Tell us a bit about yourself ?
I work at the Operations Maintenance & Monitoring Centre as part of the York Region Environmental Services. The building is located on the Bayview Parkway in Newmarket, surrounded by parks and trails. Obviously, my work is deeply involved in Environmental Engineering. To be specific, I specialize in drinking water treatment.
Describe a typical day at work
There is not really a “typical” day in environmental engineering since our surrounding environment constantly changes. But in general, I spend half of the time doing lab tests in our laboratory and preparing paper work in the office. During the other half, I am out in the field (a water treatment plant, a pumping station, a well house, you name it). My group mainly works on the process optimization, hence I go out to configure the pilot filters, taking water samples, maintenance experimental apparatuses quite frequently.
What courses best prepared you for your job?
CIV342 Water and Wastewater Treatment. The undergraduate courses really just give you the relevant background and point you a direction to start with. I do want to mention that the UofT engineering has a lot of collaboration with local municipalities, and I work with them quite a lot at work.
Describe the coolest project you got to work on
I have been working on a filter pilot at a local township water treatment plant. The plant is not currently working as designed and we have to rent temporary modular filters to ensure the water quality. Thousands of local residents are depending on my work to have stable access to clean water, and potentially saving a lot of taxpayers’ money. It is a lot of responsibility, but yeah, it is cool.
Is there anything you wish you knew about the job / industry before starting?
We civs usually do not take chemistry seriously. But water treatment is really a mixture of civil and chemical engineering. It would be great if I did not forget all my high school chemistry, but it is not a big problem after all.
Any tips / advice / anything you would like to share with current students?
If you are interested in a certain area, doing summer researches at school is always a good experience and great preparation for your future jobs. When doing PEY, take the opportunity to learn as much as you can, since a lot of the knowledge cannot be taught at school. I am constantly amazed by how intelligent and experienced my colleagues are, and I definitely benefited a lot.