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Caroline Richard

Geotechnical Engineer
BGC Engineering
Caroline Richard - Engineer in the mining industry
Caroline Richard - Engineer in the mining industry
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I work in the mining industry and manage the waste materials created during ore extraction.

About me

I was born and raised in Chicoutimi, Saguenay, Quebec.

I now live in Montreal, Quebec.

I completed a bachelor degree in civil engineering at Laval University in Quebec City. I then continued my studies and completed a Master’s in Northern Engineering.

What I do at work

I work on mining projects located across Canada. Sometimes I have to travel to mine sites and work in the field. I do this when I have to follow up on construction, or participate in a drilling operations to study the composition of the soils. At other times, I visit sites to take samples and do in situ tests (tests directly on site) or participate in infrastructure inspections. I have other tasks for when I am in the office. Sometimes I write reports about what I have learned during the mine site visit. Other times I create spreadsheets for such things as dam design. At other times I analyze laboratory results to describe foundation soils. My work has allowed me to travel to the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

My career path is

When I was in high school, I really liked math and physics. I decided to go into civil engineering because it is such a broad field. A bachelor's degree in civil engineering can lead to many different types of work. For example, you can work in such areas as environmental, structures, and geotechnical engineering. You can also work on hydraulic systems and design buildings and foundations. Civil engineers also design roads, bridges, dams, water and sewer systems as well as water treatment systems.

I decided to continue my studies at the master's level, which led me to travel to Salluit in Nunavik and the Yukon. I really enjoyed doing research. I also enjoyed participating in conferences to present my results and having a field component to set up my study sites. I then realized that I liked to travel for work, solve problems and work in a team. Working in the mining field ticks all these boxes!

I am motivated by

I really enjoy solving problems and having the opportunity to travel to the sites I work on. Teamwork is essential in what I do, I work with a diverse team of specialists and I learn every day!

How I affect peoples’ lives

The mining industry is essential to the technologies we use every day. It is produces the materials that are needed for the transition to green energy. To manufacture components for electric vehicles, wind turbines or solar panels you need such minerals as lithium, graphite, copper, nickel, and cobalt.

Outside of work I

I enjoy running, biking, hiking and camping. I enjoy traveling, trying new foods and playing board games. After my studies in Quebec, I moved to Calgary for work and loved spending time in the mountains.

My advice to others

When I was in school, I didn't know I was going to work in the mining industry. I think that if you just go for it and take the challenges that are presented to you, the opportunities will follow on their own. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experience as much as you can. The field of civil engineering is very broad.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • Math
  • Foods & Nutrition
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Always threw the best parties

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