Skip to content

Hey, we gotta ask

Are you of legal drinking age?

Back to news Back to previous page

Apr 24, 2023

Sleeman Supports the Next Generation of Women Engineers

A team at Sleeman Breweries recently supported a group of University of Waterloo engineering students on the students’ fourth-year research project.

When you think about your own career, who would you thank for those little boosts and learning moments that helped get you where you are? Melanie Pastorius, QA Manager at Sleeman Breweries, is a big believer in paying it forward – and she’s putting that concept into practice by giving the next generation of women engineers a hand up.

“I’m fortunate to work for a company that promotes growth and giving back,” says Melanie. “I believe that when young women repeatedly see other women in all types of roles, they’ll have the courage to challenge themselves and go after their dreams.”

Working the network

A chemical engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo, Melanie has stayed tight with her alma mater throughout her career. “I’m still closely connected to the university,” she says. “I work with the Women in Engineering group, have mentored students, and participate in a number of panels for prospective engineering students.”

Emily Smyth is a fourth-year chemical engineering student at UWaterloo. She reached out to Melanie after the two connected at a Women in Engineering networking event. Emily asked Melanie if she would consider supporting Emily and several classmates with their capstone research project. Melanie was happy to get involved.

Real-world experience

The capstone research project is the grand finale for chemical engineering students in their fourth year. It pairs students with an industry partner to study a real-world challenge and propose a solution.

Over the course of six months, the team - Emily Smyth, Sayjal Sharma and Shania Joseph –met with Melanie and Brewing Technical Specialist Jonathan Crawshaw to gain a better understanding of Sleeman’s operations. After discussing ideas, the team landed on a project that studied carbon capture from the brewing process.

L to R: Emily Smyth, Shania Joseph, Sayjal Sharma and Melanie Pastorius at the design symposium.

“It was amazing to work with both Melanie and Jonathan to understand more about the brewing industry and to work with their data to develop our solution,” says Emily.

With Melanie and Jonathan’s guidance and support from Michelle Watson, Director of Operations, the team completed their research project and presented it at their fourth-year design symposium in March.

“Both Melanie and Jonathan were very helpful,” says Sayjal. “I learned so much about the brewing process from them through this experience.”

Developing the next experts

Emily, Sayjal and Shania’s project gave them an in-depth understanding of how their education can be applied in the real world.

“Melanie and Jonathan were incredibly supportive of us through our capstone,” says Shania. “By sharing their real-life experiences with us, we felt more connected to our solution, and it motivated us to work harder on our project.”

“They did a fabulous job,” says Melanie. “I’m really proud of them.”

Work with us