• Anthony Valente

Happy First World Engineering Day

Today marks a global celebration - World Engineering Day.

UNESCO with the support of many organizations has launched the World Engineering Day. The aim is to encourage governments, civil society, industry and the public on achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.


Engineering for me has been a wonderful career. I was strong in math and science in high school and a math teacher, who happened to be an engineer, encouraged me to think about a career in engineering. This lead me to undertaking a science fair project in my final year of high school to create a robot that could take measurements in a remote environment. We were not able to get the robot to be autonomous, or to take measurements, but building the machine was very interesting to me. I learned a little welding, machining, and most importantly project management principles at an early age. Part of the science fair project was we were mentored by an industry professional, who happened to be an electrical engineer. Having these two engineers give guidance and mentorship was critical for me to enter into my profession.

I then attended the University of Alberta, and specialized in Mechanical Engineering. The course work was challenging, but I found many rewarding experiences during my studies. One of which was participating in Engineering Week, specifically the battle of the bands. I learned bass, had fun, and made some great friends.

Entering into the workforce I had the opportunity to work in several fields. First, was in industrial pumping, then power generation, oil-sands upgrading, airports, and now green buildings. I've worked for owners, contractors, consultants and finally for myself.

Because I have had such a rewarding career it is a passion of mine to encourage young people to enter into a STEM career, ideally engineering. Engineers are working hard all over the world solving the toughest problems out there. Addressing climate change, improving infrastructure, inventing new products and systems while supporting activities that elevate the standard of living for millions.

Anthony Valente, MSc., P.Eng, LEED Green Associate is a Principal Engineer with Switch Engineering.


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