Turning Broken Dreams to New Beginnings

Like many people we have featured in Hero Spotlights, Steven also did not expect to be where he is today as a Reliability Engineer.

Steven originally went into engineering to design something that would change the world. He held on to this dream while going through university, and eventually landed a job as a Design Engineer.

However, after being in this role for a year, Steven realized that his dream wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. To him, it was boring and frustrating work that constantly involved dealing with people with razor thin margins.

Moving forward, Steven ended up acquiring an unlikely role at Fluid Life as a Reliability Engineer. In this position, he took his first big steps into the maintenance and reliability world by dealing primarily with condition monitoring and oil analysis. He shared with us,

“This experience really opened my eyes. I dabbled in maintenance as a summer job when I was a student. But, the scale and complexity of it… It’s an exciting field that not too many people know about.”

Growing Pains of Reliability Engineering

At Fluid Life, Steven loved working with his team and grew tremendously in his knowledge of maintenance, reliability, and other industries. He also learned a ton from Robert Kalwarowsky, the Creator of Rob’s Reliability Project. 

After Fluid Life, Steven found a job in a pioneering role to set up a reliability program from the ground up at a mining company. Working in this company was challenging because it was in a remote area of Northern Canada, approximately seven hours away from civilization. Steven said,

“There’s not too many people around. The people that I worked with were the same people I spent the entire day with. We would eat dinner together, go to the gym together, basically do everything together. There was absolutely no work-life balance. But, the biggest challenge was definitely being away from the family.”

After ten months of working in isolation, Steven moved back closer to home and went on to his next, and now, current role as a Reliability Engineer at Teck, where he impressively handles the haul trucks and auxiliary equipment across four mines.

Learning Lessons

Through his several years of experience in the maintenance and reliability industry, Steven closed with these thoughtful remarks,

“A lot of people think that maintenance and reliability engineers understand how to maintain a piece of equipment. But sometimes, the reality is that we might not have a clue. And, it’s not until you spend a lot of time talking to tradesmen and people with even more experience that you begin to understand more of what you are working with. For me personally, learning on this journey has been the greatest accomplishment thus far.”