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Fairy Sahay

Civil Engineer (Green Economy Project)
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Fairy Sahay

Environmental conservation

Fairy Sahay

Environmental conservation

Sector
Location Now
Education Pathway

I work to protect, conserve and restore natural resources.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Chandigarh, Union Territory, India

I now live in: Toronto, Ontario

I completed my training/education at:  Diploma in Architecture Assistantship (Govt. Polytechnic College for Women- Chandigarh/India), Bachelor's in Civil Engineering (MM University- Ambala/Haryana/India), Masters in Civil Engineering (University of Windsor- Windsor/Ontario/Canada)

What I do at work

My activities vary from project to project. Often I will assess degraded sites and calculate the probability of land stabilization. Sometimes I will research methods on making buildings environmentally friendly. I also create engineering drawings and communicate with municipal employees. I use many STEM subjects in my daily work life. I need Mathematics for engineering calculations. Knowledge of Physics helps to determine forces, fluid pressure, and gravity for green buildings. Knowing how to use computers is also a great skill, as I use engineering software often.

There is also a wide variety of equipment I need to use daily. Some of this includes surveying instruments such as theodolite, dumpy level, and measuring tape. I also need to use PPE, including hard hats, safety shoes, and safety glasses. Problem solving is a big part of my job. I often have to figure out where to dump demolition waste. This includes crushed used concrete, wild flora, and crushed bricks. These need to be disposed without hurting the natural ecosystem. We work as a team of 8-10 people. We all have different backgrounds, such as engineers, environmental assessors, and health and safety. All the problem solving and decision making requires knowledge gained from STEM backgrounds. STEM plays a vital role in our projects, from simple calculations to complex data analysis.

My career path is

I wanted to become a commercial pilot, but I couldn't afford the fees or the course at that time. I decided instead to use my brains in the field of engineering. I had completed a couple of internships in construction designing and environmental planning. I started my education in Architecture. I wanted a field that gave me the opportunity to learn new technology and software. I transferred my interests from designing buildings to constructing them. Later, I developed an interest in making those buildings environmentally friendly. This was not a straight path. I learned about new opportunities and went with the flow. I fed knowledge-craving monsters inside me with continuous learning. I was influenced along this path by my professors and my mentors at work. I developed interest in environmental conservation after completing my Masters in Civil Engineering. Since I had no background or experience in this field I faced many challenges. I did not give up, though. I kept applying to entry-level and internship positions. These would help me learn and grow into the profession. I connected with various professionals working in the field via LinkedIn and seminars. I learned about their experiences and their responsibilities in the profession. This let me gain insights into the industry and make valuable connections. Check my LinkedIn profile for more information.

I am motivated by

New challenges and the idea of making the Earth a better place to live gets me excited. My position requires working on projects that are different in nature. Every project requires different research and new methods. I get to interact with people from diverse cultural background and professions. It has made me more confident in my communication skills and more open to new learning experiences. I have always been passionate about the ecosystem. I am currently pursuing a career that is meaningful to me. I get to achieve my personal goal of environmental conservation while putting my technical skills to the test.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My organization's goal is to protect, conserve, and restore natural resources. We develop strong communities through education, science, and community engagement. This fulfills my personal goal of bringing balance to the ecosystem. My career matters because it is helping create a better place for humans to live. Environmental conservation affects all living beings. It conserves natural resources and protects global ecosystems. In this way we support health and well-being, now and in the future.

Outside of work I

I love to party. I personally organize many house parties. I invite my friends and colleagues. We chat, try new food and play games or sometimes just sit on a couch and watch Netflix. I volunteer and teach kids about the environmental sustainability. I also volunteer where there are children involved so that I can feel like a child once in a while. I go for hiking, play badminton, do yoga and dancing.

My advice to others

Concerned about the environment? Learn ways to help improve it at a faster rate by using different technologies and software. Build your foundation to become a tech-savvy person with strong basics in STEM.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Math
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Environmental Education
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative
  • Didn't really care about grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked to design or build things
  • Always wanted to explore new things.
  • Learned Best by Doing

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