Building the Next Generation: Interview with Jasper Lee, Recipient of 2021 YPAC UBC-PII Award

Jasper Lee, Recipient of 2021 YPAC Vancouver UBC-PII Award

Building the next generation of pipeline industry leaders is core to Young Pipeliners’ mission to build opportunities for member development. As such we are proud and excited that YPAC Vancouver and the University of British Columbia’s Pipeline Integrity Institute have continued their partnership. The 2021 YPAC Vancouver UBC-PII Award recipient is Jasper Lee!

The YPAC team extends our congratulations to Jasper, we are excited that we’ve been able to continue with this award for another five years and support great talents like you! We connected with Jasper to learn more about where he’d like to see his career take him, impact of the 2021 YPAC UBC Award, thoughts on the future of the industry, and advice for the next generation of young pipeliners.

Tell us briefly about yourself and your recent educational/professional experiences.

Originating from Hong Kong and having completed high school in North Vancouver, I recently graduated with a dual major in civil and pipeline engineering from the integrated engineering program at UBC.  I have two years of co-op experience in project management and structural engineering. My first placement was with Alliance Construction Materials Limited in Hong Kong, the largest concrete supplier in the city. Working under the project management team has exposed me to construction site work and project management. My second placement was with Ennova Structural Engineers Inc. in Burnaby. This work experience has allowed me to understand the structural design and construction process of buildings, as well as exposed me to the building codes, by-laws, and the importance of detail orientation and integrity. My most recent placement was with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. As an Infrastructure Delivery Project Coordinator Co-Op Student, I was involved in multi-million dollar infrastructure projects and had the opportunity to lead a Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) assessment, a tool measuring the completeness of project definition and scope, as one of my projects.

What is your ultimate career goal as you see it today?

My ultimate career goal is to grow as a respectable professional engineer within the field I will be involved in. Through my co-op placements, I have found that I enjoy working in construction sites. The idea of seeing a project gradually build-up to reach its completion excites me. Part of my career goal is also to positively influence people I interact with by living out the hope and joy I hold on to and share my experiences with people walking the path that I took through mentoring them.

How will you use being the recipient of this award to influence others and how would it impact your career?

I am honoured to be chosen as the recipient of this award. Personally, this award validates that my hard work has been recognized which encourages me as I pursue the next steps of my career. As the recipient of this award, I hope to encourage others that are interested in this field to pursue a study in pipeline engineering. This award will impact my career by giving me a boost in confidence knowing that my experience and knowledge that I acquired through my undergraduate degree has been validated and can be transferred into my future career. 

How do you think the Canadian pipeline industry will change by the time you end your career?

With Canada’s commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions, I believe there will be a surge in demand to transport renewable energy, namely hydrogen. As outlined by the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, Canada plans to use hydrogen as a tool to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. By the time my career ends, I think the Canadian pipeline industry will change from focusing on transporting oil and natural gas to hydrogen. This can be supported by the increased use and investment of hydrogen in powering vehicles, industries, and buildings. 

Tell us about a teacher/mentor who made an impact on you or set you on your present path.

My aunt has been the one impacting my life and inspiring me to become an engineer. She started her career as an electrical engineer and worked her way up to becoming a director. Her way of thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills have significantly impacted how I see, think, and do things. She is also one of the first few people who saw my passion for civil engineering and encouraged me to enter my current field of study.

What advice would you give to your student self, knowing what you do now?

Don’t be afraid to try new things, and do not be worried about tomorrow. Enjoy what you are doing now and be present in it.