Kylie Kerik, BASc '19, Environmental Engineering

“As an environmental engineer it is difficult to hear all the damage we have already done to our earth, so I intend to make conscious decisions in my everyday life and to encourage others to do the same.”

Kylie Kerik

Kylie Kerik

I have been actively involved in the engineering community since the moment I stepped foot on campus. I knew I wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities that a university could offer me. Looking back, I am grateful for the approach I took; I never knew what these opportunities would give me, and it was more than I could have ever imagined. I was a part of the joint environmental engineering program with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and UBC. During that time, I was the president of the Environmental Engineering Student Association (EESA) for a year at UNBC, a year at UBC, I then went on to be VP spirit (one of seven executives) for the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) and finished my final year as the EUS sustainability director — a position I created for the EUS, for it to strive to be conscious of its sustainability efforts. Through all these levels of involvement, I found a supportive community of lifelong friends, and developed skills that will stay with me as I pursue my career in solid waste management.

Why did you choose engineering?

I didn’t choose environmental engineering for engineering, I chose it for the environmental part of it. Once I began my studies and working as an engineering student I knew that it was engineering that chose me all along. And if I had to choose again, I would still choose engineering, whether it was environmental or not.

What has been your most memorable/valuable non-academic experience studying engineering at UBC?

I believe that overall, my most valuable university experiences were not study-related, they were through my extracurricular activities. By pushing myself to be involved, I was able to develop my soft skills in organizing, planning and leadership — to name a few — and expand my network. My involvement as the EESA president drove me to plan the first environmental engineering alumni and industry event for my cohort. At this event I met an alumni who observed my drive for offering more opportunity to my peers, later that year I received a call for a summer term working in solid waste management. Without my involvement this event would have never happened and I can honestly say I would not be where I am today.

What advice would you give a student considering engineering?

If that student loves problem solving, applying science and math to real world problems and has a desire to work in the business world or do field work, then what are they waiting for? An engineering degree offers more than just technical engineering experience — you learn how to think analytically, solve problems and be professional, which can open a door to non-engineering opportunities too — it’s really a win-win at the end of the day.

The best advice I could give any student — engineering or otherwise — is to get involved, so you can learn more about your program/department, network and learn and improve on your soft skills. In addition to being involved, having summer work terms provides students with the most practical experience and make them hireable by the time they obtain their degree.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration in nature. Whether it is going for a walk or jog in a forested area (like the UBC endowment lands), or getting out to the mountains to hike, bike or ski, this is where I find clarity. It is the moments that I am at rest and peace in mind, when my mind isn’t racing with all the tasks and other items that take up space in my brain, that I get inspired to create and find my strength to persevere.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently working for Dillon Consulting in the solid waste management group where I intend to grow my career with a focus on solid waste. In the long term I am striving to become a project manager and work in leadership. I also intend to stay highly active in extracurriculars in my life by focusing on my health and fitness, planning events for friends and the community, and being involved in my work and social community. Just because school is over it doesn’t mean I need to stop doing all the extra things I love.

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

I will continue to put my best foot forward, finding motivation to persevere through whatever life throws at me. I will continue to network and connect with those around me, traveling the world to find different ways in which I could contribute to make our earth a better place. As an environmental engineer it is difficult to hear all the damage we have already done to our earth, so I intend to make conscious decisions in my everyday life and to encourage others to do the same. I don’t specifically know how I will make a difference in our world but I know I will do everything within my power to make that difference happen, I never give up.

UBC environmental engineering students taking a reading in an urban creek.

Environmental Engineering

As one of the most beautiful places anywhere, British Columbia is an ideal location to pursue an Environmental Engineering degree. UBC offers two Environmental Engineering Programs...

Environmental Engineering

Discover Student Experiences

UBC Applied Science students are people who are passionate about their chosen field — architecture, landscape architecture, community and regional planning, engineering and nursing — and those that inspire others by making meaningful contributions to the betterment of society.

Browse Student and Alumni Spotlights
UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Social Media The globe is the default icon for a social media platform. TikTok The logo for the TikTok social media platform. Calendar Location Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.