Terri-Jane Yuzda


Peace River Branch's
Shining Star

Heidi Yang, P.Eng., and her 14-month-old daughter Isabelle.

BY Tara Madden
Public Relations Coordinator

Heidi Yang, P.Eng., exemplifies the words "dedicated" and "enthusiastic." An APEGGA member since 1994, she has been a shining star in the Peace River Branch since 1997. Starting as a volunteer for the Student Outreach program, she quickly jumped into an executive role, first as treasurer and then as branch chair. Perhaps Heidi's most notable contribution was the introduction of the Peace County Science Olympics in 2000, an event she continues to coordinate.

Why and when did you join APEGGA?

I joined APEGGA in 1994 when I graduated from UBC and moved to Grande Prairie to start my career at Weyerhaeuser. I had just completed my degree and was proud to be "an engineer" now. The first thing I did was enrol with APEGGA to solidify that accomplishment. I also joined APEGGA because I believed it could provide a good opportunity to network with other engineers. It has done that and more.

Why do you volunteer with APEGGA?

I believe it is important to put into this organization as much as I get back from it. I enjoy being a part of the Peace River Branch executive, helping to set direction and shape activities for our members. I especially enjoy organizing and participating in Student Outreach activities like engineering presentations, science nights, science festivals and of course the Science Olympics. When I was young, I was not exposed much to what you could do in science and engineering, or how science and engineering can affect our everyday lives. I think it is important to expose students to these topics and help them see that science and engineering can be fun and exciting!

What are your other hobbies and interests?

I like to spend as much time with my family as I can. My daughter is 14 months old now and I am amazed at all the things she can do! My other interests include playing volleyball, working on my garden and reading novels that teach something (be it history, culture, another point of view, etc). I am also active in the Alberta Wine Education Society here in Grande Prairie, which gives me the chance to taste and compare wines.

Can you recall a particularly memorable volunteer experience?

A few years back, I helped organize an engineering presentation for Girl Guides. My goal was to expose these keen individuals to the different engineering disciplines and provide some hands-on experience. Four other female engineers talked about their jobs and how they came to be engineers. It was a lot of fun, and the attentiveness and excitement on the girls' faces made it all worthwhile. To know that you can influence a person based on your actions and efforts is such a great reward. At the end of the workshop, we were all presented with our Science and Engineering Badge. That was pretty neat, too!

What would you consider as a dream project, one that you would like to be involved in?

I would love to go to a developing country and help out in the capacity of an engineer or educator. Not only would I get to travel and learn a new culture, but I'd be able to help others out, too, and hopefully make a difference in their lives.

What high-tech product could you not live with out and why?

I think that my world would be that much more difficult if I did not have my computer. I use it extensively at work as well as at home, from gathering and analyzing data, writing memos, organizing my days, corresponding with family and friends, to looking up recipes. Without my computer, my days would definitely be longer than 24 hours!

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