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Lethbridge woman’s career success in male-dominated field fuelled by father’s support

Click to play video 'Father inspires Alberta woman’s career in civil engineering technology' Father inspires Alberta woman’s career in civil engineering technology
WATCH ABOVE: Emilee Kaupp of Lethbridge, Alta., is the daughter of a 30-year chemical engineer who inspired her to pursue a similar field – and one that is typically male dominated. Eloise Therien has the details on how she plans to inspire others as her father inspired her. – Jun 19, 2020

Emilee Kaupp, a 25-year-old civil engineering technologist from Lethbridge, Alta., is sharing her success story ahead of Father’s Day.

Throughout her younger years, Emilee enjoyed math and science and would often tag along with her father Doug to work. Although she was too young to contribute much, she saw the enjoyment her father got from his career in chemical engineering at Lethbridge’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“My passion for solving problems and doing technical work just seemed to rub off,” Doug said.

“I think the most important part is just seeing the pride that someone you look up to has for their job,” Emilee said.

In high school, her father arranged for a job shadowing opportunity with a female civil engineering technologist, which helped solidify her passion.

“She was a huge role model for me,” Emilee said. “Seeing another woman in the industry makes it real.”

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After graduating with her CET diploma from Lethbridge College in 2014, Emilee became a member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). This past spring, she was elected to the ASET council, becoming one of the youngest members in its 60-year history.

“One of the things that we like to do is to draw attention to someone like Emilee,” said Barry Cavanaugh, the CEO of ASET. “[She] is a fantastic example of a young technologist who’s thriving in the field.”

Just 12 per cent of ASET’s members are women, and Emilee hopes her story can encourage other young women and girls to consider a career in civil engineering as a viable one.

“It’s just important to reach out. There’s lot of us in the industry and we’re all willing to support you,” she said.

Emilee has worked on a variety of projects throughout Lethbridge, including the Blackwolf and Southbrook subdivision projects. She is currently the on-site resident for the University Drive Twinning Project, which is expected to conclude in the fall.