SCWIST members Anja Lanz and Damineh Akhavan among winners of the 2022 Engineers and Geoscientists BC Awards

The Engineers and Geoscientists BC Awards (EGBC) recognize the exemplary and outstanding professional, technical and volunteer contributions of BC’s engineers and geoscientists.

SCWIST would like to extend its heartiest congratulations to long-time members Anja Lanz and Damineh Akhavan for being recognized this year.

Anja Lanz, P.Eng., FEC

Anja has received the inaugural Equity, Diversity, And Inclusion Award. This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the engineering and geoscience professions in British Columbia.

“I feel extremely honoured to receive this inaugural EDI award. I have 20 years of service to the profession without expecting anything in return.  I never strive for being recognized by winning an award. I do this work, because it feels the right thing to do.  Getting this award means that all those unsung heroes putting in countless hours of their own time get recognized for their contributions too, since my work is not done in a silo.  I know numerous other that have been on my side for years and supported me, and I know they all play a part in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.  I celebrate them too.” – Anja Lanz

For almost 20 years, Anja has been a dedicated advocate for EDI in the engineering profession. Since early in her career, Anja has been determined to make a difference for women in engineering. In her second year at UBC, she created Women in Engineering Physics, the first undergraduate women in engineering network at UBC. At the same time, she joined Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Women in Engineering and Geoscience Division (formerly the Division for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and Geoscience), as a student representative on the Board of Directors.

Since then, Anja has continued to work closely with Engineers and Geoscientists BC on its EDI programs and initiatives. In 2013, Anja was the only trainee asked to participate in Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Women in Engineering and Geoscience Task Force, which examined the causes of gender imbalance in the profession and made recommendations on how to address them. She has also been an active member of the organization’s 30 by 30 Champions Network since 2018, working to increase the number of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30% by 2030.

In addition to her work with Engineers and Geoscientists BC, Anja has volunteered with various other organizations on their EDI initiatives, including Engineers Canada and the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology. She is a highly sought-after mentor, speaker, and advisor to EDI programs and initiatives in BC and beyond.

Anja’s commitment to EDI has not only made a difference in the engineering profession, but in the larger community. She has helped remove barriers for women and girls in engineering and STEM, challenged the status quo, and continued to inspire her colleagues to break down barriers and create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. – EGBC

Damineh Akhavan-Zanjani, P.Eng. FEC

Damineh has received the McLachlan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering. This award recognizes a leader who has made significant professional and technical achievements to professional engineering and has demonstrated substantial volunteer service.

Damineh is a Senior Engineer at De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, one of the most accomplished aircraft designers and manufacturers in Canadian history. She began her remarkable career at Viking Air Limited (now part of De Havilland) as a trainee in 2006, obtained her professional designation in 2009, and has since become a leader in the aerospace industry.

At De Havilland, Damineh leads the engineering support of De Havilland legacy and CL-series waterbomber aircraft in structural repairs, extensive in-service and production modifications, accident damage assessments, aircraft incident investigations, and testing. She has also actively supported the production of Twin Otter aircraft and the conversion of the CL-215T aircraft, which includes a new avionics suite that has been designed and customized for aerial firefighting missions. Damineh’s work in aerospace engineering directly affects the well-being and safety of many local, national, and international communities. The fleet of aircraft she supports provide essential services, such as firefighting activities, medivac support to remote communities, search and rescue missions, and coastal surveillance.

In addition to her technical work, Damineh is committed to the advancement of women in engineering and the involvement of children in STEM. She is a founder and CEO of Global Women in STEM Inc., promoting human rights and challenging the status quo for women in STEM through education, advocacy, and action. She volunteers with Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Youth Outreach Program, 30 by 30 Champions Group, and the Women in Engineering and Geoscience Division. In addition, she spends countless hours mentoring young women in STEM through various mentoring programs.

Her impressive achievements in aerospace engineering, contributions to human rights, and commitment to excellence, have made a significant impact on the engineering profession, both locally and internationally. She is an exceptional role model for young professionals and an inspiration to fellow engineers. – EGBC

Congratulations again Anja and Damineh, for this well-deserved achievement!

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