Zoe Mathurin – Lab Assistant
The company I decided to do my co-op with was GHD; they are an engineering consultant company involved in multiple sectors including water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation. They currently operate in multiple different countries such as the US and Canada, as well as New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, the UK and more.
I discovered this company at the job fair where I was offered a lab assistant position at the Peterborough location. My main responsibility during my time at GHD was looking after the soils lab. For the most part I had free rein over this section and worked by myself, something that I really enjoyed during my time there as I got a taste of what it might be like to have a larger amount of responsibility in a company. In this section I performed tests such and hydrometers; often doing anywhere from 1 to 9 at a time, specific gravities, gradations, and moisters. Many of these tests I was already aware of from Soil Mechanics, which takes place in the second semester of the ERT diploma program. While the tests in this section are relatively straight forward some ability to plan and multitask are needed in order to meet due dates for clients.
I also spent a large amount of time helping the other lab technicians in aggregates. In this section I mainly did tasks such as washes and multiple different types of sieves, I also occasionally logged in and split samples, calculated percent flat vs. elongated, and aided in performing chloride testing along with other small tasks. Some other sections in the GHD office were concrete and asphalt though I did not participate in these section very often. While I was at the company I also decided to join the social committee in order to try and become more involved with the people I worked with. I joined a few events such as axe throwing and the fall golfing tournament; I also helped to plan events such as company barbecues and the Christmas party, which I will be going back to attend in December.
My time at GHD really allowed me to gain further understanding on the material we covered in the second semester, especially in classes such as soils, and environmental site investigations. It has also shown me that there is a huge amount of opportunities for someone looking to work in a geological industry. While at GHD I also received extra training in CPR and AED use, and was able to obtain my Red Cross certification, something that will definitely be needed in future jobs. Anyone looking for a co-op I would highly suggest GHD. The variety of tasks makes the co-op much more interesting and allows for a lot of learning. The people at this company are also very friendly and welcoming and were extremely helpful during my co-op experience.