I was born/grew up in: Shelburne, Nova Scotia
I now live in: Halifax, Nova Scotia
What I do at work
In my work at Defence Research and Development Canada, I use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to design and visually represent 3D models of parts. After I have the models, I use Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) software to create Computer Numerical Control (CNC) programs. The CNC program will then create the parts on specialized CNC milling machines and CNC lathes. I also operate manual, conventional machine tools such as milling machines, lathes, presses, grinders, saws, and other hand tools.
Each task I perform is directly related to STEM. We use the scientific method when we test our prototypes out in the field. We collect data and then analyze this data. Technology in the form of specialized machines and processes are used to produce components to solve problems. Engineering and Math is used to design and develop new technologies. Together, this helps make sure the product will fit and function as intended in a wide variety of environments/applications. I work as part of a team in the Prototype Development Group. When we have a new project to work on, we divide the scope of a project into achievable tasks. Each member of the team has specific skills that make a meaningful contribution towards the end goal.
My career path is
When I was in school, I could not have dreamed to be doing what I do. I didn’t know such a career existed! As a kid, I knew I wanted to work with my hands. I also wanted to know why things were designed in such a way. I spent a lot of time with my family working on cars, trucks, boats etc. I observed many hands on skills from my father, a Red Seal Machinist and Millwright. This led me to this career path.
I had challenges while attempting Engineering at University. However, I was able to switch to NSCC and keep my career path headed in the same direction. I flourished in the more “hands on” learning environment at NSCC. I would certainly recommend Mechanical Engineering Technology and Machining as complimentary trades. Together, they provide theoretical knowledge and practical hands on skills. I completed a co-op term and apprenticeship with DRDC. I am now a Red Seal Endorsed Machinist. Check my LinkedIn profile for more information.
I am motivated by
I get excited at work for projects that are difficult, time consuming and complex. By using STEM principles, I am able to provide important information to our scientific research program. My career is interesting because we test each prototype. These tests take place in a wide variety of field/sea trials both near and abroad. I most enjoy implementing STEM principles to take a chunk of raw material (metal/plastic) and cutting/forming it into a useful prototype for further scientific research. This is the right career for me because I can see the finished part inside the raw stock. I can visualize how to plan the manufacturing process in order to end up with the desired part. I love seeing the final product come together.
How I affect people’s lives
My career is relevant and fulfilling because I am able to contribute to the advancement of the scientific research program at DRDC. My career matters because I am able to take concepts and ideas from a theoretical state, and by applying principles of STEM, create a physical prototype. This prototype is used to prove or validate an idea, and provide feedback for further scientific research. The things I do and produce affect every Canadian. The products we create helps provide a strong, secure, and engaged Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces.
Outside of work I
I enjoy an overlap between my career and hobbies. I spend my spare time restoring an old Volkswagen pickup truck, implementing more STEM principles in my free time. I like being active such as shooting hoops, playing golf, and sailing.
My advice to others
Take a “test drive” at NSCC. It led me down this road, and I love going to work every day because of it!