Dr. Indira Samarasekera: Of Serendipity Steel and (Not Only Mechanical) Engineering – September 20, 2018

Senior Scholars’ Series: The Passions that Drive Academic Life
Indira Samarasekera, Metals and Materials Engineering; 12th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta (2005-2015)
Coach House, Green College, UBC
Thursday, September 20, 5-6:30 pm, with reception to follow

Indira Samarasekera’s journey from the Island of Serendip, now known as Sri Lanka, to an exciting career of discovery and application in steel processing, was marked by moments of genuine serendipity. One of a dozen female engineers from the University of Ceylon in 1974, she spent two years doing materials research at the University of California. Following a Masters degree, she came to UBC and stumbled into an opportunity to do mathematical modelling of steel processing at a time when large-scale computing was just becoming a reality. Her research had a significant impact on the steel industry worldwide and was accompanied by fascinating experiences of working in a nearly all-male environment. Then, what she thought would be a brief detour into university administration, as Vice-President Research at UBC, turned into a second career…