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Meet Claudia Velasco

Posted by Attrax Administrator
Posting date:12/16/2020 9:25 PM

As part of our #PeopleDriveResults campaign, this week we have caught up with Claudia.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your career path?

After graduating from McGill University as a civil engineer, I began my career abroad in Bolivia. I started by designing shallow concrete foundations and conducting steel structural analyses and modelling for industrial buildings in the mining, and oil and gas sectors. I then decided to return to Montreal to do inspection work on the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Working in both roles I was inspired to learn more. That’s what drove me to complete a master’s program in civil and structural engineering at Polytechnique Montreal. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to join SNC-Lavalin’s Power, Grid and Industrial Solutions business unit. My work involves performing finite element analysis and dam structural stability checks, and designing the required reinforcements.

2. What drove you to become a Junior Civil/Structural Engineer?

My father is an engineer, so from an early age I knew what engineering was all about. In elementary school I loved math and excelled in the subject. I also participated in physics and math contests.

When I was attending high school in Bolivia, we had to choose between three options; namely the social, biological or natural sciences. I decided I wanted to study engineering at university because it would allow me to learn more about math, physics and even chemistry. The choice was obvious to me, even though I would face many challenges. However, those challenges motivated me to break down the stereotypes.

On top of that, I’m a very social and creative person and I enjoy collaboration. I thought engineering would be a nice blend of these two worlds; I wasn’t mistaken.

3. What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on?

The new dam in British Columbia. It’s my generation’s largest project of its kind, in Canada. It’s a complex structure that I have the privilege of being involved in through my analysis work. I’ve also been able to work on the job site and see the structure up close. It’s wonderful how all the engineering disciplines work together to design and build several power plants and ancillary structures. The project will provide energy for countless families.

4. What’s had the greatest impact on your career development so far?

My perseverance and those around me, both colleagues and supervisors, who have always supported me. I believe sharing experiences and knowledge allows us to develop professionally.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it to you?

My colleagues gave me two stand-out pieces of advice. The first was to take advantage of any opportunities that arise, even if it’s not something that’s directly related to what you do. All the experiences you have and projects you work on will enable you to expand your knowledge, which without a doubt, you’ll need down the line. The second, always listen to other peoples’ stories. Connecting with others is very important and networking within your community will open many doors.

6. What’s your favourite quote and why?

“Always leave the world better than you found it.” This quote reminds me that we can always improve. Our actions can have a positive impact on others, including future generations.

7. Tell us a fun fact about you.

I like to dance so much that I can make everyone dance at events!

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