Dr. Mona Shahwan El-Tahan

Mona Shahwan El-Tahan
photo credit: "Alia Youssef (The Sisters Project)”

Mona Shahwan El-Tahan moved from Egypt to Newfoundland in 1975 after completing a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Cairo University. Mona then became the first woman to complete a master’s degree in ocean engineering at Memorial University where she developed the first mathematical model in North America to predict the movement of icebergs.

In 1980, she became the first woman to work for Lavalin-Fenco Newfoundland as an engineer. Eight years later, she launched InCoreTec Inc., an applied research and development company specializing in offshore and environmental engineering, marine navigational aids, sea ice management, project management, and consulting. She held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer until she retired.

Also in 1980, Mona founded WISE NL (Women in Science and Engineering), a non-profit community organization aimed at increasing the participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers in Newfoundland. She currently serves as its Director Emeritus. She also helped develop technology that can help reduce friction on the Canadaarm, the robotic arm on the International Space Station.

Mona’s awards include the Community Service Award (2019) from the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1999), Entrepreneur of Year (2000) from the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE), the Sara Kirke Award, Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (2002) and the Canadian Muslim Contributors to the Business Sector, Canadian Islamic Congress (2005).

“What I am most proud of, and what I love to do, is helping others.”

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