Saint Maryâ€™s University and Techsploration Science Award 2012 Recipient: Paige Power
Meet Lucie Kendell
â€œIf you think of our society today, almost everything has some sort of â€˜geoâ€™ context,â€ says Lucie Kendell, Engineering Information Technician at Halifax Water and guest speaker at the Techsplorer Event at the NSCC Truro Campus. â€œHow many of you have checked-in on Facebook since you arrived in Truro? How many of you have posted and tagged some pictures as being at the Truro NSCC Campus?â€ she asked the audience. â€œThese are all geomatics functionsâ€”you are assigning a geolocation to yourself and to your pictures.â€
In her career at Halifax Water, Kendell specializes in the positioning of assets. Using information that comes from the Engineering Department, she maps the location of pipes, manholes and other utility infrastructure using a Geographical Information System (GIS), ensuring her coworkers can view the information on a hardcopy or digital map at the office or in the field.
Her work greatly improves response times when there is a sewer backup or a pipeline break by relaying the exact location of the infrastructure to the field technician so they can address the problem immediately.
â€œThere are so many uses for geomatics applications across so many disciplines, itâ€™s almost impossible to narrow it down,â€ Kendell elaborates. â€œEnvironmental planning, underground exploration, land use analysis, emergency route planning, shipping lanes, the list goes on and on.â€
After finishing her Art degree in Geography from Mount Alison University, Kendell enrolled in Marine Geomatics at the Centre for Geographic Sciences (COGS); a division of NSCC.
Kendell chose the program after seeing that it included a course about seismic exploration. She believed the course was about earthquakes, which she found fascinating, but says she could not have been more mistaken; the course was actually about using sound waves to survey geology beneath the seafloor.
â€œIâ€™m happy to have fallen into a career that is so technical and specialized, and am grateful to be where I am today working with cool and important technology. Itâ€™s really funny to think that I only learned about GIS in my final year of university. Now they have GIS modules in curriculums for early elementary! The industry has changed and thatâ€™s why programs like Techsploration are so important,â€ says Kendell. â€œWe are constantly telling our youth that they are the future; that they can become anyone they want to become, they can study anything theyâ€™d like to study. But, where does a young girl get inspiration to become an Engineering Information Technician, a geophysicist, a medical illustrator, or a systems architect if they donâ€™t know these careers exist? It comes from programs like Techsploration.â€
Kendellâ€™s advice to young women is to explore careers that enable them to do things that they love. Whether itâ€™s working outside, working with their hands, working with people or animals;Â itâ€™s easier to go to work every day to do something you enjoy rather than something you feel has to be done.
â€œIn my case, Iâ€™ve always loved geography; specifically the distribution of people and cultures visualized through mapping. Â Now I get to work every day with the spatial distribution of the utilityâ€™s assets and produce lots of maps that help maintain and improve the quality of our service,â€ says Kendell.Â â€œItâ€™s so much easier when itâ€™s something youâ€™re already passionate about.â€
Techsploration is excited to have Lucie Kendellâ€™s continued participation in Techsplorationâ€™s programming over the past 11 years. Her enthusiasm, knowledge and advice continue to motivate young women to consider new paths and careers.