Welcome to Aboriginal Access to Engineering, Queen's University

Brady Conlon

Brady Conlon photo
Nation: 
Métis
Degree: 
Bachelor of Applied Science
Job title: 
Production Engineer

Type(s) of Engineering:

Biological and Biosystems, Chemical
Favourite thing: 

“Every day I come into work I get to do something I have never done before. The opportunity to rotate and practice different disciplines is one of my favourite things about being an engineer.”

Brady Conlon’s interest in science and that fuzzy feeling he gets from solving difficult problems, naturally led him to the field of engineering.

“To have the ability to apply science and technology in practical and innovative ways is an exciting privilege,” said Brady.

After graduating from high school in Terrace, BC, Brady received an Associate of Science degree at Northwest Community College. He immediately pursued engineering at UBC with high hopes. In May 2014, Brady graduated from UBC with a Bachelors of Applied Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering, which started his ascent into the field.

Moving from community college into university, Brady “had both positive and negative experiences.” Calculus, for example, was particularly tough because Brady didn’t take advanced math in high school to prepare him. However learning topics he was interested in, building his technical skills, and being surrounded by people who had similar academic interests and professional goals were “all rewarding experiences.”

Never one to give up, and with that warm feeling that comes with learning new things to drive him forward, Brady not only persevered, he excelled. “I was eventually able to get the fundamentals required to solve engineering problems and be successful among my peers. It took a lot of practice and time,” he said.

To make matters more difficult – but which certainly sweetened his personal life – Brady and his wife started a family before post-secondary education. “Personally, balancing time in my life to be successful in school while also being a good father and husband was very hard, and I had to make sacrifices everyday in both aspects of my life,” he said.

Brady’s current job as a Production Engineer for a hydrocarbon storage and distribution plant at Dow Chemical in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, goes right along with his mantra of aiming for ambitious goals and overcoming perceived challenges. He monitors and analyzes critical properties in the plant.

The Production Engineering role acts as a technical resource for operations personnel to optimize plant operations, resolves plant problems and enable safe and efficient production of low cost, quality products. "In university, my design team created the blueprint for a Subtilisin (Laundry Detergent Enzyme) Production Facility through means of aerobic fermentation. Tackling each aspect of designing a plant layout was very beneficial to a budding engineer,” he said.

Research, manufacturing, consulting, design, medicine, business leadership, and finance are all sectors that are seeking the skills earned in obtaining a science and engineering degree, Brady said. “To study science and engineering is to open a door to endless possibilities and career paths."

With all this hard work and studying over the years, Brady has still been able to enjoy life outside of the stresses of university and the working world, such as skiing, fishing, and mountain biking with his family.  He attends Métis Nation BC (MNBC) events in Terrace as a way to stay in touch with his roots. It also helps that his mother is the president of the northwest chapter of the MNBC.

He and his wife Jolene, who is from the Tsimshian Nation from the Kitsumkalum band just outside of Terrace, have put a heavy emphasis on retaining Sm’algyax (the Tsimshian Indigenous language) for the couple’s daughters. “We don’t want the language to be lost in the future generations.”

 

See also:

Brady Conlon on LinkedIn

 

Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

© 2017 Queen's University Aboriginal Access to Engineering. All Rights Reserved.