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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Catherine Karakatsanis, BESc'83, MESc'91, COO of Morrison Hershfield, builds strong foundations. As a respected civil engineer and one of Canada's most powerful women, she is advancing industry expertise and serving as a role model to female engineers. And she got her footing at Western.


Catherine Karakatsanis, BESc ’83, MESc ’91, is a Professional Engineer and the Chief Operating Officer and Director at Morrison Hershfield Group Inc., an employee-owned consulting engineering and management ‘Top 100 North American Engineering firm’ with 21 offices across North America. The firm provides engineering and management consulting services in the areas of energy and industrial, buildings, technology and telecom, transportation, environment, water and wastewater, and land development.

Catherine has had a progressive career at Morrison Hershfield moving successfully through a series of roles with extensive engineering and management experience.

As COO she is responsible for the domestic and international operations of Morrison Hershfield providing business leadership and overseeing 900 professionals.

In addition to her role at Morrison Hershfield, Ms. Karakatsanis has made time to volunteer, and has served as President and Chair of Engineers Canada; President and Chair of both of Ontario’s licensure and advocacy engineering bodies. She has also served on the boards of Hydro One, The Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, and The Foundation For Education. She currently sits on the boards of Engineers Without Borders, Western University’s Board of Governors, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation and chairs Western University’s Faculty of Engineering Advisory Council.

An alumna of Western Engineering’s undergraduate and master’s programs, her dedication to best management practices and commitment to the enrichment of the engineering profession have earned the respect of her colleagues and her peers.

Catherine has consistently been recognized for her contributions to her firm, the profession and her community. Some of her awards include having been inducted in to the Canadian Academy of Engineering as a Fellow; awarded Ontario’s Engineering profession’s premier award, the Gold Medal, which recognizes technical excellence, conscientious commitment to public service and outstanding professional leadership; awarded the ‘Engineering Medal of Management’ which recognizes professional engineers who have contributed significantly to achieving excellence in engineering, primarily through their management skills. She was inducted as a ‘Companion’ by Professional Engineers Ontario which is reserved exclusively for individuals whose distinguished service has profoundly influenced the profession. She was recognized by the Province of Ontario with the ‘Leading Women Building Communities Award’ for her exceptional community leadership to improve the lives of women and girls in Ontario; received the ‘L.S. Lauchland Engineering Alumni Medal’ in 2008 awarded to a Western Engineering alumni for outstanding contributions to the engineering profession, business leadership and community.

Catherine has also been inducted into ‘Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame’ having been named by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women four times in four separate categories in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in four different categories (‘Professional’, ‘Corporate Directors’; ‘Trail Blazers and Trendsetters’; and ‘Corporate Executive’).  These Awards celebrate and highlight the professional achievements of women across the country in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

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