AWSN Executive, Board & Staff

We are working on the stories of the rest of our executive and all our board members.  Our theme update has put us behind.



Alicia Bjarnason


Alicia has 15 years experience in the oil and gas industry as a professional geologist. Two years ago, her young son was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. She immediately walked away from her career to be the primary caregiver for her son. At the time, Alicia was working as a consultant.

Samia Sarkar


Samia Sarkar grew up in Alberta and has had a passion for math and  science since she was a child – and that eventually led her to choose a career in engineering. She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering  from the University of Alberta and has worked in Alberta’s oil/gas industry ever since – from Syncrude Canada, Petro-Canada and, currently, with Suncor Energy.

Shoma Sinha

Past President

Shoma has a passion for science and technology as well as for helping others achieve their full potential. Shoma completed her undergraduate in Engineering Science – Nanoengineering from the University of Toronto. She then conducted her doctoral studies in molecular scale devices at the University of Alberta/National Institute for Nanotechnology.

Karen Sagar

Vice President

Karen has over 25 years' experience as a geotechnical engineer and project manager in the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, and Canada. Six years ago, Karen was offered the opportunity join Klohn Crippen Berger as a Senior Project Manager managing multi-disciplinary, multi-million dollar design and operational support projects for oil sands tailings facilities.

Shagufta Tasneem


Shagufta Tasneem has Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree from University of Western, Ontario  (2009). She has worked in oil and gas industry for couple of years (Saipem Canada, Calgary AB). She has few years of electrical utility experience, teaching experience at college level, and retail management experience.  She volunteers for IEEE’s Society of Power and Energy as well as WISER.

Wendy Hutchins


Wendy still isn't sure what she wants to be when she grows up.  Education-wise, she has tried Medical Laboratory Technologist, then BSc, PhD, and post-doc all because DNA stuff sounded intriguing.

Sophia Fairweather

Honorary Member - Jr Communications

Sophia is serving as AWSN’s Junior Communications Executive, the first time this position has existed, and is involved with social media campaigns, interviewing female STEM professionals and mentoring aboriginal youth to own their own ideas. She is an intrepid entrepreneur with a passion for engineering and, at the age of 8 going on 9, has already started her own company.

Jacqueline Gorman

AWSN Board Member for Recruitment

Jacqueline received her M.Sc. in Earth Science from the University of Waterloo, and is currently working as a contaminant hydrogeologist.


Patty Rooks

AWSN Board Member for Recruitment

Patty is very special to AWSN.  She has not only served for a longish time on our board; she is also one of our Minerva Mentoring Award winner.   She works for Praxis Society in Medicine Hat and coordinates Operation Minerva - Medicine Hat.   Read Patty's whole biography here.