April 2021

Designing for the Future: Through the Eyes of Engineers and Geoscientists

Hosted by the Peace River Branch

Please Note
Please note that this event is open to high school (grades 10–12) students and teachers only.
Status: Registration is now closed.
Date: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Time: 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
Location: Webinar
Presenter: Dr. Katherina Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)
Past President, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

Tamara Kasdorf, B.Sc.Eng., EIT

Jessica Steeves, P. Eng., MBA
Councillor, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

Rhonda Mellafont, P.Geo.

Moderator: Marcie Cochrane, P.Eng., MBA
30 by 30 Coordinator, Engineers and Geoscientists BC
Cost: Free

Guest/Non-registrant registration: If you are not a registrant of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, you can register online by quickly creating a 'Non-registrant' account. After clicking on the 'Register' link, you will be brought to a login screen. Towards the bottom, there is a ‘Create new account’ link. Click this link and follow the prompts to create your account and then you will be able to register online with this new account. Thank you and we look forward to having you join us.
Contact: For more information about this event, please email Christopher Flury, P.Eng. 
An interactive discussion with a panel of engineers and geoscientists from a variety of disciplines and industries, who will share their experiences and provide insight for those wanting to learn more about the professions or are considering joining the professions. With a purpose of speaking of engineering as increasingly inclusive of women, the panellists will present engineering and geoscience from a holistic perspective, sharing their engineering or geoscience journeys and perspectives. The engaging and enlightening session will include the opportunity for attendees to submit questions for the panelists.


Dr. Katherina Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)

Past President, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

Katherina’s influence as a role model for women in engineering and physical sciences crosses disciplines and international boundaries. An award-winning educator in mechanical engineering, Katherina has connected with scholars and industry representatives across Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas, demonstrating by example her mode of authentic inclusion. A strong advocate for fairness and instilling a sense of belonging, Katherina teaches engineering, project management, and social responsibility courses for Camosun College and for the University of British Columbia, manages international projects as President of the Lokhorst Group Ventures, and is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of project management, policy development, and governance topics that focus on authenticity. Dedicated to creating an increasingly inclusive culture in engineering, Katherina applies her mastery of interdisciplinary studies by developing policies and delivering courses that instill learners at all levels and in all industry sectors with a deep understanding of the impact of technology on society and with a passion to make the world a better place for all.

Tamara Kasdorf, B.Sc.Eng., EIT

Tamara grew up on a farm in the village of Goodsoil, Saskatchewan, which may have factored in to her interest in soil and water quality and the natural environment. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and has since gained experience working all over Western Canada. From lakes and streams to coal mines, oil and gas facilities to the hazardous materials sector, she has worked outdoors sampling soil, water, and air for many reclamation projects. She has nearly completed her engineer-in-training experience and is ready to become a professional engineer. What Tamara enjoys about engineering is the challenge it offers, the diversity of opportunity, and the passionate people she has met along the way.

Jessica Steeves, P.Eng., MBA

Councillor, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

Jessica is a Senior Business Advisor at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Mine (HVC) in the interior of BC. She began her time at HVC as a Project Engineer in the Water and Tailings group before working as a Mine Operations Supervisor/Autonomous Haulage Supervisor at the open pit mine. Prior to joining HVC, she worked in geotechnical consulting for BGC Engineering. Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from Queen’s University. She also recently completed her Master of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University. She has continuously volunteered with Engineers and Geoscientists BC during her career and is also actively involved in her community.

Rhonda Mellafont, P.Geo.

Rhonda is a geologist with Westrek Geotechnical Services Ltd., managing and working out of their Terrace location. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and has since accumulated over 14 years of consulting experience in engineering geology, environmental geoscience and geotechnical and materials engineering throughout Western Canada. Her geotechnical experience includes emergency response for landslides, slope stability assessments, geotechnical investigation, design construction monitoring, and forensic investigations for foundations, roads and reservoirs, and quality assurance/control management for materials testing. Her geological background includes geological mapping of rock and gravel quarries, rock mass classification, and erosion and sediment control design, and specializes in metal leaching and acid rock drainage assessments for quarry development and aggregate suitability. In addition to her consulting, Rhonda has pursued a career in management, opening and running several consulting offices throughout Alberta and BC. When living in Alberta, she was an active Outreach volunteer with APEGA, presenting Law and Ethics and registration seminars to university students and participating in the organization of various science-related programs. Since returning to BC, Rhonda has been a member of and is Past Chair of the EGBC Northern Executive Branch. She mentors several EITs and GITs throughout the province of BC; teaching and coaching junior engineering and geoscience staff has been one of her favourite aspects of working in consulting.

Marcie Cochrane, P.Eng., MBA

30 by 30 Coordinator, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

Marcie is an engineering sector leader with strengths in project management and delivery, diversity and inclusion research, strategic planning, and leadership. She is passionate about leading others to take action and catalyzing change within organizations and industries. Located in Kamloops, BC, Marcie works as a consultant, supporting engineering sector organizations with equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) programs. Her MBA research project, which examined retention of women in engineering in British Columbia, combined with her experience working in the sector, provides a strong foundation for her EDI work within engineering. Marcie obtained her Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria, and Master of Business Administration from Royal Roads University. Marcie received the Chancellor’s Award (2019) for highest academic excellence from the Royal Roads School of Business and was nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Top Masters Level Student Thesis (2018) for her research on the retention of women in engineering. Marcie is focused on improving the profession of engineering and is pursuing this goal both professionally and as a volunteer. Marcie volunteers her time at elementary schools, the local university, and with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, sharing her enthusiasm for engineering with others.

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