EDMONTON, Alberta - ARMS Reliability’s Jill Hoogstraten, Reliability Engineer, volunteered on behalf of the organization to speak to students (grade 7-12) from local Alberta education institution, Lillian Osborne High School.  

Hoogstraten, a Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and volunteer on the APEGA Edmonton Branch Outreach Committee, presented on her career as a licensed Mechanical Engineer and gave students insights into what engineers do, why the profession is important, and how students can actively pursue a career in engineering disciplines. This was done as part of a greater initiative of the APEGA to connect with the community and inspire youth to pursue a career in engineering and the sciences.

Hoogstraten was accompanied by two other engineers with differing backgrounds, and collectively, they were able to address the similarities and differences of careers in Field Engineering (consisting of Petroleum, Chemical and Resource Extraction), Utility Management and Planning (Electrical, Transmission), as well as Maintenance and Reliability (Mechanical, Oil and Gas, Project Design). Students were keen to hear the personal stories of their respective engineering journeys.

“We definitely saw a few aspiring engineers, that are ready to change the world, come through that classroom,” says Hoogstraten.

On a personal level, Hoogstraten says recapping her own journey reminded her why she got into engineering in the first place, and that community outreach has been an important part of her professional development since she was in Air Cadets as a youth, where she taught Ground School Classes.

“When explaining engineering concepts, or the importance of the role of engineering in today’s society, you realize just how important engineering is to our quality of life and how we live day today. Inspiring the next generation of engineers to bring their perspective to tomorrow’s problems, is how we progress as a profession. Kids have a way of looking at problems with fresh eyes, which in turn inspires you to do the same.”

Hoogstraten says she’s hopeful for future volunteer opportunities and would like to perhaps volunteer to teach classes at the high school level on engineering-related concepts. She’s also hopeful to mentor university students and members in training to help all who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering.

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