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Sue Tessier

What is your current job?

I currently work for Vale at the Copper Cliff Smelting and Refining complex. My job for the last few years has been AER (Atmospheric Emissions Reduction) Program Manager. This role is a change management role to help prepare the smelter and refinery operations for upcoming changes resulting from a 1 billion dollar environmental improvement project.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

In high school, I did not really know much about engineering. My chemistry teacher mentioned chemical engineering as a potential career choice. When I tried to get more information, my high school guidance counsellor told me that engineering was not for girls and that I should pursue nursing or teaching. That made me dig my heels in and apply for university admission in an engineering program. It was the best decision that I ever made. Engineering has been a great career with a lot of rewards.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love the fact that every day is different. New issues, new challenges and always new opportunities.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

When my boys were younger, I used to bring them to Science North for the K-nex exposition. For the past couple of years our CIM Sudbury Branch sponsors a bridge building contest at the local college during National Engineering Month.

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

I always suggest that young women get their science and math credits at high school to keep as many doors open as possible. Too often young women have already dropped the math and science credits by the time they are deciding which career they want to pursue eliminating engineering as an option. I also suggest that they talk to practicing engineers as there are many different engineering careers and different options within each discipline.

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BioButton

Sue Tessier joined Vale (previously Inco) in 1979. She graduated from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Engineering in metallurgy and is a registered professional engineer.

Sue started her career with as a research engineer in the pyrometallurgy lab in Copper Cliff, Ontario. She has worked in various roles both in process technology and operations throughout the Copper Cliff Smelting and Refining complexes. Sue has held the roles of process technology superintendent at the Copper Cliff Nickel Refinery, operations superintendent at the Copper Refinery, Electrowinning, Silver Refinery, Sulphur Products, Oxygen and Utilities for the Smelter Complex and most recently at the Smelter flash furnaces and feed preparation plant.

Sue is currently the Clean AER Program manager on the team looking at reducing atmospheric emissions from the smelting and refining complexes at the Vale Copper Cliff site. She is responsible for ensuring operations integration with the Clean AER project.

While enjoying a great career, Sue and her husband Gilles raised 3 boys and are now enjoying 3 grandchildren.

One of Sue’s great passions has been encouraging young people, especially girls, to consider science and engineering as career choices. As a female engineering role model, she has been involved with school board career fairs, guest speaker programs and young engineers mentoring.

Always an active community volunteer, Sue has been involved for 33 years in judging at the Sudbury Regional Science Fair. In 2003, she was the first female chair of the Sudbury Branch of CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum). Other groups such as WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), Go Eng Girls and Camp 22 Iron Ring Warden have also benefited from Sue’s extensive involvement in engineering related activities.

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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