Name: Emily Lightstone
Program: Civil Engineering
University(s) / College(s) Attended: McMaster University, University of Toronto
Education / Degree(s): Bachelor of Engineering & Society, Master of Engineering
Current Job Title: Water Resources EIT
Current Employer: GHD Ltd.
Email: Send Email
Fun Facts About Me
Share one fun fact about yourself: I was a member of the McMaster Marching Band for five years during my undergraduate degree and acted as the Vice President in my final year. I still play flute and sing in choir outside of work!
The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?: My current boss, one of few women who are department heads at my office. I don’t know a lot of women in higher management roles outside of academia, and it is so inspiring for me to be able to work under a strong woman. It allows me to actually envision myself further down the line in my career and continue to aim high!
Why did you choose to study engineering?: In high school I didn’t know what I wanted to do in university, I just knew that I was good at science and math. I planned to go into a general science program but my dad suggested that I look into engineering instead. I had never heard anything about engineering and I was hesitant, but I spoke with the engineers in my extended family about what engineering was like and whether it would be a good fit for me. The thing really sealed the deal for me was attending the Engineering Experience Weekend program at McMaster, where dozens of high school students spent a spring weekend before undergrad at the university working on a group design challenge and being introduced to university engineering life. I was hooked!
How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?: The technical knowledge that I learned in both of my degrees helps me do calculations for my job, but more important than that are the problem solving and teamwork skills that I now use every day. Collaborating on important projects doesn’t stop once you leave university!
What do you love most about your career?: Getting to use my brain to solve problems that I am passionate about, being able to see how my work has real impacts on the world around me, and spending my days working with similar minded people as me.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?: All of the long nights trying to get your assignments done are worth it, and even when you think you can’t possibly make it through your degree, you can and you will. Don’t worry if you aren’t the smartest person in your class, or if you don’t get the same grades your friends do, or if it takes you a bit longer to work out the questions than other people. You will still be able to get a job in engineering and you will still be successful, and no one will remember the time that you failed your math midterm in second year university!