Jennifer Cutting, BASc 2002

Hi. My name’s Jen and I graduated from UBC Materials Engineering in 2002. During my final year, I was hired by Chevron Canada to work as a Maintenance Engineer at their Burnaby oil refinery. The refinery processes 55,000 barrels per day of crude oil into various petroleum products, including much of the gasoline in Vancouver. My office is on-site so I get to spend lots of time working outside and in the field.

As a new EIT, I started with basic design projects such as installing new equipment and piping systems. The company has a new hire training program, which involves 6 weeks training at locations across the US from California to Mississippi. Traveling with the company was pretty nice and I got to meet lots of other new grads from around North America.

After a year, I became the refinery’s Materials Engineer. Corrosion here is a big deal because if something breaks it can cause a whole plant to shut down and disrupts production. Therefore, I spend a lot of time selecting materials for new equipment. It’s similar to the 2nd year materials selection course we took at UBC, except the parts are way more expensive than mountain bike cranks!
Another part of my job that I especially enjoy involves investigating mechanical failures. It’s a lot like detective work and we uncover some surprising root causes. My absolute favourite part of this job though is the other people I work with. I have some great coworkers, who make the atmosphere supportive, exciting, and all-around fun. My UBC MTRL background definitely prepared me for this career and created a range of opportunities to look forward to in the future.