Name: Shannon Hoekstra
Program: Materials Engineering
Education / Degree(s): B.A.Sc. Materials Engineering
Current Job Title: Junior Process Engineer
Current Employer: Hatch
Email: Send Email
Fun Facts About Me
Share one fun fact about yourself: I was named after Shannon Falls near Squamish, B.C.
The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?: I would have to say my supervisor from my last co-op work term at Mosaic in Saskatchewan. Jolean is intelligent, a hard-worker, always did her research, and asked great questions. In addition, she continuously provided me with feedback which helped me to contribute to my team in a more productive manner. She was clearly invested in me even though she was so busy and I am extremely grateful for that.
Why did you choose to study engineering?: I choose to study engineering after I had completed two years of physics at university. I found physics was too theoretical for me so I transferred into engineering because I knew I wanted to study something more hands-on.
What are your best memories of your engineering education?: My best memory of my engineering education is my entire involvement with Engineers Without Borders (EWB). I remember my first meeting which was a kick-off meeting back in September 2010. I didn't know anyone and was really nervous going and I am so glad I did. EWB has made a big impact on my life. It has changed my outlook on poverty, international development, and what questions we - as engineers - should be asking to help solve these problems to improve the quality of life in our own community and communities around the world.
How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?: I studied materials engineering, specializing in the metals processing and extraction stream and the team that I am now apart of at Hatch is the Hydrometallurgical group. Many of the classes I took at university are directly related with the work I do every day which is fantastic! It's great that I was able to get a job in the area that I actually studied at school.
What do you love most about your career?: There are two things I love the most about my career:
(1) The people I work with - I really enjoying interacting with other people and the people on my team are smart, welcoming, and easy to talk to you. For me, the people who you work with can make or break your job and thankfully I really like my co-workers.
(2) The fact that every day is different. Engineering is about problem solving and that means that no two days are the same. It can be challenging sometimes but I love the fact that I never know what new problems will arise every day I go to work - it keeps things very interesting!
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?: Make sure it is actually what you want to do. I went to school with a many people who didn't actually want to be in engineering. They were studying it because it was expected of them, or because it was a professional degree, or because they thought they would have a high salary, etc. I personally believe that your career is a huge part of your life. It takes up a great deal of your time and energy so why not do something that you actually want to do. At the end of the day, YOUR happiness is the most important thing.