McMaster professor Marilyn Lightstone elected as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering – Faculty of Engineering

McMaster professor Marilyn Lightstone elected as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering

headshot of Marilyn Lightstone.

Long-time Mechanical Engineering professor Marilyn Lightstone and the first woman Department Chair in the history of the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University has been elected as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). 

Fellows of the CAE are nominated and elected by their peers, in view of their distinguished achievements and career-long service. Collectively, they are committed to ensuring that Canada’s engineering expertise and experience are applied to the benefit of all Canadians. 

Lightstone is a champion of gender diversity and efforts to increase the representation of women in Mechanical Engineering. She is an award-winning teacher, consistently ranking as one of the top professors in her discipline at McMaster. Her research focus includes computational fluid dynamics, heat transfer and turbulent flows, influencing researchers and engineers worldwide. 

“Marilyn is highly esteemed within the Faculty for her expertise in her field, her role as a mentor to students, and her collaborative spirit,” says Heather Sheardown, Dean of Engineering. “An induction into the Canadian Academy of Engineering is well-deserved and a testament to the significant impact she has made in academia and the broader engineering community.”  

“It is a thrill and honour to be included in such an elite group of Canadian engineers.”  

Marilyn Lightstone

A legacy of inclusion  

When Lightstone joined McMaster in 1999, she and Sheardown were the only women in the Faculty of Engineering. She remained the sole woman faculty member in Mechanical Engineering until 2011.   

The opportunity to make a difference and transform the perception of engineering as a male-dominated field sparked decades of impactful work from Lightstone.  

In her ten years as Department Chair, she played a pivotal role in beginning a movement toward realizing a more equitable, diverse and inclusive McMaster Engineering community.  

Through intentional hiring that reflected the evolving values of the Faculty, university and engineering broadly, the Department now has six women and more ethnically and racially diverse faculty members.  

“While there is still a lot of work to be done around diversity and inclusion, I am proud to have played a role in what we have achieved as a department and Faculty.”

Marilyn Lightstone

Her bright hopes for the future are inspired by the people she considers the highlight of her career; her students and colleagues.  

“As a teacher and researcher, it was always such a thrill to help students with their learning. As Department Chair, it was fantastic to help new faculty with their career progression,” she says.    

Her love of mentoring propelled her to start a new Faculty onboarding workshop in 2013 to assist new engineering faculty members with managing the demands of teaching, research and service.  The Faculty of Engineering expanded on this, eventually establishing the Fireball Academy offering a wide range of workshops to support students, staff, and faculty members.  

About the Canadian Academy of Engineers (CAE) 

The CAE is the national institution through which individuals, who have made outstanding contributions to engineering in Canada, provide strategic advice on matters of critical importance to Canada and to Canadians. It is an independent, self-governing, and non-profit organization established in 1987.