January, 2000

Andrea Dawson - From
Anne of Green Gables to
Rodeo Country

By Tracey Horne-Pettipas

If you have suggested candidates for the series, please forward your ideas to The PEGG.

An integral part of APEGGA is its volunteers, not just those living in Calgary or Edmonton, but the hundreds of engineers, geologists and geophysicists throughout the province who are dedicated to making a difference in their Association and professions. Andrea Dawson, E.I.T., is one such person who has volunteered with APEGGA since arriving from P.E.I. Graduating with a degree in chemical engineering in Nova Scotia, Andrea made the trek west and settled in Red Deer, working as a chemical engineer at Union Carbide. Andrea served the Central Alberta Branch as Treasurer and, after two years, took on the role of Branch Chair, the position she currently holds.

Why did you join APEGGA?

Joining APEGGA was a natural step after graduation, It's a way to keep up with what's happening and, of course, get the P.Eng. designation.

Why do you volunteer with APEGGA?

It's a great way to learn about the Association.

What value do you get from being an APEGGA volunteer?

The value I get is the opportunity to network and meet other APEGGA Members.

Can you recall a particularly memorable volunteer experience?

Becoming Chairperson of the Central Alberta Branch.

Have you received an award or special recognition that is important to you?

The Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia (APENS) awarded my design team the Environmental Award for our design project titled "Environmentally Friendly Natural Gas Dehydration". Our objective was to create an environmentally safe system by removing water from the natural gas using TEG (tri-ethylene glycol). At the time of our project, natural gas was becoming an important commodity in Halifax and we knew our contribution could potentially be important. This award means a lot because it was a great team effort and it was selected from a number of other projects by APENS as the project that best demonstrated a solution to an environmental problem.

Why did you go into engineering?

I was three years into a chemistry degree when I realized there's actually a practical aspect or use for my chemistry knowledge. The thought of getting into engineering and the practical aspect of it appealed to me, so I transferred into engineering at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Is there a person who has been helpful in your development as a professional?

Everyone I have worked with at Union Carbide has been helpful in my development. It's a team environment so you really get the opportunity to learn from others.

What's the first thing you noticed different between the east and the west of Canada? (and you can't say water)

Since I can't mention water, I'd have to say the dry air! I'm definitely keeping Johnson and Johnson in business.

What are your other hobbies and activities?

Skiing, travelling and most recently being part of a book club.

Who is the one person in the world you admire the most?

My mom. She's a working mom and as I move closer to starting a family of my own, I'm beginning to realize just how difficult it must have been for her to work and raise a family.

What is your favourite movie?

Steel Magnolias and anything with Sean Connery.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Ireland, my parents' ancestors hail from there so it would be an opportunity to learn more about my background.

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