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Fireball Chats with Alumni - November 2019

Fireball Chats with Alumni - November 2019

Date & Time:
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Event Contact:

Carm Vespi 


This month's topic: How to Sail Smoothly from Academia to Industry (Women in Engineering)


The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University would like to offer you an opportunity to further support the success of our students with a face-to-face mentoring program between current students and our alumni – Fireball Chats with Alumni.

Fireball Chats with Alumni give the McMaster Engineering community the opportunity to chat to a small group of students and share their personal experiences as an engineer in the workforce. Our hope is that each month we can offer our students a chance to have a casual conversation with engineers during which they can ask for advice, help, or insight.


Get Help – Get coached by experienced engineers!
Ask Questions – Receive answers to all your questions about life, university, co-op choices and more!
Convenience – Connect with alumni on campus!
Fun – A chance to win a Mac Eng prize pack!


Picture of Mentor Alessandra Massaro

Alessandra Massaro - BENGS '13 (Civil Engineering)
Transportation EIT, CIMA+
Alessandra Massaro is a traffic engineering specialist with expertise in traffic and transit microsimulation modelling, transportation planning, signal timing analysis, travel time studies, station planning, signal coordination and transportation impact/parking studies. With 4 years of industry experience, she has been effectively involved in a variety of micro-level traffic operation modelling projects for transit ways and arterial roads at the municipal, regional and provincial levels using VISSIM, AIMSUN, and Synchro/SimTraffic software packages.1

Alessandra graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor's of Civil Engineering and International Studies. She is an avid advocate for women’s rights in the workplace and started the Women in Engineering Coffee Club before teaming up with Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Toronto affiliate in 2017 to create the SWE TO Coffee Club. She now serves on the board of directors as President for SWE Toronto. Alessandra is also a member of PEO, OSPE, CITE, YPT Toronto, and WTS Toronto and is dedicated to improving the status of women in STEM in the workplace.


 Picture of Mentor Maria Topalovic

Maria Topalovic - BENGM '08 (Chemical Engineering), MEPP '10 (Engineering & Public Policy) 
Environment Manager, CRH Canada Group Inc
Maria is passionate about healthy and sustainable communities. She works as an Environment Manager for CRH Canada Group Inc., supporting Dufferin Concrete, Dufferin Aggregates, Dufferin Construction and CRH Cement Terminals in the US Great Lakes, Ontario and Western Canada Regions, on environmental compliance, stakeholder relations and sustainable development.

Maria is an active community volunteer, where she contributes to sustainability education, community engagement and healthy city building. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, a 100in1day Hamilton volunteer, and is also a coach for the FAB Foundation that supports fitness and leadership development in young girls. When Maria isn't working or volunteering she loves to play soccer, snowboard, take yoga classes, and run.

Maria pursued her studies at McMaster University, where she received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering & Management and a Master of Engineering & Public Policy.  She has always called Hamilton home and enjoys working towards making it a more resilient city!