In Canadian First, Concordia Names Engineering School After Woman

(Bloomberg) -- Montreal’s Concordia University will become the first university in Canada to name an engineering school after a woman after receiving a C$15 million ($11.6 million) donation.

Gina Parvaneh Cody, an engineer and entrepreneur who arrived in Canada from Iran in 1979 with C$2,000, is making the gift to her alma mater. The faculty will be called The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

In Canadian First, Concordia Names Engineering School After Woman

The donation will support graduate and undergraduate scholarships, as well as research on smart cities. Three chairs will be created in: data analytics and artificial intelligence; the Internet of things; and Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing.

Women currently make up only about 20 percent of all engineering students at Concordia -- a proportion that has plateaued in recent years, said Cody, 61.

“I want to inspire students that technical studies are for everyone regardless of gender,” she said Monday in a telephone interview. “If a woman from Iran can succeed in engineering, anybody can do it.”

Cody was most recently the executive chair and main shareholder of CCI Group Inc., a Toronto-based engineering consulting firm. She now sits on the board of Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, having sold her company in 2016.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.