Provincial Engineering & Geoscience Week


A Salute to Professional Engineers & Geoscientists

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 5 of 5

6 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2021 SPECIAL SECTION Why did you move to Sweden? I had originally been interested in the life sciences and wanted to take a gap year to take care of my grandparents in Sweden. I realized that medicine would probably be a mistake for me. I decided to decline my offer to study in Canada and switched into an engineering program specializing in medical technology in Sweden. What are you taking in school now and why? I'm back in school getting a MSc in Innovation, a specialized program developed in collaboration with IKEA with a strong focus on sustainability. New product development (NPD) is a passion of mine. [B]reaking down messy problems and solving them with neat systematic solutions is something that will never get old. My hope is to work with either product or project management after my degree. What did you do before you returned to school? I was working as a senior test engineer, consulting at Volvo trucks research and development center in North Carolina. Basically, I broke trucks for a living. While a lot of calculations can be done in the computer, fatigue can be tricky to model, especially in a complex system like a truck. I designed and ran physical tests to make sure that system was as strong as it had to be to claim our trucks to be 'safe like a Volvo', or 'built Mack tough'. What did a typical workday look like for you? Even in a lab, wear and tear takes a long time to simulate, so at any one point in time I would have a few projects in planning stages; a few tests being set up; a few running; and a few being torn down. Engineering sometimes gets a reputation for being lonely and analytical, but my experience has been anything but that. I worked as part of a team together with design engineers, lab engineers, project managers, purchasing, and technicians. Some days, I spent more time in meetings, some days more in the lab, or on the test track. Whenever I got some free time there were always reports to be written. What made you decide to be an engineer? Being an engineer is all about practical problem solving, and that's something that I've been taught to do my whole life. Whether they were aware of it, or not, my parents played a big part in that. Growing up, Mum was talking about how to break down a task into its basic components and reason out the logical steps to complete it, and Dad was obsessed with good communication. Top it off with a strong math and science background, and a belief that girls can take on any role they want. What did the journey to your current role look like? Some people dream of doing the work I did their whole lives, but I sort of fell into it. I started working at a consulting company in Stockholm. On my first day at the office, I got an offer to interview for a test engineering position at Scania (a member of the Volkswagen group). I got the contract by the end of the week. After a couple of years, the consulting firm shipped me off to do the same type of work for Volvo in America. What is/was the most rewarding part of your career? Being a part of a multidisciplinary team is exciting. I enjoy coordinating resources and finding ways to make everything come together so that we can deliver a quality product as quickly as possible. The best days are when I have managed to squeeze in important last-minute tests into the schedule, or source components when something has gone wrong in another part of the supply chain. Coming to the rescue and making things work always feels like an accomplishment. Is there a particular project you have worked on that you are proud of? Not a particular project, but a type of problem. I have worked on a lot of field quality issues, when we get a call from a driver working in tough conditions reporting an unexpected early component failure. [B]eing able to crack the code and figure out what went wrong to improve a design can leave me feeling pretty chuffed. What do you get out of engineering that you feel you could not get out of any other line of work? I like the technical complexity of my work, and meeting people from lots of different disciplines. Who are your role models in your field? Robin Teigland. She is a professor, public speaker, impact entrepreneur, and all-around cool lady. What do you wish people knew about the work that you do? That it existed. [D]estroying trucks for a living is not a job that I knew existed before doing it myself. Astrid Cox is a dual citizen (Swedish and Canadian). As a youth, Cox lived in Winnipeg and graduated from Balmoral Hall in 2012. The Day in the Life OF AN ENGINEER -Asrid Cox Being a part of a multidisciplinary team is exciting. I enjoy coordinating resources and finding ways to make everything come together so that we can deliver a quality product as quickly as possible. PROVINCIAL ENGINEERING & GEOSCIENCE MONTH MARCH 2021 Power system innovators have something in common. They use the RTDS ® Simulator to test their systems. A Manitoba-made technology leveraged by leaders across the globe The RTDS Simulator is the world standard for real-time digital simulation, developed by Winnipeg's RTDS Technologies and used globally for the validation of power system modernization schemes in a safe laboratory environment. Pioneered over 25 years ago at Manitoba Hydro's own HVDC Research Centre, the technology remains extremely relevant today, and is a critical piece of innovative closed-loop testing projects by leading electric utilities, power system equipment manufacturers, research and learning institutions, and consulting firms worldwide. Access to homegrown, world-class power systems expertise is key to the continued success of the RTDS Simulator. YOUR WORLD IN REAL TIME. R T D S . C O M

Articles in this issue

view archives of Provincial Engineering & Geoscience Week - 2021