Behind the career: Chemical Engineering

Being a chemical engineer - Megan

Megan

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Grad year: 2018
  • Program: Chemical Engineering
  • Campus: Vancouver

Water and Wastewater Engineer (ELT) at AWC Water Solutions Ltd. 

Megan’s path through engineering was definitely not short of surprises. 

“Like many first-year students, I really struggled on deciding what I wanted to do, but I always liked chemistry. So, like many chemical engineers, I chose [Chemical Engineering] because of that, only to find out there is actually very little chemistry involved in Chemical Engineering!” Megan laughs. Looking back, her misconception about the major was a blessing in disguise. “Now that I am actually in the industry, I found that I really love Chemical Engineering, or process engineering, as it is all about the overall project,” she shares, explaining how rather than focusing on one area, process engineers get to look at a project from start to finish. As a process engineer-in-training, Megan’s day is split between collaborating with other engineers and even non-engineers for half of her workday, and spending her other half designing processes for water treatment plants.  

However, while being a process engineer might seem like an expected career for most chemical engineering graduates, her current job as an ELT was another surprise to Megan. “I always thought I would do something on the softer side of engineering, as all of my jobs throughout university were related to teaching, camps, and outreach; but I knew that I was still always interested in technical positions involving water treatment and the environment, and here I am!” Rather than a fear of the unexpected, embracing surprises allowed Megan to make the most of her career journey.  

Throughout all these experiences, Megan debunked her first-year self’s misconception: It is not knowledge of chemistry that makes a good a chemical engineer, but rather a passion for creativity and a love for collaboration. With the right creative and collaborative spirit, you never know what opportunities you can find in the field of Chemical Engineering. 

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