A childhood love of sailing led Sue Molloy to study floating devices “to bring boats back into my life.” Armed with a PhD in engineering and now based in Halifax, Molloy anchored her knowledge of leading-edge technology in ocean-based, environmentally responsible projects.
Naval architect, painter, water-power technology expert, entrepreneur, president and CEO of Glas Ocean Electric, Molloy is also a consultant, researcher and adjunct professor at both Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba.
Honoured for her leadership in marine renewables, Molloy is keen on carbon-footprint reduction — from harnessing tidal power to converting diesel boats to electricity. The latter led to Glas Ocean Electric earning a Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in Engineering in April 2021.
“Delivering the first boat approved by the Transport Canada MTRB (Marine Technical Review Board) to use lithium-ion-power to carry more than 12 people. Partnering with local Indigenous communities, it’s more than a technical achievement. We ended up with this beautiful boat painted by Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy. We have a real opportunity to make a big dent in our emissions and do something good for society.”
Canadian Space Agency, Nova Scotia Power and Transport Canada.
“Sexism in a male-dominated field.”
“Both Suong V. Hoa and Subhash Rakheja were critical. I don’t think I would have been successful without their support. I never ever felt like a 'female' engineer with them. I never felt I had anything to make up for.”
Concordia’s path to success
“My final-year project was a scaled, three-foot-model of a boat with a carbon fibre mast. Concordia provided critical, practical guidance in touching tools and materials, in designing and building — and in the end you have something that doesn’t fall apart.”
On science and art dovetailing
“I was simultaneously taking fine-art studio classes. One semester, I had seven courses. It was a huge thing for me. I don’t think I would have gotten through engineering without the art.”
Best career advice
“Don’t try to succeed by doing things that are easy for you. Reach high and achieve hard.”