’s Young Professionals Group, President of the local Tampa chapter Institute of Transportation Engineers, and an active member of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Livable Roadways Committee. Sara is currently a volunteer in the Guardian Ad Litem program, where she serves as an advocate and representative in court for children in the foster system. Sara is an avid runner and a mother who strongly believes the young women of today are our future female leaders of tomorrow.
2020 Scholarship Recipients: Mahia Anhara, Joanna Ilunga-Kapinga, Alaa Itani, Felita Ong, Emma Swarney