Meet Marilyn Spink, an award-winning engineer and expert in metallurgical and mining processes. With more than 25 years of delivering complex mine development projects globally, she is a true leader in her field.
What is your role at Ausenco?
I am the Head of Project Systems for Global Projects. In a nutshell, I help integrate technology into our engineering and project delivery capabilities to increase efficiency. I am currently implementing a suite of project management and engineering design technology tools and leading the integration of critical data interfaces with the corporate ERP systems.
Why did you choose engineering as a career path?
I always liked math and science, and engineering allowed me to apply these subjects to design and build things that improve people’s lives.
Tell us about your career path so far. How did you get to where you are today?
I chose metallurgy since I loved the high-temperature chemistry of pottery. My career thus far has not been a “path” but more like climbing a jungle gym, looking up and seeing all barriers to advance. This made me approach my career differently; I looked for sideways paths and opportunities to expand my knowledge, eventually getting me to where I want to be. Happy to have landed at Ausenco!
What inspires you about being an engineer?
Engineering is a licensed profession (P.Eng.), and part of being licensed is taking an oath to hold the public’s welfare as paramount in the work we do, but most importantly, the products of engineering must enhance our human existence on the planet.
What is the most memorable project you’ve worked on so far in your career?
There are so many projects that are memorable but some that stick out are the projects where you build from the ground up into a thriving industry that provides better economic outcomes for local communities. For example, helping the Tunisian Government modernize their state-run steel works, helping a northern Kentucky (USA) town shift their economy away from tobacco by building steelmaking facilities, and finally the Ambatovy Nickel-Cobalt Project in Madagascar, which is now an Ausenco project!
What would you say to other women interested in starting a career in engineering?
Do it! Engineering is challenging and interesting, the people you work with are great, and there’s lots of travel involved, but overall, it’s super rewarding!