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Upcoming Events:
Virtual Fireball Chats with Alumni - November 2021

Virtual Fireball Chats with Alumni - November 2021

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Online via Zoom

Event Contact:

Iwona Centurami

This month's topic: Walking Tall and Breaking Glass Ceilings


The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University would like to offer you an opportunity to further support the success of our students. We have started a new initiative in the Faculty of Engineering to develop 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. 

Walking Tall and Breaking Glass Ceilings

Confidence is a key factor to success both in and out of the workplace, but can be difficult for women in male-dominated careers such as in Engineering. At this session, we will discuss not only how to develop confidence and assertiveness in the workplace, but how to project it authentically, especially in a virtual world.

Sahar Kokaly, BENG '06, MASC '08, PHD '19 (Software Engineering)
Software Safety Engineering Manager @ GM Canada | Adjunct Assistant Professor @ McMaster University  

Sahar Kokaly

Sahar is an Engineering Manager- Software Safety at General Motors where she is leading and growing a team of engineers working on ensuring the safety of our automated driving and active safety features. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Computing and Software at McMaster University.  She has 10+ years of Software Engineering experience in the automotive domain through academic, R&D and engineering work. She was previously a Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and a part-time Researcher at General Motors, working with GM R&D on collaborative projects with academia in the areas of safety and model-based engineering. She completed her Ph.D. (2019), M.A.Sc. (2008) and B.Eng. (2006) in Software Engineering from McMaster University. She has also worked as a Research Engineer on the NECSIS (Network for the Engineering of Complex Software Intensive Systems) project, and as an IT specialist at IBM Canada. She has been involved in organizing numerous academic workshops, served on conference organizing and program committees, and regularly reviews for journals including Journal of Systems and Software, Empirical Software Engineering Journal, Software & Systems Modeling Journal, Real Time Systems Journal, IEEE Software and the Journal of Automotive Software Engineering (JASE). Finally, she is a mom of two amazing girls, and is  always happy to mentor girls and women in STEM.