LIVERPOOL - Beyond her day job as an environmental engineer for the Province of Nova Scotia, Katherine MacLeod is also president of Engineers Nova Scotia.
MacLeod’s one-year term as president began in September.
“Engineers Nova Scotia is the regulatory body for the engineering profession in Nova Scotia,” explained MacLeod, who graduated from Liverpool Regional High School in 1985.
“We’re a self-regulating group, and basically we have a council which is very similar to a board of directors.”
The council consists entirely of volunteers, and those volunteers are elected through members of the engineering profession, MacLeod said.
“There’s a separate staff that works for Engineers Nova Scotia that’s run by a CEO,” she said.
The council’s role is to give direction on where it would like to see the association go. One of MacLeod’s jobs as president is to chair council meetings.
“We vote on initiatives and things during the council meetings. The president doesn’t actually vote unless there’s a tie, and then the president gets to break that tie,” she said.
MacLeod has had the opportunity to travel to various places in Canada to meet with other engineering associations. One of those trips took MacLeod to British Columbia for an annual general meeting.
Before becoming president, MacLeod first had to become elected as a councillor. Four new ones are elected each year. After two years on council, MacLeod put her name forward to become vice president.
MacLeod, who’s been an engineer now for 25 years, first volunteered with the association as a mentor to engineers-in-training.
“In order to become a professional engineer in Nova Scotia, you have to graduate with the proper degree, write a professional-practice exam and then be mentored by a professional engineer for four years,” said MacLeod.
She said she’s mentored many engineers-in-training over the years. Through mentoring, MacLeod got to know a lot of people in the organization and lots of engineers in Nova Scotia. Some of those engineers had been on council and encouraged MacLeod to put her name forward.
“I really enjoyed math and science, and I thought it was something that could basically lead me toward a career doing that type of thing,” said MacLeod about why she pursued engineering.
When MacLeod entered engineering, she was one of the few women in her class. She spent the first couple of years at Dalhousie University and then the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now DalTech).
Once MacLeod’s term comes to an end, she will be past president for council. While that won’t involve as much travel, she’ll be there to share the history of what’s happened over the last couple of years.
“After that, I’m still continuing to be a mentor to the engineers-in-training and hopefully participate in some of the committees that are under the umbrella of the association,” said MacLeod.