Meet Tahrana Lovlin
Tahrana Lovlin earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering and Masters of Applied Environmental Studies in Planning from the University of Waterloo. She currently works as a Specialist at Microclimate, Novus Environmental Inc. In her spare time, she likes to read, travel, cook and bake, solve puzzles and genealogy.
When did your love of STEM begin?
As a kid, I loved to build things. I built forts in the living room out of whatever I could find in the house (couch cushions, sheets). I built with Lego and Construx, mostly houses and cars. When I got to middle school, I became obsessed with floor plans for houses, as we were planning to move and my parents were considering building a house. I remember trying to draw floor plans in Paint (in the late 1980s) on an Apple computer. My father was an engineer and he talked about work. I enjoyed math and science. By the time I got to high school I wanted to be an engineer, building bridges or skyscrapers. I did a summer internship, in a program where they paired high school students with engineers and architects. I spent the summer drafting (by hand) a community centre for the local indigenous band in Yellowknife. It just all made sense by the time I applied to university.
What is the best part about working in the field of STEM?
I love solving problems. Every day is a new problem. I get to constantly fix things or answer questions, posed either by my team, myself or the client. We use the same approach, but the answer on each project is different. I get to work with a team, I get to play with numbers, and I get to work on projects around the world. Occasionally, I even get to travel to the Canadian North!
What advice would you give young women interested in a career in STEM?
Be yourself. Be curious. Be willing to fail, because that is how you learn.