OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 22

COVER

Theresa Nyabeze, P.Eng., Vale, is a
professional mining engineer, frontline
supervisor, mentor and children's author,
who is using her professional experience to
advocate for more diverse workforces and
inspire youth to consider a career in STEM.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT A TURNING POINT IN
YOUR ENGINEERING JOURNEY?
Absolutely, for me the turning point in my engineering
career actually happened in university, one of my professors
recognized that he had a small demographic of women in
his classes and he brought in this young organization called
Women in Science and Engineering, and for the first time I
saw visible role models of who I wanted to be when I grew
up - engineers who were engaged in their communities
and who had children.
WHAT MAKES YOUR ROLE AND THE WORK YOU DO
SO FULFILLING?
Engineering for me is 'opportunity.' It open so many doors
because there's so many ways that you can leverage your
understanding of design and being empathetic to the
needs of different people. One of my favourite statements
these days is that I'm always trying to 'uncover people's
pain points.' Because when you can understand someone's
pain point you can engineer solutions to help them.
BEYOND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE, WHAT OTHER
SKILLS ARE USEFUL IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Early on used a lot of my engineering skills with drilling and
blasting layouts and being tied to the safety of extraction
using engineering principals. Later, I moved more into
the business side of our operations, where I needed to
understand how the decisions we made affected the return
on investment. Then most recently I requested experience
in managing the people in our operations, so being a
frontline Supervisor. I felt that when you're doing business
analysis or drill blast layouts it's important to understand
how it impacts the people who are actually executing the
work underground. For the last two and a half years that's
what I've been doing, and it's really given me a more wellrounded view of the business and made me grow as an
engineer.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY YOUR WORK HAS IMPACTED
INDIVIDUALS OR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE?
I love what I do. One way of looking at it is that a person's
work experience translates to who they are at home and
22

THE VOICE

June 2018

"I am really proud to be an engineer.
It's my tribe, it's where I'm
comfortable because we have this ethical
calling to make good decisions that make
our communities prosper."
in their community. One direct way that I impact the
community I live in is by making sure that decisions we
make are enabling people to go home safe. When people
work safely they are able to go home and be productive
members of their community and continue to do other
things like coaching little league. Their safety at work is a
big part of that.
IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT DOES ENGINEERING
REPRESENT AND STAND FOR?
For me engineering stands for ethical decision making that
benefits society. With emerging technologies, we're seeing
that yes, we can design all types of things, but we must
keep our ethical responsibilities in check. I think that it is
incumbent on people who are engineering new system
designs, to look at how society is impacted.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO ARE JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS IN
ENGINEERING?
To someone who is just starting out in the industry, I would
say keep your options open. There's so much to learn and
asking questions is absolutely fantastic. A lot of good ideas
could come from you asking a question because what it
does is it creates a snowball of other people then feeling
safe to ask questions. Your question could be the driver of
the next innovation.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of OSPE - The Voice - June 2018

Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover1
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover2
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 4
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 5
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 6
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 7
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OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover3
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover4
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