May 2014

DAWEG & APEGBC Vancouver Branch Panel Discussion "Career Advancement for Women in Engineering and Geoscience"

Please Note
May 16 2014: The venue for this event has been changed from YWCA to VPL Downtown to accommodate more attendees. Thank you!
Status: Online registration is now closed. For space availability please contact [email protected] Thank you.
Date: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Time: 6:30-9:00 PM
Location: VPL Downton (Alma Van Dusen & Peter Kaye Rooms), 350 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Various panel speakers. Please see description for bio's.
Credit: 1.5 Informal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: $15
DAWEG & APEGBC Vancouver Branch Panel Discussion "Career Advancement for Women in Engineering and Geoscience".

6:30 pm – Registration & Networking
7:00 pm – Panel Discussion
8:30 pm – Networking
9:00 pm – Closing

The goal of this event is to provide a networking platform and to give an insight on how the industry is recruiting, engaging, and progressing women, and what women could be doing to successfully integrate and advance in the fields of engineering and geoscience.
In an effort to support the continuing growth and advancement of women in the professions, the APEGBC Vancouver Branch is partnering with the Division for the Advancement of Women in Engineering & Geoscience (DAWEG) to co-host a seminar to foster greater discussion on issues that are important to female professionals and students working in or entering the professions. The discussions will include:
  • How could women build on their skills to further level the playing field with their male colleagues during interviews, salary negotiations and building a case for promotions?
  • How are men and women working together to bridge the gender gap in the workplace?
  • How could women overcome obstacles which are making it difficult for them to enter or stay in engineering and geoscience?
  • What could organizations and managers/ supervisors/ employees (both female and male) do to support their female colleagues in career advancement and achieving work-life balance?
This event will consist of a panel discussion with a wide range of guest panelists, including male and female professionals in VP positions, hiring managers, entrepreneurs, and female P.Eng. and P.Geo. with family commitments in an effort to offer a range of perspectives in the discussion. Everyone is welcome to attend this event.


Mark Poweska, P.Eng.
BC Hydro, VP of Transmission & Distribution Engineering and Design
Mr. Poweska serves as the Vice President of T&D Engineering and Design for BC Hydro. He is responsible for the engineering and design of BC Hydro’s T&D system, including overseeing the delivery of high-
quality, timely and cost effective transmission and distribution engineering services.  Mr. Poweska is accountable for the technical engineering leadership and excellence for T&D assets. BC Hydro provides high-value, reliable power to fuel economic growth in British Columbia, is the third largest electric utility in Canada, and serves 1.8 million customers in an area containing over 94% of British Columbia's population. Mr. Poweska’s previous roles include General Manager of Generation Operations, Director of Generation Engineering and Director of Northern Operations, Technical Services for BC Hydro. He has a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering (B.A.Sc.) from the University of Saskatoon. 

Maryse Belanger,P.Geo.
Goldcorp Inc., Senior VP of Technical Services
Ms. Belanger was appointed Senior Vice President, Technical Services at Goldcorp on October 24, 2012. Ms. Belanger has previously held the roles of Vice President, Technical Services and Director, Technical Services at Goldcorp over the last four years. With over 25 years’ experience in the mining industry, Ms. Belanger is currently responsible for managing the company’s Technical Services team by overseeing all aspects of geology, geostatistics, mine planning and design, metallurgy, tailings, hydrology, rock mechanics,  geotechnical engineering and underground development. She is also responsible for the activities and strategy related to business planning, technical excellence, energy and innovation.  Her team provides support to the mining operations, prepares pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, implements best practices and corporate standards as well as provides oversight to corporate development activities.  Prior to joining Goldcorp, Ms. Belanger was Director, Technical Services for Kinross Gold Corporation from October 2003 to October 2009. Her experience covers all commodities on four continents. Ms. Belanger holds a Bachelor degree in Geology and a graduate certificate in Geostatistics. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Her experience also includes long-term assignments in Africa and South America combined with worldwide travel to various exploration properties and operating mines.

Memberships and Activities
  • Women in Mining Top 100 Inspirational Women – Nominated by Women in Mining (UK). Official event held at the London's Mines and Money conference on December 3rd, 2013.
 CEEC International Ltd Board Member – The Coalition for Eco Efficient Comminution (CEEC) is a not-for-profit company funded by sponsorship from the mineral industry, whose mission is to accelerate knowledge and technology transfer in the field of energy-efficient communition (crushing and grinding)
  • MDRU Board Member – Mineral Deposit Research Unit at the University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) – Underground Mining Innovation study group. The stated goal for the group is to change the paradigm of underground mining.
  • Women in Engineering – Working group with Dr Elizabeth Croft,  NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, BC and Yukon Region. Lobby group to ensure a prominent place for women in Engineering and Sciences on the APEGBC agenda. Secured funding for the new UBC Professorship for Women in Engineering.
  • YWCA Vancouver – Nominated for the Woman of Distinction Award (2013)
  • UBC Creating Connections 2.0 – Keynote address at the UBC conference (2011)
  • CIMM – Keynote speaker at Women in Mining, National Conference (2010)
  • Imagine Mulgrave -   Imagine Mulgrave is a massive fundraising drive which aims to raise thirty million dollars to cover the cost of a state-of-the-art new senior academic facility at Mulgrave IB School in West Vancouver. 

Neil K. Hemrajani Singh, P.Eng., M.Eng.
Klohn Crippen Berger, Regional Manager of the BC Mining Environmental Group

Mr. Singh is currently serving as BC Regional Manager for the Mining Environment Group of Klohn Crippen Berger in Vancouver, BC.  He has a Bachelors in Geological Engineering (B.A.Sc.) from UBC, and a Masters in Civil Engineering (M.Eng.) from UBC.  He has over 25 years of experience in geotechnical, geological and geophysical investigations with a focus on mining dams, construction, site characterization, forensic stability analysis and risk assessment. His experience includes the design of tailings and water dams, foundations, roads, retaining walls, and channels in soil and rock for both static and dynamic conditions. In the last 10 years, in his role as Engineering (and now Regional) Manager, Mr. Singh has been an advocate for both the advancement of young engineers, as well as for equitable opportunities for women in engineering and geoscience.

Dr. Rina Freed, P.Eng.
Source Environmental Associates Inc., Principal and Senior Environmental Engineer
Dr. Freed serves as Principal and Senior Environmental Engineer with Source Environmental Associates Inc. She has been an independent engineer since 2010 when she joined Marsland Environmental Associates Ltd. Dr. Freed has over 13 years of experience in environmental consulting in the mining industry.  Her technical expertise includes water quality modelling and hydrogeology. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1995 with a Bachelorsin environmental engineering (B.A.Sc) and then from UBC in 2002 with a PhD in Geological Engineering and Hydrogeology. Dr. Freed has worked at a number of mines sites in Canada both as a consultant to the mining industry and as a reviewer for governments and First Nations. Dr. Freed balances her professional career with her family life and achieves a positive work-life balance. She has two children and a very supportive husband.

Shannon Shaw, M.Sc., P.Geo.
pHase Geochemistry Inc, Senior Geochemist
After initially envisioning a career in journalism fresh out of high school, Ms. Shaw shifted focus and completed her B.Sc. at Queen’s with a joint chemistry and geology degree and then obtained her M.Sc. in geology at UBC.  Her re-direction back to sciences and early intrigue in geochemistry she attributes to getting swept up in the enthusiasm of a specific professor whom she still considers a friend and mentor. 

After graduating in 1996, she began consulting in the mining industry specializing in the geochemistry of sulphide mine wastes, a field that involves understanding the way mined products react or weather when they are excavated and stored on the surface. Specifically this focuses on the prediction, control and prevention of water quality related impacts associated with mining and brings aspects of earth science, engineering and environmental practice together.

Her work has allowed her to many parts of the world including Canada, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru, as well as Australia and Indonesia, often in very remote reaches of these countries.  She has worked for mining companies, other consulting firms as well as regulatory agencies.  The aspects of new places, new cultures, new languages and varied perspectives and project/life goals touches on the social and human sciences, which Shannon is grateful for and finds fascinating, humbling and continually changing.  Ms. Shaw has gravitated towards the small consulting firms, been extremely lucky in falling under guidance of amazing mentors, colleagues and friends, and continually tasked with challenging and dynamic projects. She now has her own consulting company and works collaboratively in diversified teams. This form of work allows her flexibility and she often finds herself working at odd hours of the day and week around the busy schedule of her two kids (now 8 and 11) taking full advantage of the ever increasing ease at which people can work remotely and stay in contact.

She has published fairly extensively at different points in time, with over 25 papers related to her specialty, many of which have been presented at conferences and workshops in many parts of the world.  Ms. Shaw enjoys continually learning, but also the teaching aspect of consulting both in the form of hands on training at mine sites as well as more formal teaching at several short courses for the U.S. EPA and through the continuing education program at UBC. 

Most recently Ms. Shaw was selected as one of the Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 recognized for her balanced approach to the mineral resource sector.  An approach she is continually trying to refine and adapt to her work life and the ever increasing expectations and scrutiny around mining; as well as her family life and the ever increasing expectations and scrutiny around parenting.

Elizabeth Barnard
D-Wave, HR Manager
Ms. Barnard currently oversees the Human Resources Function at D-Wave Systems Inc. She is a seasoned Human Resources Professional with over 15 years of experience in many diverse industries. Prior to her time at D-Wave Ms. Barnard was Director of Global Human Resources at Blast Radius Inc. and prior to that worked for Inimex Pharmaceuticals and BC Research. Ms. Barnard is a true generalist at heart; she brings expertise in Leadership and Organizational Development, Community Engagement, and Compensation Management. She is a graduate of the University of Victoria with a BFA in Theater Management and has a Diploma in Human Resources Management (Honours) from BCIT. She is a member of the HR Tech Group of BCTIA and the BC Human Resources Management Association, earning her CHRP designation in 2003. Since 2002 Ms. Barnard has served on the PMC Sierra Science Fair Fun Run committee.

Registration: Seating is limited so please register ASAP by clicking on the 'Register' button below. For more info please contact: [email protected] .
(Non-members: If you are not yet registered with APEGBC’s online registration system, please simply create a new account at the Log In Page).

Special Instructions
A subsidy towards cost of childcare and/or arrangements for childcare (if reasonable to do so) during this event is available. Please contact [email protected] at least one (1) week prior to the event to make arrangements. The maximum amount to be paid for childcare is limited to the amount equivalent to the minimum wage, for the duration of the event inclusive of travel time for each family or group claiming an expense paid to a single caregiver.

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