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Project Engineer

Project Engineer

Name: Katherine Bartlett
Company: ExxonMobil Canada
Education: Bachelor of Engineering in Process Engineering, Memorial University
Location: Offshore – Oil Production Installation
Hometown: Mount Pearl, NL
Currently Living In: Conception Bay South, NL 

Education and Personal Background

Katherine says science courses were her favourite in high school, and she took every one that she could. So it’s no surprise that when she chose a university program, she had it down to a science!

“I chose engineering because I love the practical focus of the sciences. And I chose process engineering because the big picture thinking involved is something I’ve always enjoyed.”

Katherine says she went straight into engineering from high school, but like many students, she worked part-time through high school and the early part of university. 

Duties and Work Environment

Katherine doesn’t feel very limited in the work she explores in her job. When asked what types of tasks she works on, she simply says, “Everything!”

“As a Project Engineer, the tasks and problem solving change every day. From unexpected technical issues offshore, to sourcing spare materials, different things come up each day.”

Katherine’s job requires time management skills, in order to keep up with multiple projects at a time. She also has to have good communication skills for relaying information between her company and other companies involved. Critical thinking is very important, since acting fast when issues arise is part of keeping things on budget and on schedule.

There are some pretty big engineering feats happening in offshore oil and gas, and Katherine loves being part of the excitement. She says one highlight of her career was planning for a skyscape and deck to be lifted from a supply vessel onto the Hibernia platform (an oil production installation). The weight was over 28 tonnes!

“The job went very smoothly and safely because of the intense planning that went into it. Watching the lift from the supply vessel was an amazing feeling!”

Questions and Answers

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

Keep your personality! Being a professional doesn’t always mean being cut and dry; sometimes it’s easier to work with others when they can connect with you.

What surprised you most about the oil and gas industry? 

The friendliness of the industry is what surprised me most!  I’ve met the nicest and most interesting people through engineering and look forward to meeting more throughout my career.

What inspires you most at work?

My colleagues inspire me. They have amazing stories of the things they’ve done and seen.

What is your life’s mantra?

Maintain a successful work life balance.  I find that taking care of things effectively and being successful at work makes the rest of my life more enjoyable.  I also recognize that my family and personal life are really important to me and sometimes they have to come first.