Women in Engineering




                       is a Project Engineer/Controller with Magna International. She is originally from Toronto and decided to study at the University of Windsor because of the Aerospace Engineering program and its emphasis on supporting women in STEM. The availability of scholarships for women in engineering also influenced her decision-making.


Knight graduated in 2018 with two degrees completed in five years with a minor in math.  She obtained a degree in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering. Knight was able to complete two degrees with a minor in math in five years because she mapped out her goal and developed a plan to achieve it. Knight credits Dr. Bowers with assisting with all the administration needed to accomplish her goal.





Knight was very involved as a student. She participated in student clubs and athletics, winning Intramural Athlete of the Year in 2018. She attributes athletics to keeping her balanced while juggling class schedules, events, and study. “If I didn’t plan everything from what time I woke up from what I eat to when I worked out and studied, I wouldn’t have been able to complete the 2 degrees simultaneously.”  She is still involved in sports and competing, just in a different type of sport - jujutsu.  


One of Aché Knight's most memorable experiences was being a part of the Intercollegiate Rocketry Competition in 2018. "The rocketry competition was part of my 4th-year final semester capstone project." Her team built, from scratch, the rocket they took to New Mexico for the competition. The team launched the rocket with a functional payload to 10,000 feet and recovered it successfully.  The team placed 4th most accurate within the 10k-COTS category.


While following her passion for aerospace engineering, Knight was an intern at EpiCentre, where she received a grant for her business start-up and uncovered her passion for finance. She had such a positive experience that she decided to pursue an additional degree in business. Knight attributes this to her professors Drs. Eahab Elsaid and Thomas Kenworthy made an epic impact on her educational journey.  Dr. Elsaid instilled in her a love of finance, and this is the reason she is in the position she is in today. Dr. Kenworthy, a professor of strategy/entrepreneurship, was a mentor during her start-up.  She attributes their influences and support to her successful career trajectory.


Her advice to future female engineering students is to network with peers, professors, and industry as much as possible. Having a strong social network is vital to your career. You help each other find jobs and know what an acceptable salary is (as a woman, you want to know what men with similar credentials are getting).   “Professors and industry want to see your passion and your drive. They want to see what sets you apart from the others; for me, that was my passion and two degrees.” She says don’t get discouraged because not everyone looks like you.


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Larrisa Dushime




                                is a 4th year Civil Engineering student. She immigrated to Canada from Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa, at the age of six. Dushime's love of science and math and the motivated staff and students led her to study at the University of Windsor's Faculty of Engineering. She wants to help solve problems ranging from transportation and reducing traffic congestion to monitoring and improving ageing infrastructure to proper groundwater management. On her way to becoming a civil engineer, Larissa wants to help provide a safer and more sustainable future. 


Dushime attributes her success to her family. Her parents always encouraged her to work hard and focus on her studies. Her older sister Staecey Ngabire has also been a big role model as Staecey is completing her Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Civil Engineering at the University of Windsor. "Staecey has always advised me to go the extra mile and put 110% effort into everything that I do. Her passion for the engineering profession and helping others has inspired me, and she is a great mentor. And, I did just that; I led with what I love – an eagerness to learn and be part of a team".  

Dushime is very involved in several different student groups, committees and WINONE scholar, where she is part of a team of students that hold tutoring sessions for 1st and 2nd-year students. Also, she is a member of the Outstanding Scholar’s Program, and since 2nd year has had the chance to do research with Dr. Chris Lee. They are working on a project about distracted driving and understanding driver characteristics.  

"This is my final year as an undergrad, and as a fourth year, we have a big final project – our Capstone project. My capstone is the Concrete Canoe Club, and I work with hard-working students: Eve Kane, Stefano Kerr, and Andrew Bastable. My roles include being the finance and logistics lead, designing the hull and conducting analysis (stress, structural, external fluid flow, FEA) using the software." Dushime says. "From the mix's design to the hull's shape, we must design every aspect of the canoe, build, test, and be ready to race it for the competition in May 2023 at Western University. We must follow the rules and regulations, for example, dimensional constraints, materials, and the performance demonstration (races) for the competition." 

"My advice to future aspiring female engineering students is to persevere and work hard. While sometimes it might seem impossible, know that you can do it as it has already been done. It is a male-dominated field, and engineering and the profession are all about teamwork. The engineering faculty encourages female applicants, and females have many opportunities to succeed. Don't be afraid to talk to your professors and peers; get involved and get a mentor to help navigate. Stay true to yourself and talk with your people. It is important to speak up, take risks, and ask questions. And my final advice is to always be kind to the people around you. "