Skip to main content

Jessica Vandenberghe

Director of Enforcement
Jessica Vandenberghe | Directrice de l’application des règlements, APEGA
Jessica Vandenberghe | Directrice de l’application des règlements, APEGA
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

Jessica Vandenberghe is the director of enforcement at APEGA.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Edmonton, AB, Canada. I grew up in northern Alberta on a farm north of Grande Prairie, AB, Canada.

I now live in: I now live in Edmonton, AB, Canada. I came to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta and have been fortunately enough to hold jobs in Edmonton, so I have stayed. It is a great city.

I completed my training/education at: I attended the University of Alberta for two degrees. The first was a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering with a Computer Process Control option and the Co-op program. I received this with distinction. The second was a Masters of Science in Chemical and Mining engineering, which was a thesis based degree. 

What I do at work

I have held two main jobs. The first one was in the oil sand research and the second is my current one I have with the professional regulator. I will share information about my first one. For oil sand research, I conducted pilot plant experiments. We tested new ideas for better processes that would reduce environmental impact, create more efficient processes, or save costs in operations, maintenance or reliability. I worked with technologists and we would design experiments and methods to measure different aspects of the experiments and then try to prove our theories. From this work, I achieved several patents with the teams I was part of. We also worked to scale up our pilots to see if the theories held true at larger sizes. As the engineer, I did most of the data analysis utilizing math and different equations to see if the samples made sense. I would do mass and energy balances and would review the results to decide what needed to be changed in the experiments.

My career path is

My first science fair project in fourth grade answered the question, "Which type of Tupperware would best keep apples fresh for the longest amount of time?". I remember feeling discouraged when my project had not qualified for the regional fair. Fast forward several years to high school when I gave science fairs another try. This time it led to my participation at the Canada-wide Science Fair in 2016. It was through this experience I learned how to cultivate a growth mindset: understanding that setbacks are part of the learning process while adopting the belief that my abilities were not fixed entities - I could develop them into anything I desired with enough hard work and dedication!

I would not be where I am today without the support of my family and STEM mentors. Through the many times inside and outside of school when nothing seemed to be going right, their advice and encouragement always brought me back to thinking about the purpose behind my work. This kept me motivated to persist through the toughest of challenges. I am thankful for their ongoing support towards my goals, however odd they turn out to be!

I am motivated by

What motivates me is being challenged - I like having problems and trying to figure them out. As an oil sands research engineer, the challenges were more math and science related. In my current job, the challenges are more legal based. But I still use the skills I learned in my technical work. I know how to run projects, work with people, communicate ideas, how to manage change, and evaluate risk. Right now, I have several people that I lead, and that also motivates me. I make sure they have the right knowledge and skills to do the best at their job . I also try to make sure they are excited as well about the work that they do. I like being able to lead them and teach them and watch them grow and be their best. As a side note, being an engineer also is financially rewarding. Finding a way to balance work as part of your life is important. And having the money to be able to vacation and de-stress and sports, etc., is very nice.

How I affect people’s lives

Currently, I work for a professional regulator. APEGA is a professional association that makes sure that engineers and geoscientists that work in Alberta are technically and ethically competent. In order to do engineering or geoscience work in the province of Alberta, a license is required from APEGA. To get a license, a person needs a degree plus several years of experience. The work I do is to make sure that everyone follows the rules and requirements. This is important work to ensure that engineers and geoscientists keep in mind the public and keep the public safe in any work that they do. The basic goal is to make sure that the work our members do meets a certain quality and that engineers and geoscientists act ethically and professionally. The work I do affects the public in many ways. By helping make sure that engineers and geoscientists are held accountable if they don’t practice skillfully and ethically helps keep people safe.

Outside of work I

I like to stay active - my favourite winter things are downhill skiing, curling, and reading. In the summer, I play slo-pitch, camp, and attend music festivals. I take my kids with me everywhere I go and they enjoy the same things. I volunteer doing outreach talks, career talks, and helping to run organizations through board/committee work.

My advice to others

My four pieces of advice: 1) Build confidence in small ways. 2) Learn how to fail - and know that failure isn't a reflection of who you are. 3) Find a team - to motivate you, empathize with you, and to help you. 4) Seek and find inspiration everywhere.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Math
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Liked reading
  • Played video games
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades


Canada 2067 Logo
Canada 2067

Let’s Talk Science recognizes and thanks Jessica Vandenberghe for her contribution to Canada 2067.

Explore Career Profiles

  • Lynn Henderson with German Sheppard dog

    Lynn Henderson (she/her)

    Veterinarian, Clinician, and College Professor

    I am a small animal veterinarian serving animal health in a variety of capacities.
  • Peter Visscher devant un tableau blanc

    Peter Visscher

    Robotic Vehicle Development, General Manager

    I work with my team to develop extreme robotic vehicles designed to operate off-road and off-planet.
  • Ray Hyde

    Ray Hyde

    IT Manager, Customer Experience

    I oversee the day-to-day operation of our IT infrastructure in support of the offshore oil platforms and our local office.
  • Dawn Pratt avec ses filles au Centre spatial de Houston

    Dawn Pratt

    STEM Consultant

    I develop programs and STEM content and advise on the development of STEM programs.
  • Diya Isac

    Diya Isac (she/her)

    Software Lead - Vehicle Motion Embedded Controls Team

    I give technical guidance to develop software for features that make the car move and stop.
  • Xiaoyi Bao

    Xiaoyi Bao

    Professor and Canada Research Chair

    Dr. Xiaoyi Bao is Canada Research Chair in Fibre Optics and Photonics.
  • Vivek Chauhan

    Vivek Chauhan

    Program Advisor, Renewable Generation

    Vivek is an electrical engineer who works for Ontario Power Generation.
  • Joshua Walton derrière le volant d'un véhicule à l'essai.

    Joshua Walton

    Operations Leader, Vehicle Testing

    I oversee the day-to-day operations of GM’s testing facility to make sure our vehicles can withstand the most extreme cold weather conditions.
  • Sukhleen Chahal

    Sukhleen Chahal

    Proposal Specialist

    I write contract change proposals for work to be done that was not part of the original work plan.
  • Michaella Chemello cuisinant et servant des crêpes au Stampede de Calgary

    Michaella Chemello

    Engineer in Training (Civil)

    I am a Civil/Structural Engineer-In-Training at Fluor Canada.
  • Kris Poduska

    Kris Poduska (she/her)

    Physics Professor

    As a professor of physics, I train students how to use science to solve problems.
  • Autoportrait de Jill Stagg pris sur le chantier

    Jill Stagg

    Steamfitter Apprentice

    As an apprentice steamfitter, Jill Stagg is expanding her skills at installing pipes that carry high pressure or dangerous stubstances.
  • Dave Challoner plantant des arbres dans le cadre d'un projet communautaire.

    Dave Challoner

    Project Manager

    I guide and manage a diverse team of people as we carry out various projects.
  • Miriam Micael

    Miriam Micael

    Engineer, Project Management

    As a project manager at the Canadian Space Agency, Miriam makes sure projects get done on time and on budget.
  • Sombto Ibe

    Somto Ibe

    Engineer, Renewable Energy

    Somto Ibe is responsible for ensuring that wind turbines and solar panels operate safely.
  • Peter Grootelaar

    Peter Grootelaar

    Engineer, Kitimat Operations Superintendent

  • Alok

    Alok Shirolikar

    Specialist Engineering Project Management

  • Fairy Sahay

    Fairy Sahay

    Civil Engineer (Green Economy Project)

    I work to protect, conserve and restore natural resources.
  • Karen Thomas au site de construction Hebron GBS site à Bull Arm, T.N.-L.

    Karen Thomas

    Structural Engineer (Module Integration Manager)

  • Peter Noel

    Peter Noel

    Business Development Partner

    I help new financial advisors develop their skills so they can help their clients make good financial decisions.