Skip to main content

Tazmin Pirani, BEng '98

Electrical Engineering | Learning leadership capabilities

About two years ago, Tazmin Pirani leapt out of her comfort zone to take a big job in an exciting, rapidly developing field.

As VP of Global Engineering with Johnson Controls International (JCI), she now leads a global team of several hundred engineers working on the company’s intrusion security products.

“My team develops innovative new life safety products to win in the modern security, Internet of Things and home automation market,” says Pirani.

It’s a change from the first two decades of her career, which she spent working in progressively senior roles at AMD, primarily in graphics.

“I was not looking for a change and the opportunity at JCI fell into my lap,” she admits. “I thought I would retire at AMD since it was a great place to work.”

But the executive leadership position has helped her recognize the depth of her knowledge and skills.

“I have had the privilege to work with many great leaders in my career who always saw my leadership strengths before I myself realized them,” Pirani says.

Working at JCI has given her a firsthand look at the impact innovative products can have in digital transformation.

“I love designing, building, and launching great products,” she says. “The products my teams work on are life safety products that everyone can relate to.”

She urges students to broaden their networks outside of the engineering world, and always take on stretch assignments to accelerate professional development.

For young women, she offers words of encouragement, noting that she hasn’t found it tough to be a female engineer and has built resiliency to overcome obstacles.

“Don’t be a victim – look at inequities as opportunities to excel,” she suggests.


Know a great McMaster Engineering alumnus or alumna who deserves to be in the spotlight? We'd love to hear from you.  Send your nominations for our McMaster Engineering Alumni Spotlight series today.