This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jen Gatenby

“My #AeroPassion is the instant on take-off when the ground falls away.”
Jen's Biography

My name is Jen Gatenby; I am a young Engineer in Training (E.I.T.) and recent graduate of Carleton University’s Aerospace Engineering program (2014), with a specialty in Structures, Systems and Vehicle Design. I became passionate about aerospace and aviation in high school and worked towards obtaining my Private Pilot’s License in Kingston, Ontario when I was sixteen. Pursuing studies in Aerospace Engineering seemed like a natural progression, allowing me to learn about the theory of flight, mechanical systems, aerodynamics and structures that supported my interest in the industry. As a student, I was an active CASI member, the Project Integrator for Carleton’s Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System (RUAS) design project team and President of Carleton’s Student Chapter of the American Helicopter Society (AHS). I completed a sixteen month co-op term at GasTOPS Ltd. in Ottawa, Ontario, where I returned to work following graduation as Systems Analyst.

GasTOPS provides advanced products and services for machinery condition assessment and control that reduce the cost and risk of machinery development and operations. As a Systems Analyst, with the Controls, Simulations and Software group, I work in the technical engineering services division of GasTOPS, devoted to providing specialized technical services that have helped customers in Defense, Aviation, Marine, Energy and Transportation industries worldwide to meet the challenges of improved productivity and safety for critical equipment. I have been involved with a wide range of projects with GasTOPS such as marine propulsion system simulation and analysis, software implementation for the metrology laboratory at our Service Centre in Newfoundland, and creating a simulator for a LM2500 Gas Turbine engine.

GasTOPS is technology-based, Canadian-owned SME that provides advanced sensors for aero engine health monitoring, including on-line oil debris sensors for the Pratt and Whiney engines that power the Joint Strike Fighter, the Bombardier CSeries and Airbus A320neo aircraft. The company also operates a Transport Canada and DND certified repair centre for aircraft component MRO.

Working with my colleagues in the Controls, Systems and Simulations group on projects/tasks to achieve a common goal, is one of my favourite parts of my job. One of the key aspects of the engineering profession is teamwork; it presents a unique set of challenges with interpersonal and communication skills, but ultimately results in a wider variety of ideas being tabled, delegation of tasks to improve efficiency and, when everyone comes together, impressive outcomes. I have learned so much just from working alongside such intelligent, knowledgeable and encouraging engineers who are always eager to teach and provide feedback on my work. They are inspiring, and really make my job enjoyable.

The LM2500 Gas Turbine Simulator project I was recently involved with was really interesting. I enjoyed it so much because it was a team effort, with project management, hardware and software aspects all working together to meet an urgent deadline. It also gave me a chance to learn about some new software, data acquisition, prototype testing and engineering documentation. It was one of the highlights of my time working at GasTOPS so far.

I am proud of the work GasTOPS has performed for the Canadian Armed Forces, including my systems and simulations efforts, which support their ability to defend Canadian interests, contribute to international peace and stability, and support our partners and allies. The impact on people’s everyday lives of the work I do at GasTOPS supporting the Canadian Forces is hard to quantify but easily understood. As a young woman in the aerospace industry, I also hope my work in the field, and active participation in the Canadian aerospace community will inspire and support other youth with a passion for aviation and space in the decision to become part of a new, enthusiastic generation of aerospace engineers.

My vision for the future of women in aerospace is to see more women become actively involved and passionate about aerospace and aviation in general. Women have the potential to be hugely successful in this industry with the right attitude, education, and a supporting professional network. I have seen firsthand how, from a young age, aerospace and aviation education can inspire young women to pursue careers in math, science and engineering. I plan on continuing to be part of organizations such as CASI, AHS and supporting programs such as CWSE to encourage participation and female leadership in the aerospace industry, and hopefully inspire others to follow a similar career path.

Some of the best advice I ever received was in the final year of my studies, when I was struggling to balance school work and the decision to take on a leadership role in my extra curriculars: Seize every opportunity you are given to help push your career, your goals, to the next stage. Every chance has the potential to be a learning opportunity, a chance to meet new people and make influential connections. Staying well rounded, well connected and keeping your goals in sight can keep you moving forward and focused on a successful career.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
For Inquiries :
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.