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Rania Hamza recognized by 3M Canada’s 25 Women in Science program.

Recognized for her outstanding research contributions, civil engineering professor Rania Hamza reflects on her experiences as a woman, mother, and researcher.
June 06, 2024

2024 has been a year of highs for professor Rania Hamza. She was recognized by Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) for her scholarly, research, and teaching contributions, published papers to advance wastewater biorefineries, and most recently was named to 3M Canada’s 25 Women in Science. 

However, she shares that for women and other underrepresented communities in engineering, “it’s not always a straight path going from point A to point B.” 

Early in her academic journey, Hamza had to balance raising a young family with her research, requiring four years to complete her Master’s. While completing her PhD in Calgary, she commuted between the lab and daycare every day, two hours each way – for six months straight. “These experiences weren’t openly discussed twenty years ago, nobody talked about it,” Hamza said, leaving women like her to navigate systematic barriers alone and in silence. 

Today at TMU, Hamza is dedicated to removing barriers for current and future generations of underrepresented researchers. As the principal investigator of TMU’s Water Research and Resource Recovery Lab (WR3), she openly shares her experiences with graduate students, who include women and mothers, helping to provide a safe environment for open conversations. Hamza also embraces flexibility, often meeting with researchers on “off-hours” so they can manage childcare and school schedules without postponing their innovative work. 

While Hamza takes great pride in celebrating her students' achievements, from Best Paper awards to research breakthroughs, she hopes to see greater recognition of women researchers. She applauds 3M Canada’s 25 Women in Science program for using its global platform to shine a spotlight on women researchers. Running for the past three years, 3M expanded the program’s geographical reach in 2024 to include leading Canadian researchers. On this year’s list, Hamza is joined by Canadian peers Francesca Kerton and Martha Dagnew (external link) . Earlier this year, Hamza and Dagnew co-chaired the 59th Canadian Association on Water Quality (CAWQ) Symposium, bringing together the nation’s top water researchers.

Growing up in Egypt, Hamza had always been intrigued by communities' relationship with water. Over time, she observed the specific relationship between women and water in African countries, with many young women being tasked with transporting water across huge distances. These unique perspectives inspire her research today, as she works with interdisciplinary experts and public sector organizations to study wastewater characteristics, evolve treatment technologies, and inform regulatory frameworks. 

“Professor Rania Hamza’s water research contributions towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 and her commitment to supporting the next generation of women researchers at TMU make her a true citizen engineer,” said FEAS Associate Dean, Research and External Partnerships, Stephen Waldman. “Our faculty is excited to see her important work celebrated and recognized by 3M Canada.” 

For Hamza, her journey as a researcher continues, encouraged by the support of colleagues and family. In particular, Hamza is inspired by her children. “They have been with me during the whole journey and support me when I’m away working in the lab or travelling for a conference,” she said. “They are the key elements of my success.”


Research at the Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science

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About 3M Canada’s 25 Women in Science

Through various initiatives, 3M is committed to supporting groups that have been historically underrepresented in scientific fields. The goal of the 25 Women in Science program is to highlight, amplify, and provide further visibility for the selected 25 women scientists and their projects. The recipients will receive recognition from 3M, visibility for the projects in the media, and inclusion in the digital book 25 Women in Science 2024 (external link) .