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Lindsay Kilpatrick

Become comfortable being uncomfortable. The only way to really grow and learn is to continually challenge yourself with new roles and responsibilities.

Lindsay grew up in Ottawa, and received her Civil Engineering degree from Queen’s University in Kingston in 2008. Following graduation, she moved out West to work with Hatch, a large engineering consulting firm. After working on a variety of projects in the Calgary office, Lindsay travelled to Vancouver on assignment in 2010. From there, she volunteered for a site construction opportunity and spent a year as a Field Engineer, working at a mine expansion construction project in interior BC. Although it was the coldest she’d ever been, it was also her first taste of construction and she was hooked! After returning to Vancouver she spent a year with Hatch Mott MacDonald’s Rail and Transit group and then moved to SNC-Lavalin to work as a Civil Field Engineer. In her spare time she takes advantage of beautiful BC by skiing, hiking, and backpacking, and loves travelling and trying new foods.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your current job?

I currently work as a Civil Field Engineer on the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project. As a Field Engineer for one of the future light rail stations, I’m responsible for resolving site construction issues, for tracking budgets and progress, and for ensuring what’s built on site complies with the design drawings and project specifications. The job involves coordination between many different parties and keeping detailed documentation regarding all site activities.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I chose engineering because it seemed like an interesting field that would be capable of keeping me occupied and challenged for my entire career. The variety of roles available within just the Civil discipline is huge – I knew there would be plenty of opportunity for growth and to try new things. It also seemed like a reasonably stable career option, since communities continually need new roads, bridges, and buildings, and improvements to existing infrastructure are often required, as well.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

The best things about my current job in construction are the extremely fast pace and the opportunity to spend a part of my day outdoors. My role includes a huge variety of tasks which keeps things interesting and challenging. Many of these activities involve interacting with a variety of people on a daily basis – designers, contractors, clients – which is quite enjoyable for me. Finally, being in construction means I can see the developments being made – I love that every day I come to site I can clearly see the progress that’s been achieved since the day before.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

Last year I was involved in a presentation at work for Engineer’s Without Borders. It was a unique opportunity to meet new people and learn new things, outside of the usual business setting.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field?

Become comfortable being uncomfortable. The only way to really grow and learn is to continually challenge yourself with new roles and responsibilities. It will initially be uncomfortable, but that’s simply the feeling of trying something you haven’t done before.

How would you describe the relationship with your mentor/mentee?

There is so much to learn from everyone around you, both at school or work, and elsewhere. You may have a friend or colleague who is not in exactly your field, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out more about what they do and how they got there. You never know what knowledge may be useful down the road.

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.
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