Marisa hosting National Engineering Month community event with York University engineering and computer science students


I am a distinguished professional engineer, experienced academic administrator and accomplished board director. My passion, energy and experience stems from my deep involvement with Ontario’s engineering community for over 25 years as a licensed P.Eng. and over 18 years as an OSPE member. I continue my involvement today as an Iron Ring Warden of Camp One, a champion of the national Engineering Change Lab think-tank, and co-founder of the Sterling Award for EITs named after my late father, past-PEO President Gordon Sterling.

“…I feel very compelled to do my part to leave the world a better place…” – Marisa Sterling

Marisa at Women of Influence event celebrating Mandy Rennehan, CEO of Freshco, with York University students

I created the first Inclusion Lens for Canada’s engineers, a web-based tool to make events inclusive of all people that goes beyond accessibility frameworks. The tool was used during NEM 2018 events and could be adopted by PEO and its chapters. It is part of my work to bring equity to under-represented people, including equity to under-represented people, indigenous, racialized, marginalized, LGBTQ2 and individuals with disabilities.

“(It) is about going beyond policy compliance and leading by example.”

Marisa with Engineers Canada Meritorious Service Award for Community Service in PEI

In 2017, I was honoured to receive the Engineers Canada Meritorious Service Award for Community Service. Since the 1990’s, I have been volunteering on boards ranging from a university’s governing council, to the CNE, to a refugee sponsorship organization. I have presided over a Toastmasters region, a condo condominium and currently the Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education as President.

“…community leaders like Marisa Sterling are so invaluable to our work…” – Ene Underwood, CEO Habitat for Humanity GTA

Marisa awarding Western University engineering student Hilary Stone with the Engineers Foundation Leaders for the Future Award

For the past 8 years, I have served as President of the Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education (FFE), the charity of Ontario engineers. I have worked with the board of directors to develop our mission and vision, refine our purpose and refresh our branding and value proposition. As a result, I have helped over 3000 Ontario engineering students across fifteen engineering schools with scholarships and mentorship towards the path to license. This includes encouraging these students to join PEO’s and OSPE’s student membership and engineering intern programs.

“… she provides leadership to the (Foundation for Education) board of directors…” – George Comrie, P.Eng, Past-President PEO

Marisa as staff advisor to PEO’s Enforcement Committee 2015

As PEO’s Enforcement Manager, I led the efforts to repeal the industrial exception in the Professional Engineers Act. I reached out to industry that had strong beliefs both for and against the repeal, found common ground and partnered with corporations to go beyond compliance and do the right thing. I built successful relationships with PEO and Ontario’s Ministry of Labour to share workplace accident data in order to prevent future occurrences. I have also written about how to be an ethical engineer in our global economy.

“Leadership is what I know. “

Marisa working with students to further equity, diversity and inclusion at the Lassonde School of Engineering. Watch her story here.

A chemical engineering graduate of the University of Toronto, my work experience in the engineering field spans both the private and public sectors: from product developer at Procter & Gamble to enforcement manager at PEO, my most recent role being Assistant Dean, Inclusivity and Diversity for the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University.

“…she’s a champion for the younger generation…” – The Huffington Post

Marisa with PEO President-Elect Nancy Hill, East Toronto Vice-Chair Larisse Kouadjo and Sterling Awardee George Crouch receiving his licence

To everyone who elected me Vice President of PEO Council in February 2018, thank you. I have taken this one-year position seriously. I have served on the Executive Committee, the OSPE-PEO Joint Relations Committee and as Council Liaison to the Experience Requirements Committee. Attending 100% of Council meetings, I come prepared to debate the issues and offer solutions that focus PEO on staying relevant and adding value to the public. I would be honoured to continue this work as your President-Elect.

I want to help improve the relevance, respect and value of our profession to the global society.

Marisa chairing the Engineers Foundation Annual General Meeting

I want to see a diversity of people across all types of engineering disciplines be licenced.

As President of the Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education for the past 8 years, I have provided pathways for engineering students across Ontario towards the PEng license, linking them to PEO's Student Membership (SMP) and Engineering Intern (EIT) programs. I will help transform PEO's licensing practices to be more transparent and responsive to our digital, diverse and rapidly changing world.

Marisa speaking at PEO East Toronto Chapter licence ceremony

I want to see enforcement measures that adapt to emerging jobs and industries so that licensing stays relevant.

After working for 8 years at PEO, including serving as Manager of Enforcement, I proactively increased the title and practice protection of engineering. As leader of the industrial exception repeal project, I built positive relationships with industry and government. We can do more to reach industries using new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and automation, to define emerging engineering fields and enforce them.

Marisa hosting Canada's Minister of Science,
Hon Kirsty Duncan, MP

I want the public to keep trusting that PEO and engineers will be there to help them safely navigate our rapidly changing and automated world.

Society needs engineers now more than ever to trust that their life, health, privacy and environment are protected. As a leader with the Engineering Change Lab think-tank, I am working with a national collaboration of industry, academia, organizations and regulators to unlock the full potential of engineers. I want to help PEO become a more dynamic engineering regulator to steward technology in a way that is sustainable and continues to protect society in the pace of global change.

With my inclusive leadership, we can move forward together. I commit my passion, energy and experience to the service as your PEO President.