Welcome to Indigenous Futures in Engineering, Queen's University

Tony Howard

Tony Howard

Tony Howard was not a huge fan of chemistry, but he excelled in math and science so well that it seemed engineering simply “found” him.

“I remember my cousin taking me to an open house at Dawson College, and the Mechanical Engineering Technology department had a robot on display performing various actions…I was hooked,” Tony shared.

“I started work in my industry at a consulting engineering company specializing in the railway industry,” said Tony.

“I was fortunate to work for an engineer who had a similar engineering technology degree. With his support, I took night classes in order to get the credits needed to apply for university, which unfortunately included chemistry classes!

Tony’s transition into university was “not that difficult,” adding course loads in CEGEP (College in Quebec) really did a great job of “preparing students for the university workload.”

The biggest challenges he faced during his first year at the University of Waterloo involved life outside of school, such as finding a balance between studies and social activities, learning to cook, and doing laundry.

“I was very fortunate to have my sister at the same university, so if I was ever homesick, she was usually nearby,” he said.

Tony is currently employed at B.C. Hydro as a mechanical engineer.

“In my current role, most of my work involves the specification and purchasing of hydraulic turbines for new projects,” he said.

“With the support of other engineers and technicians I oversee the construction, installation, and commissioning of the equipment.”

He also had a little fun along the way in becoming an engineer, when he entered a competition in his final year in college that saw his team design and build an off-road vehicle.

“We competed against other universities and colleges. It was an amazing experience and I will always remember it!”

Tony enjoys mountain and road biking, playing hockey and hiking.

His ties to his home Mohawk community of Kanesatake are through his parents, who still live there.

Tony recently took a Mohawk language course in Vancouver, creating a deeper connection to his culture and to his mother, who is fluent.

His advice for aspiring engineers?


“If it is something you enjoy, don’t be afraid to go for it! There is an amazing range of careers related to engineering out there!”

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

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