E4TW 2020 – Lia Codrington

Lia Codrington
Lia Codrington spent a summer in Ghana as a Junior Fellow with Engineers Without Borders. (Photo courtesy of Lia Codrington)


Lia Codrington (1T9 PEY Infrastructure) is passionate about using her engineering skills to improve the quality of life for communities in need.

As a Junior Fellow with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), she spent the summer as a design consultant at Ashesi University, Ghana, helping students to more efficiently develop solutions to health care and food security problems in local communities.

Lia’s passion for improving the relationships between engineers and indigenous peoples led her to establish EWB’s Indigenous Reconciliation Portfolio, which works towards educating students on how to collaborate respectfully with and support Indigenous peoples.

Her work in the past 3 years included organising the Indigenous Speaker Series events in partnership with the Engineering Faculty, coordinating donation drives for a local Indigenous shelter, and contributing to a design project developing compost and water systems for Cat Lake First Nation’s new greenhouse. Her desire to use her knowledge as an engineering student to make meaningful contributions to Indigenous communities was reflected in her thesis and capstone projects, where she worked on housing challenges in First Nation communities. In 2019, she traveled to Iqaluit to take part in the Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus.

In addition to her involvement in EWB, Lia was also a Varsity Athlete on U of T’s Cross Country and Track Team, and captained the intramural women’s hockey team for 2 years. As an executive of Blues Engineering for 3 years, she established a community and support network for varsity athletes studying engineering, running luncheons and study sessions for first year students. She also made great contributions to the Engineering Athletic Association while holding various leadership positions.

After graduation, Lia is heading to the University of Victoria where she will do an NSERC-funded masters in civil engineering. She will become part of the SESIT (Sustainable Energy Systems Integration & Transitions) group led by alumna Madeleine McPherson (EngSci 0T9, PhD CivE 1T7). She hopes to focus on using machine learning to facilitate decision making for remote communities transitioning to renewable energy sources.

“If I’ve learned anything about engineering over the past five years, it’s that soft skills are just as important as the technical ones. You need communication and empathy to understand a problem before you start throwing math at it. I still have a lot of work to do — especially on my aim — but I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to grow these skills at U of T.”
–Lia Codrington