By Jensen, Randy on June 20, 2020.
The expression “like father, like daughter” holds a stronger meaning for Emilee Kaupp, who chose a career path similar to her father’s within a traditionally male-dominated industry, with the guidance and encouragement of her father.
Kaupp is a civil engineering technologist who, after completing her education at Lethbridge College in 2014 and earning her certified engineering technologies (CET) designation from the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET), is now involved in civil and municipal projects. Most recently, she was elected to ASET’s council, one of the youngest ASET members to assume that role.
“My father, Doug, is the core of my inspiration for me entering the engineering technology profession,” says Kaupp. “He is a chemical engineer with the City of Lethbridge and has always expressed pride and joy in the work he does. This made my view on the industry very positive from day one.”
She is currently the project on-site resident for the University Drive Twinning Project, which includes the expansion of one of the primary roads on Lethbridge’s westside from two lanes to four lanes with new traffic signals installed at three intersections and expansion of a single-lane roundabout, to a two-lane roundabout.
Kaupp spends most days working on a construction site where she is responsible for daily site inspection, field design adjustments, monitoring quality of progress, calculations of quantities, and liaison with the public and clients.
Her early exposure to engineering and engineering technology came from two individuals in related professions that commonly worked side by side. As a child she loved math, science and going to work with her father at the water treatment plant. She was in high school deciding on post-secondary programs when her father arranged for her to job shadow a female engineering technologist from a consulting firm over the course of an afternoon.
“This gave me hands-on experience of what work I could possibly be doing after finishing high school,” says Kaupp. “After that experience, it was a no-brainer that this was the path for me.”
Kaupp didn’t let the fact that she was entering a traditionally male-dominated profession deter her from achieving her goals. ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh says 12 per cent of its membership is female – the highest percentage of its provincial counterparts – and he is hoping that it will over time improve.
“Both in her professional work and her leadership as an ASET council member, Emilee Kaupp is an outstanding role model for young women who seek to do something extraordinary with their lives,” says Cavanaugh. “Engineering technology offers career paths that are creative, rewarding, well-paid and contribute to the common good. Without the valuable contributions of Emilee and women like her, services and processes we take for granted in Alberta would simply not work.”
Kaupp says an engineering technology diploma and designation helps open up limitless career options for women, including specializations in material testing, urban planning, transportation, environmental and more.
“There are many ways to be successful with this education,” says Kaupp. “I think the key to attracting more women to the profession is to have those currently in it become ambassadors to increase awareness and cultivate interest in this exciting career path, just like my father did for me.”
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