John Robert MacKenzie, BASc '16, Integrated Engineering

John Robert MacKenzie
There are few problems so insurmountable that they are not worth trying to solve.

What are some of the most memorable moments from your time in the program (academic or otherwise)?

One of my strongest memories from my time in engineering was the night before my second year capstone project showcase. The pride and accomplishment I felt from having completed a project from preliminary design to final prototype was made all the better as it was shared with colleagues who would become some of my best friends in the years to come.

What are the most valuable things you have learned?

One of the most valuable things I learned is that there are few problems so insurmountable that they are not worth trying to solve. It took me a long time to learn that there are many resources available to tackle these problems. Professors, student services and even your colleagues are there to help. You are not alone.

How do you feel a degree in integrated engineering has benefitted (or will benefit) you compared to other fields of study?

One of the things I am most thankful for is finding UBC’s Integrated Engineering program. After completing first year, I knew that I wanted to pursue a broad education spanning many engineering disciplines. My degree has helped me greatly by giving me the tools to engage intelligently with clients and colleagues from various industries and backgrounds.

What advice would you give a student considering integrated engineering?

Try to do what you enjoy most. There will always be courses that you must do, but when given the opportunity, don’t be afraid to pursue what truly interests you, even if it means pushing the boundaries of your degree. Specifically for integrated engineering students: explore the opportunities available, get comfortable approaching professors and make your degree your own.

How will you go on to make a difference in our world?

Working at Copperleaf Technologies has solidified my resolve to do my best to make the world a better place.  As most of our clients are utilities, water companies and more recently, the BC Government, their values reflect many of the same priorities as their consumers have: safety, reliability, environmental impact and financial cost, to name a few. Our product helps companies make decisions with their values in mind, from deciding where to spend a billion dollar budget, to where to spend their last dollar.  Ultimately, these decisions have a very real impact on our lives, from minimizing the number of power outages to ensuring that we have access to clean water. Personally, I’ve found that working on the Customer Experience team is an excellent position to make a difference in our world as our primary goal is to help our clients get the most value out of their investments and our product, Copperleaf C55.