The main highlight of my placement was I have had my first publishing as co-author experience, in the Materials & Design journal

Henrietta Stainer
Henriette Stainer
Department: Materials Science & Engineering
Company: InnoTech Alberta
Henriette is an MEng Engineering (Materials) student who was placed at InnoTech Alberta.

What was the highlight of your placement?

The main task during my placement was to conduct my own research project; investigating the recyclability of tungsten-carbide powder. I had to plan the project, using tools such as work breakdown structures and Gantt charts, and carry it out putting to use all the skills I have been learning throughout my degree. Due to COVID-19 I unfortunately had to cease the project, but I had the opportunity to contribute towards another research project. Consequently, this lead to the main highlight of my placement; I have had my first publishing as co-author experience, in the journal ‘Materials & Design’.

Throughout all of my projects I was able to develop and learn new lab skills as well as continuously improving my research and report writing skills.

How did you adapt to working during COVID-19?

Working from home permanently has changed the nature of my job, whereas before I was spending a lot of my time in labs, I was now confined to computer based work. I have been researching primarily literature for government and industry funded projects and potential new testing services in the lab on site. However, my workload has reduced dramatically in comparison to when I was still in Canada, this has left me with time to take online courses in areas of my interest to further my knowledge and understanding particularly in sustainability.

How did you find your role?

A lecturer and his connections.

One piece of advice would you give to students who are considering taking a placement?

Take every opportunity you can get and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, either in the work place or outside. It all helps you grow as a person and become a well-rounded and respected colleague. Especially if you don’t know what you would like to do yet in your future career, see it as a taster year to help you figure it out.

What did InnoTech think?

Gary Fisher, Principal Engineer at InnoTech Alberta said "Henriette joined the Materials team at InnoTech Alberta to conduct a project on using reclaimed materials. Through the course of the project she had the opportunity to further develop her metallurgical laboratory and analytical skills and increase her project management experience. Henriette also had the opportunity to work with clients, including site visits to view equipment and processes, and meetings to determine project requirements and expectations. Her level of enthusiasm was impressive, leading to her becoming involved in a number of other projects and being a co-author on a published paper. She integrated well and was soon thought of as a regular team member. Henriette was an excellent ambassador for the University."

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