Priyanka Varshney is an electrical engineer-in-training working on nuclear energy at Tetra Tech and based in Pickering, Ontario. With her interest in clean energy, she enjoys exploring opportunities to bring advancements to the energy sector and spark conversations with industry experts about technological impacts on the sector. Priyanka has a bachelor’s degree from Aligarh Muslim University in electrical engineering and diploma certificate from University of London in general management. She joined Tetra Tech in 2016. We talked with Priyanka as part of our #TtInspires campaign celebrating the passion of Tetra Tech employees. Follow #TtInspires on social media for more stories.

What inspired you to get into your field of study?

From childhood, I observed my dad, as a civil engineer, contributing to advancements to city infrastructure. I was amazed by the value he added to society and never missed any opportunity to accompany him to his project sites to get exposure to the skills required to be a successful engineer. This inspired me to become an engineer, to use my analytical mindset to create innovative solutions that impact people’s lives. My inquisitiveness about scientific reasoning for day-to-day problems motivated me to pursue a degree and career in electrical engineering.

What do you enjoy about being part of the Tetra Tech team?

I feel fortunate to work with a team of incredible people. Each person—managers, mentors, and colleagues—has played a significant role in propelling me forward in developing my technical skills as an electrical engineer within the nuclear domain. Tetra Tech has provided me freedom in my work, allowing me to leverage my strengths and perform to at peak ability in my current role. This is a company where you always have a voice on your team no matter who you are, and I am very grateful to be a part of it.

A common challenge that immigrants encounter when seeking work in Canada is a lack of Canadian education and experience. However, Tetra Tech considered me capable and gave me a chance to prove my work. When I moved to Canada in 2015, I had five years of project engineering experience within the energy sector in India. After exploring the Canadian energy markets, I became interested in clean energy and networked to learn about companies contributing to properly functioning nuclear power plants. I came across Tetra Tech while looking for my first job in Canada and was impressed by the challenging projects the company was involved with. Tetra Tech is one of the leading consulting firms providing engineering services with a diverse group of highly qualified technical experts. I wanted to be part of such a team and contribute to projects that provide safe, clean, and reliable energy.

Tell us about an inspirational project you have worked on at Tetra Tech.

I am fortunate to be part of the team responsible for executing a high-profile project for the Ontario Power Generation waste management facility in Bruce County, Ontario, from project initiation to completion. It is a challenging project with many deliverables in a short time frame and the complexity of replacing old technology systems with advanced automated controllers. These technological advancements improve the efficiency of various plant processes. Working on this project helped me become versatile, such as providing installation support and multitasking while working on system modifications. I also got hands on experience while working at the site, providing installation support to the construction team and commissioning support to the client. It was a great learning experience and helped me evolve as a confident and technically sound professional while maintaining a positive attitude. It is inspiring and satisfying to see the system you engineered and designed working properly, cost effectively, and efficiently.

My manager also gave me the opportunity to work on various proposals due to my interest in business development. It provided me a chance to explore opportunities to engage in productive conversations with clients and leverage my technical knowledge to prepare effective proposals for various projects.