Name: Amma Wakefield
Program: Materials Engineering
University(s) / College(s) Attended: McMaster University
Education / Degree(s): MASc, PEng.
Current Job Title: Manager of Quality, Design Build Projects
Current Employer: Aecon Group Inc.
Fun Facts About Me
If your best friend had to describe you in 10 words or less, what would they say?: Genuine, energetic, hard working, always smiling, and fun.
Share one fun fact about yourself: I can deadlift 300 lbs, which is more than double my body weight.
The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?: I know two...
Dr. Ernest Yanful from the University of Western Ontario. He has dedicated so much of his personal time and resources to give back to his home country. Creating real opportunities for Ghanaians to pursue higher education in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Dr. Susan Tighe from the University of Waterloo. She is very dedicated to her students, and always pushes you to challenge yourself. She leads by example, she is genuine, and has such a kind heart.
Why did you choose to study engineering?: I enjoyed math and physics in high school, so my dad encouraged me to apply to study engineering.
What are your best memories of your engineering education?: Honestly, the best memories were always after exams were over.
How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?: I review test results of different construction materials tested in our lab or on the construction site. The tests range from breaking concrete cylinders to bearing capacity tests that require a dump truck as a reaction load. The test samples can weigh from 3 lbs to 300 lbs - we use a forklift for that one. I love materials… understanding how they fall apart so that we can design them to be more durable.
What do you love most about your career?: I love the diversity in the work that I do and the people that I am fortunate to work with. There isn't a single week that goes by where I'm not faced with a new challenge. But with every challenge, it's an opportunity to bring my team together to find a solution that will help our client.
What was the most enjoyable project you've been involved with?: I am currently leading a brilliant and dedicated team of technicians and engineers providing design, inspections, and material testing services for the Eglington Light Rail Transit project - the largest of its kind in North America. The project itself is wicked cool, but we also days when we feel like there are not enough hands to handle everything being thrown at us. On those days, we still find something to laugh about - I love it!
What's next in your career?: Creating opportunities for others, especially young women, to help them achieve the career goals.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?: It is one of the most challenging, but most useful degrees you will ever have.
Queen Elizabeth II agrees:
"At its heart engineering is about using science to find creative practical solutions. It is a noble profession."