| She juggles engineering career, young children
AWWA Articles

She juggles engineering career, young children

Job and Employer: Project Manager at EPCOR Utilities in Edmonton, Canada

Educational background: BSc. Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta

Age: Just entered my fourth decade!

What is your biggest accomplishment? Learning to balance career and family as priorities in my life change…also achieving my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification after returning to work after maternity leave, and learning to parent a newborn and active 4-year-old.

How do you balance family and a challenging career?
By improving my time management to be more efficient at work to allow me to spend time at home to play and watch “Peppa Pig” with my loved ones!

Do you have any advice for parents of young children who are trying to juggle career and family?
Be ready to adapt to changes in both family and career and being able to separate work and keep it at the office to enjoy family quality time when at home.

Daily duties: Supervise various types of projects from conception, design, construction and
commissioning. Responsibilities include: project scoping, justification, budgeting, design and
contractor management.

What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on? 
My first major project as a Project Manager involved the retrofit integration of UV disinfection treatment at the Edmonton Rossdale Water Treatment Plant. The new UV disinfection system included an innovative design, construction and operational validation to achieve developing UV and water treatment regulatory requirements.

What is something unexpected you learned on the job? 
Projects involve various engineering 
disciplines beyond my civil engineering education. I have had to learn process automation and
controls – which needs its own dictionary to understand all the lingo of acronyms.

Do you have a role at your section and how did you become a volunteer? I have had various roles
with the Western Canada Section of AWWA that have given me opportunities to expand and share knowledge in the water industry – initially as Young Professional Committee Chair, Alberta Trustee that included being the board liaison with the Cross Connection Control Committee, and most recently as Education Committee Chair. 

How long have you been a member and what have you gotten from your membership? I have been
an AWWA member since 2000. My membership has provided me with networking with peers across
the Prairie Provinces and in North America, educational and volunteering benefits that have
developed me both personally and professionally.

Why did you decide to go into the water field?
It is rewarding to be involved in providing an essential

element -- clean, potable water that people use every day by the turn of a tap.

Toughest thing about your job? Multitasking workload to manage, prioritize and complete multiple
projects that also involve unforeseen challenges that require immediate attention to
address and troubleshoot – usually related to safety, design and construction.

What’s your motto in life? Go with the flow.

Hobbies and outside interests: Local music festivals and Pinterest for baking, cooking, crafts and
theme celebrations for my little ones.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a writer and the
only person who thought I would be an engineer was my Dad!

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you? I have floated down a river
in the Rocky Mountains on an inflatable boat and canoeing too, but ended up capsizing (lost canoe but
luckily it was found by some boaters the next day), snorkeling in the Red Sea and kayaking in
Malaysia…and I can’t swim!