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Posts from the ‘National Engineering Month’ Category

Sustainable Energy and Engineers

The green movement is increasing pressure on governments and industry alike to develop efficient renewable energy sources. Engineers play a crucial role in the development and implementation of these sustainable energy sources. 

In a conscious effort to minimize the use of fossil fuels that are harmful to our environment, we are moving towards a greater reliance on re-useable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric. The growth of these areas has increased job opportunities for both recent graduates and experienced engineers.

Solar engineers

The falling costs of materials and new technologies have resulted in great growth for solar energy, making it one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.[i] Many are opting to incorporate solar panels into their projects not only for the positive impact on the environment but also due to the reduction in monthly energy bills, potential government subsidies and tax incentives. Solar engineers plan, design and implement solar panel systems for projects ranging from home-owners’ rooftop installations to major city projects.

Wind engineers

Large wind turbines harness wind power to produce electricity for utilities. This is a growing area, with the Canadian Wind Energy Association noting that wind energy infrastructure installation outpaced all other energy projects between 2006 to 2017.[ii]  Wind engineers focus on the design of turbines and wind farms, rotor blades, electrical systems and overall energy production. Due to the complexity of wind turbines, to construct efficient wind farms, wind engineers rely on the assistance of aerospace, civil, electrical, environmental, industrial and mechanical engineers.

Geothermal engineers

Unlike solar and wind energies, geothermal energy is available 365 days a year, as it is created from the heat from the earth’s surface.[iii] The energy is predominately generated in the United States and Iceland, with geothermal heat pumps that can tap into the earth’s surface to provide enough energy to heat and cool buildings.[iv] Geothermal engineers are responsible for creating the processes and equipment that converts this heat into renewable energy.

Hydroelectric engineers

Hydropower is the oldest large-scale system for generating electricity.[v]

As hydropower accounts for 63% of Canadian’s electricity,[vi] hydropower engineers play an essential role in providing the electricity we use on a daily basis. Hydropower engineers are responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and production of hydropower facilities such as river dams. These engineers look for ways to modernize older hydropower technologies, making them more efficient while minimizing the impact on the environment.

As concerns about climate change and global warming continue to grow, greater pressure is placed on engineers to design and implement new and efficient ways to harvest sustainable energies.

To learn more about these renewable energy sources, or to start your career in a sustainable engineering field contact Adecco today!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/solar-energy-is-fastest-growing-source-of-power-1.3618361

[ii] https://canwea.ca/wind-facts/why-wind-works/

[iii] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/geothermal-energy/

[iv] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/geothermal-energy/

[v]https://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/5761/Hydropower-Energy-Harvesting.aspx

[vi]https://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/5761/Hydropower-Energy-Harvesting.aspx

 

Women in STEM. Closing the Gender Gap

Although the STEM fields have historically been male dominated, many are mindful that it’s time to bridge the gender gap and work towards encouraging female innovators and leaders of the next generation to explore opportunities in this field.

Women have accounted for 30% of employment growth in STEM since 2010, but still make up less than one-quarter of employment in these occupations. The persistence of low female representation will bear a larger and larger economic cost with time. [iv]

To promote the willingness and inclusion of women in STEM, everyone has a role to play to shift away from keeping the status quo it being a field that is male dominated, and, encourage and spark the interest of females early on.

Parents

Parents hold an impactful role in creating an open dialogue with children to address gender stereotyping. Parents should encourage children to explore different interests and provide them with means to do so, which can be as simple as investing in educational toys that foster a healthy interest in technology and science. Make the connections between your child’s interests and possible career options. Provide resources, extracurricular activities and any additional educational assistance to help the younger generation reach their academic and career goals. To assist parents, Engineers Canada has started programs to hello young girls explore engineering programs, including a crest for Girl Guides and its support for the Engendering Success in STEM research consortium.

Educators

With only one in five of engineering program graduates being women — identical to statistics from 10 years ago[i] — it’s apparent that adjustments are needed as it relates to our teaching approaches to provide a gender balance in the STEM fields.

In computer science and math, a mere one in four graduates are women – which is less than 20 years ago.[ii]

Educators can review current lesson plans to ensure they are enticing to both genders. This may include collaborative group work or hands on lessons to help girls develop an interest and confidence in STEM related subjects. Educators can also provide information on the full range of career options available within the STEM fields to peak the interest of young girls and boys alike early on.

The media

From Bill Nye the Science Guy, to the heavily male dominated cast of MythBusters, the media continues to play a role in gender stereotyping. Engineers and Scientists are frequently represented by men in the media — playing a part in how youth view gender representations in society. Rather than continuing down this path, we can leverage the media to highlight females who have made strides in their respective STEM industries, providing other females with role models. A great example of a positive female representation in STEM was with the 2017 release of the movie Hidden Figures. Based on the true story of the lives of three women working at NASA during the “space race” of the 1960’s, it provides an insight into the female contributions to STEM.

Employers

Employers continue to hold a large role in closing the gender gap.

With less than 13% of practicing licensed engineers being women,[iii] greater efforts can be made by hiring managers to diversify their employees. Although women in STEM occupations generally earn more than women in other positions, they still earn less than their male counterparts.[iv] Companies must be mindful of these division of wages — developing objective metrics and holding themselves accountable for meeting them. Fair wages combined with the recognition of accomplishments will assist in providing women with a sense that they can succeed in an industry, even if it is male dominated.

As a society we need to make a conscious effort to continue to draw females into this under-represented field.  Ultimately, this will lessen the skills gap. Collectively, we need to place greater efforts on continuing to expand strategies that will lessen the gender gap and encourage women to pursue careers in STEM.

For more information on how to close the STEM gender gap, or to start your next STEM career, contact Adecco today!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] https://globalnews.ca/news/3739338/women-stem-lower-paying-jobs/

[ii] https://globalnews.ca/news/3739338/women-stem-lower-paying-jobs/

[iii] https://engineerscanada.ca/diversity/women-in-engineering

[iv] https://economics.td.com/domains/economics.td.com/documents/reports/bc/wistem/Women-and-STEM.pdf

 

Top Trending Engineering Jobs

With demand increasing for technology, science and computing, engineering candidates are a hot commodity. We’ve got insight on the upcoming years’ trending engineering roles that offer competitive salaries and job security.

Civil Engineer

With the population continuously increasing, our infrastructure will require growth to support it. This includes the maintenance and construction of new roadways, management of water supply, waste filtration and residential real estate development. This career path means that you’ll be creating new infrastructures in a healthy economy and maintaining and repairing the existing infrastructure in a recessed economy — making it virtually recession proof!


Environmental Engineers

Unsurprisingly, with an increase in socio-economic pressures for sustainable energy, environmental engineers are in high demand. Their jobs include applying their knowledge of natural science to develop solutions for air and water pollution, recycling, waste management and green energy. An increasingly environmentally conscious civilization means environmental engineers have the opportunity to implement changes that better our society and world.


Software Engineers

From cell phones, to cars, to household appliances, these days a computer can be found in everything! With an emphasis on cloud technology and mobile computing, software engineers develop new systems and apps, increase cyber security and create code — making this industry extremely profitable for budding engineers with an interest in math.

“Digital technologies and artificial intelligence will become more closely integrated with all aspects of the traditional engineering sectors. Therefore, engineers who can expand and develop their expertise in this area beyond their current knowledge base will be in very high demand” – Mark Matters, Senior Vice President, Roevin


Petroleum and Chemical Process Engineers

In attempts to recover oil/gas where engineers have retired or left the industry, petroleum and chemical process engineers remain in high demand. Petroleum engineers conduct studies for new oil and gas fields, oversee drilling operations and develop production equipment. While chemical engineers develop processes that turn raw material into product. These engineers apply economic and environmental practices to ensure oil fields are efficient, safe and cost effective.

For more information on trending jobs, or to get started on your engineering career today, contact Adecco today!


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.

The Future of Women in STEM: A Multifaceted Approach

 

Katie Bieber is an IT Recruitment Consultant in Roevin’s Edmonton branch. She brings over three yearKatieBiebers of professional experience to her role and in Edmonton’s tech sector.  Katie focuses on clients in the IT realm and has developed exceptional connections and a network of candidates in the STEM field. She works with many passionate and pioneering candidates who overcome impressive hurdles as the only women applying for a role or being the only women on a team. Their perseverance and success have inspired her own passion for promoting women in the tech arena.


With March being National Engineering Month – coupled with International Women’s Day falling on March 8th — Adecco is continuing our look at the underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The topic has become an increasingly important point of discussion. Various government bodies, reports, studies, organizations, mission statements and think tanks have explored it in recent years.  The problem has almost unanimous support — both from diversity advocates and the STEM sector itself. In 2010,  Natural Sciences and Engineer Research Council of Canada (NSERC) released an 84-page report on Women in Science and Engineering in Canada which explored the “under-representation of women in the various fields of science and engineering” and noted that this long-recognized problem was “of concern to the…NSERC”.

Are women really underrepresented in STEM?

Undeniably, yes!

WomeninSTEM_infographic

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, women accounted for only 39% of university graduates aged 25-34 with a STEM degree, compared with 66% of university graduates in non-STEM programs.  Moreover, the percentage of women working in the fields has barely changed in 30 years. In 1987, 20% of the STEM workforce were women. Today, it is still only 22%.

And as NSERC pointed out in their report, “Virtually all countries in the world, to varying levels, have fewer women than men studying in the NSE” (natural sciences and engineering).

Read more

Women in STEM: An Interview with Réjeanne Aimey

March is National Engineering Month — a celebration of engineering excellence commemorated by Engineers Canada since 1992. This year’s theme of “There’s a place for you” recognizes inclusion, diversity and opportunity in the engineering field. Coupled with today being International Women’s Day, we thought it the perfect occasion to profile inspiring women in the engineering profession and show budding young female technicians and scientists how rewarding a career in engineering can be. Below is Adecco’s interview with Réjeanne Aimey, P.Eng, MBA — an experienced and inspirational engineering professional based out of Toronto — discussing not only her experience as a woman in STEM but also a woman of colour in this highly competitive and historically exclusive field.

RejeanneAimeyRéjeanne is Canadian born and was raised in Trinidad and Tobago from the age of 3 to the end of high school. While in Trinidad she became heavily involved in music from the age of 6, learning music theory and playing the piano to achieve the highest grade certifications possible from the Trinity College of Music in London, UK. She attended the prestigious Bishop Anstey High School, a school for girls where entrance is determined based on academic ability. After her return to Canada, she attended the University of Western Ontario, in London, where she completed a Bachelor of Engineering Science in Mechanical Engineering. Réjeanne’s professional pursuits have been multiple and included work in R&D, structural, noise and vibration, and durability analysis using finite element techniques, lean continuous improvement, nuclear reactor engineering, heavy industrial equipment maintenance, software implementation, and SR&ED consulting. She is also a member of Professional Engineers Ontario and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. While working, she completed a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  Réjeanne’s goal is to increase her visibility in the hope that it will encourage others to exceed their goals, to foster STEM learning among youth, and to advocate for the engineering profession in Ontario.

What made you first fall in love with STEM?

I’ve had a curiosity about the world for as long as I can remember. It first started off at a very young age with my toys. I remember wanting to learn how they worked and most importantly — how they moved. I realized quickly that, at first, my brother’s toys seemed much more engaging than those given directly to me. Even today, boys’ toys seem to have pre-determined motion built into them while girls’ toys are stationary and require the child to use her creativity to create motion! So I played with them both, but the boys’ toys immediately satisfied my curiosity and developed my intellect much more.

Also, there was always some interesting project happening around my home that I was curious about. These ranged from the mixing of cement and gardening to building a dog house, an outdoor pond, or baking a cake. Lots of stimulation for me there.

When I started school and was first exposed to science, there was no question that it was for me. As I was exposed to more and more topics, my interest grew and there was no looking back.

Growing up, did you always want to get into the engineering field?

To tell you the truth, I always knew it was an option, but I wasn’t completely sure in my teenage years because of my love of art. I am no Monet, but I recall thinking that I loved them both equally and considered architecture to be the perfect marriage between art and science. In the end, though, I chose engineering because I felt it was much more stable and I could always pursue my artistic endeavours through other avenues.

I should add that my father is a civil engineer and there are many other types of engineers in my extended family. Many people that I’ve mentioned this to think that an engineering path was guaranteed for me, but my family never sat me down and told me to do engineering. When I did mention my decision, they were happily supportive nonetheless.

Did you have a mentor/role model in STEM that inspired or encouraged you to get into the field?

“I can’t recall one black female engineer or scientist whom I looked to for inspiration, but I recall many women who had broken gender barriers…”

The high school I went to instilled in us that there is no limit to our pursuits. I can’t recall one black female engineer or scientist whom I looked to for inspiration, but I recall many women who had broken gender barriers in various other fields. All I knew is that I liked motion and science, I did well at it academically, I could do whatever I wanted, and engineering was it.

Have you encountered sexism and/or racism in your technical education and profession?

I would answer “yes, ” but it did feel more like racism than sexism. I feel that I can make that determination because though I was born in Canada, I was raised in another country that is a melting pot of a variety of races and cultures. My family members held positions in their chosen fields, most country leaders looked exactly like me, I was surrounded by others who mostly looked like me, no one’s ambition was tempered in academia due to their family’s socio-economic status — so there was no question about my abilities or pursuits. I attended one of the best high schools and studied alongside some of the most intelligent and successful women I will ever meet in this lifetime. So I know what equal and preferential treatment feels like and there was a definite shift in that feeling once I arrived back in Canada.

How did you overcome it — mentally and practically?

“My character is defined by a variety of pursuits — when things appear to not go well in one area, my other interests keep me happily engaged and entertained.”

My ambition, resolve, drive, and determination is strong — qualities instilled in me by my family, friends, teachers, and elders. It definitely helped growing up in the environment that I did. For the most part, I ignored any slights I noticed along my journey and was grateful for the opportunities I did receive. A valuable opportunity always seemed to become available to me when I needed it, and that has made up for all the treatment I received that I felt was racist, sexist, or unfair. To be fair to those who introduced these unnecessary barriers, I truly do not believe some of them were fully aware that decisions they made were based more on perceptions of my race and culture than on my actual abilities.

Also, I suppose that because my character is defined by a variety of pursuits — when things appear to not go well in one area, my other interests keep me happily engaged and entertained.

How do you think we can better encourage girls and women — particularly women of colour — to get into engineering?

First off, I think that kids should always be bombarded with opportunities to learn about science and technology. STEM can be applied to practically every interest area in today’s world, so there really is no excuse for not including a demographic due to their perceived lack of interest. I think that when introduced with qualities that all excellent teachers should exude – intelligence, patience, caring, attentiveness, fairness, and equality – any child would excel in STEM.

Whether male or female, I think we need to start from youth. If we don’t inspire kids through the toys that they play with as a child, or from the positive influence of family members or family friends, then we should be able to attract them to STEM through a fair and equal education system. There are also many extra-curricular endeavours available that can help. One such endeavor I am involved in is the Women in Engineering and Science (WIES) Design Competition which runs over 2 weekends in the summer and is open to kids ages 11 to 14. Last year, we taught kids how to design, build, and market apps for common sports injuries. This year we are hoping to include mechanical design and 3D printing. The solutions that the kids came up with last year rivalled those of professionals. We are looking for sponsors, volunteers, and participants for the competition coming up in July so it would be a great venue for educators and corporate sponsors to get involved and make a difference on the ground.

As a society, we tend to only value those we know, or who look and sounds like us, so until we overcome that, I believe that girls of colour need to see and be engaged by women of colour in STEM fields to know what is possible for them. Profiles like this — along with the recent ‘HERstory In Black’ feature from CBC and How She Hustles — definitely help, so I’d like to express my gratitude to Adecco for including me in your feature.

What practical steps can educators, legislators and employers take to make engineering a more welcoming profession for women?

Educators can help by ensuring that all kids are equally exposed to STEM topics and directing them to resources that foster their interests.

Legislators can help by pushing to eliminate streaming or phasing in schools to ensure all kids (regardless of race or gender) have equal access to information and continue to be stimulated by those who are both more and less intellectually advanced than they are.

Employers can help by providing worthy opportunities to women and minorities, and by establishing audited mentorship programs so that they can advance.

What advice do you have for young women of colour who are considering a career in engineering?

“Giving up is not an option. You can do it.”

My advice would be to go for it. Make sure you keep your grades up and if you need help, keep seeking it until you get it. The right people will always be made available to you once you put in the effort, and you must be prepared for the ‘right people’ not having anything in common with you apart from your love of engineering. Push the boundaries of your learning if you can by becoming involved in STEM projects after school. Disassociate from those who discourage you. If you cannot disassociate, ignore those who discourage you from pursuing what you value, whether it is family or ‘well-meaning’ friends. Giving up is not an option. You can do it.