BY CARMEN KILLICK
Public Relations Coordinator
APEGGA Calgary Office
APEGGA Outreach volunteer Emily Barr, E.I.T., graduated from
University of Alberta
with a chemical engineering degree in 1999. The Calgary resident
has taken a leave from her position as a corrosion engineer
with Chevron Canada Resources as she sets off on new adventures
in Oxford, England. Emily, 25, is a dedicated and frequently
requested Outreach volunteer who will be missed by teachers
and students in Calgary. Her enthusiasm and passion for engineering
are evident through her classroom presentations and through
her commitment to the engineers and scientists of tomorrow.
Why do you volunteer with APEGGA?
I believe that it is important to communicate to young people
what engineers do and what career opportunities are available
for them in engineering. When I was young, particularly in
elementary school, I had no idea what an engineer actually
did. I think the volunteer programs that APEGGA supports are
an excellent way to expose young people to engineering and
how it shapes the world they live in. I love it when I am
teaching a class and one of the children tells me they want
to be an engineer when they grow up.
What value do you get from being an
I have always really enjoyed working with children and teaching.
Volunteering with APEGGA has given me the opportunity to do
that and to insert some fun into my very busy schedule. Sometimes
it is important to get out of your office for a few hours
and play with Play Dough and eight-year-olds! It is very refreshing.
Can you recall a particularly memorable
I have been teaching Building with a Variety of Materials
to Grade 3 children for a few years now. The first time I
taught it I came up with a plan where I gave each of four
groups of kids a different type of material (one group got
only wood and paper, one group metal, one group plastic and
one group cloth). I then asked them to build me a container
that would hold 250 ml of water. I had set up the materials
(I thought!) so that none of the groups could do it with only
a single type of material - they would have to work together
and combine materials to make it work. Kids never cease to
amaze me - one of the groups actually managed to build one
that worked only using one type of material - so I had to
scramble a bit to re-word the moral of the story!
Have you received an award or special
recognition that is important to you?
Currently I am the chairperson of a NACE (National Association
of Corrosion Engineers) International technical committee
on plant and field applications of electrochemical noise monitoring.
I have been working on the development and implementation
of electrochemical noise monitoring for field applications
for several years - since I was a co-op student in fact. I
was nominated for the position by my peers in the corrosion
monitoring field so it was a big honour for me that they felt
I had contributed enough to the field to chair the committee.
Is there a person who has or had
been helpful in your development as a professional?
I have been very lucky in my career so far - I have had two
exceptional supervisors and mentors whose support and encouragement
have really been important to my career and my professional
development. The first was my supervisor at my first real
engineering job when I was a co-op student. Dr. Peter Flynn
is now chair of Engineering Management at the U of A and his
advice and support both while we worked together and since
then as a friend have been invaluable. The other is my supervisor
in my current position, Ray Goodfellow. Ray's leadership and
encouragement have both pushed me to achieve at high levels
and made my job a lot of fun.
What are your other hobbies and
I enjoy lots of outdoor activities in my spare time - mountain
biking, rock climbing, backpacking, skiing - just about anything
If you could travel to anywhere
in the world, where would you go?
I have always wanted to go to Ireland and the Isle of Mann
- that is where some of my ancestors come from. I would also
love to see Australia. I had an exchange teacher from Australia
when I was a kid and he taught us a lot about Australia, but
most importantly that the world was much, much bigger than
our own backyards. His pictures and stories of Australia have
stayed in my memory and I hope to get there some day and see
that country for myself.