Koen Duineveld, BASc '18, Mining Engineering
“The most important skill I learned in mining engineering is to recognize your audience and how to communicate with all of them, no matter their level of knowledge or training.”
Why did you choose engineering?
I chose engineering because I enjoy problem solving. Engineering would allow me to solve significant real-world significant problems. Making small improvements in large mining projects means making a significant impact on the overall operation performance. What has made your time at UBC the most memorable? The people I met. Mining engineering at UBC, and the mining industry in general, is a close-knit community that I have thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to. I have made many lifelong friends through my studies, whom I value greatly.
What have you learned in engineering that is most valuable?
The most important skill I learned in mining engineering is to recognize your audience and how to communicate with all of them, no matter their level of knowledge or training. In my co-op placements I had to present in front of many different audiences including engineering team leads and operations personnel. Being able to communicate effectively was key to presenting my work well.
What has been your most memorable/valuable non-academic experience studying engineering at UBC?
Getting involved in the Canadian Mining Games has been an extremely fun and rewarding experience. Annually, the mining games bring together 160 students from 10 of the best mining engineering schools in the country. Being part of the organizing committee for the 2016 games at UBC helped me understand and learn what it takes to plan large events. I made many great contacts there, including at the company where I would do my next co-op term. Being the captain of the UBC team this last year at the games in Kingston was incredibly rewarding as well as it allowed me to showcase the quality of the UBC mining engineering department to the rest of the schools in the country.
How do you feel a degree in engineering has benefitted you compared to a different field of study?
Engineering has helped me think critically and how to approach problem solving in an effective way. These skills have significantly changed how I approach work as well as my everyday life.
What advice would you give a student considering engineering?
Find a good group of friends in your program who have similar goals to yourself. You will motivate each other to perform your best. Be prepared to put in a lot of time to keep pace with your courses but make sure to enjoy yourself along the way.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My original inspiration for going into engineering was my dad, who is a mechanical engineer. During my degree, I drew inspiration from other students in my program who excelled in their studies and extracurricular activities.